Sanders Says Verizon ‘Has Not Paid a Nickel in Taxes’, The CEO Responds And It’s Brutal


Prior to Wednesday’s strike by nearly 40,000 Verizon employees, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced to a cheering crowd in Buffalo, New York, on Monday that the corporation “in a given year has not paid a nickel in taxes” despite billions in profit.

That didn’t sit well with Verizon’s CEO, who posted a scathing response Wednesday to the Democratic presidential candidate’s “contemptible” and ”uninformed views.”

“[Sanders’] first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong,” Lowell McAdam wrote in a LinkedIn piece. ”As our financial statements clearly show, we’ve paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years – that’s a 35% tax rate in 2015, for anyone who’s counting. …”

Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon, speaks at the conference "Ignition: Future of Digital," Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon, speaks at the conference “Ignition: Future of Digital,” Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

McAdam added that Sanders “has started to fudge his language – talking of taxes not paid in some unspecified ‘given year’ – but that doesn’t make his contention any less false.”



“Sen. Sanders also claims that Verizon doesn’t use its profits to benefit America. Again, a look at the facts says otherwise,” the CEO continued. “In the last two years, Verizon has invested some $35 billion in infrastructure — virtually all of it in the U.S. — and paid out more than $16 billion in dividends to the millions of average Americans who invest in our stock. In Sanders’s home state of Vermont alone, Verizon has invested more than $16 million in plant and equipment and pays close to $42 million a year to vendors and suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses.”

McAdam added, “I challenge Sen. Sanders to show me a company that’s done more to invest in America than Verizon.”

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