Verizon CEO Scorches Bernie Sanders In Open Letter

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On Monday in Buffalo, Bernie Sanders stood before a crowd and said Verizon Wireless “in a given year has not paid a nickel in taxes.” Old age is clearly getting to Bernie, because that’s not true. The statement, along with Sanders’ other views with his “moral economy,” didn’t sit well with Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam. So he took to LinkedIn to skewer the old man.

His first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong. 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. We’ve laid out the facts repeatedly and did so again yesterday (see “Sen. Sanders needs to get his facts straight” at Verizon.com/about/news). The senator 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. 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. Just yesterday, we announced a $300 million investment to bring fiber to the city of Boston, which will make it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the nation and expand broadband access for its residents. Boston’s Mayor Walsh is partnering with us on this initiative, calling it crucial for providing the foundation for future technology growth. We’re making significant investments in New York City, Philadelphia and other metro areas throughout our wireline footprint.

Verizon is one of the top 3 capital investors in all corporate America. Our investment has built wireless and fiber networks that deliver high-quality services, create high-tech jobs and form the infrastructure for the innovation economy of the 21st century.

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

Sen. Sanders has also involved himself in our on-going negotiations with the labor unions representing some 36,000 communications workers in our wireline business, a bargaining process that has been going on since last June. At a labor convention in Philadelphia last week, Sanders claimed that Verizon is demanding that workers take pay cuts and reduce health benefits or see their jobs shipped overseas.

Again, Sen. Sanders is wrong on the facts. More egregiously, he oversimplifies the complex forces operating in today’s technologically advanced and hyper-competitive economy.

Our objective in these negotiations is to preserve good jobs with competitive wages and excellent benefits while addressing the needs of our ever-changing business. All of our contract proposals currently on the table include wage increases, generous 401(k) matches and continued pension benefits. Contrary to Sen. Sanders’s contention, our proposals do not call for mass layoffs or shipping jobs overseas. Rather, we’ve asked for more flexibility in routing calls and consolidating some of our call centers, some of which employ a handful of people. We would continue to provide health insurance for active and retired associates and their dependents, but we have proposed some common-sense reforms to rein in the cost of these plans, which in 2015 ran to $1.4 billion a year for these represented employees, retirees and dependents. In fact, our healthcare plans – which provide access to medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage – are robust enough to make us subject to the “Cadillac tax” on excessive plans as defined in the Affordable Healthcare Act … the very law Sen. Sanders supported and voted for.

To read the full post, click here.

Kinda funny that Bernie talks about taxes with the lower class, thinking he can get them riled up on the rich. When the reality is that he wants to raise taxes on everyone, including the super poor. Someone needs to put Bernie in a home. Verizon’s CEO hit the nail on the head with his response.

[via LinkedIn]

Image via YouTube

  1. Frabst

    Bernie has a grasp on the economy the same way I have a grasp on getting women to fuck me.

    8 years ago at 1:31 pm
    1. FratLegend

      Your honesty is commendable. Also, don’t get desperate and go “full Cosby..”

      8 years ago at 11:59 pm
  2. Bush Light

    What’s funny is that Bernie supporters and the media think he still has a chance. I was at an investment conference in early March (I know, cool story bro) and one of the speakers from Goldman said Bernie was already done because of the super delegates. And that was 6 weeks ago. Pack it up, Bernie and your clan of impressionable pussies, you’re finished.

    8 years ago at 1:33 pm
    1. Joff the L-E-G-A-C-Y

      From a democracy standpoint, I think the super delegates are absolutely terrible and should be nixed. But, for the sake of this race, I’m kinda a fan since they could very well be a different

      8 years ago at 1:37 pm
      1. Joff the L-E-G-A-C-Y

        (TFM your app is the absolute worst) difference in us getting Cruz V Clinton instead of Trump v Sanders.

        8 years ago at 1:38 pm
      2. Bush Light

        Honestly I think politics is so rigged anyway. Every election they pull out these mysterious delegate rules, convention rules etc. Seems like the National Committees just keep a deck of cards and play whichever rule they need to get the person they (and the super PACs/big donors) want nominated, nominated.

        8 years ago at 1:50 pm
      3. Bush Light

        Also, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I think the people that run the convention can do whatever to get whoever they want elected. All bets are off come July and back door deals, conniving etc. is going to be rampant. I don’t think Trump will win the nomination. The Establishment won’t let it happen.

        8 years ago at 1:53 pm
      4. mosthonorableactive

        Something Sanders supporters have yet to grasp: if you don’t count the superdelegates, she’s still demolishing him in delegate count, and is destroying him even worse in the raw popular vote. As stupid as the concept of superdelegates is, they’re irrelevant to the outcome of this election

        8 years ago at 7:26 pm
  3. sorryforGOPartying

    It says a lot about your political party when the only way to get votes is to criminalize successful people.

    8 years ago at 1:35 pm
    1. HighHorseRights

      I am young & worth more than him. Bernie panders to me. I barely read my tax returns, so I imagine most people he talks to have no clue what is going on.

      8 years ago at 6:45 pm
      1. HighHorseRights

        No, being gay is illegal. You should be hung in the gallows, ESL guy.

        8 years ago at 8:01 am
      2. HighHorseRights

        Also, I got an 11 on the SAT essay. SPED kid! Put your leash back on!

        8 years ago at 8:08 am
  4. PirateSteveTFM

    Bernie should pay off his own credit card debt before accusing other companies of not paying taxes.

    8 years ago at 1:38 pm
    1. RisingFratstarOfTX

      Think it’s time to put the old bastard out to pasture. All in favor?

      8 years ago at 6:27 pm
  5. Asian Guy

    Bernie doesn’t understand it’s private enterprise that creates jobs. Every government employees salary is funded by taxes amd taxes come from businesses and real working people.

    8 years ago at 1:43 pm
    1. Asian Guy

      thus point is lost on him because he’s lived his whole life as a government employee

      8 years ago at 1:44 pm
    2. HighHorseRights

      The government is the biggest employer in the United States. Sanders is talking about the Gini Coefficient, the wealth distribution, which sucks in America and is not so bad in Billion people countries to Canada. Most tax dollars are towards security (Police), education (Public schools), & Public (Parks, Roads…). I can’t explain the rest of it because you are student loan people and I just don’t know how to explain it. You fucking buck-tooth, commies.

      8 years ago at 6:42 pm
      1. BoozinCruizin

        Most of our tax dollars go to police, public schools, and infrastructure?

        8 years ago at 8:57 am
      2. Asian Guy

        its buck-tooth commie. No need to put a comma between an adjective and a noun buddy.

        8 years ago at 4:10 pm
      3. HighHorseRights

        1) On my phone 2) Don’t want to explain it to you. 3) Higher grades thsn you in English. 4) No CEOs are Asian.

        You can’t afford private school.

        8 years ago at 5:16 pm
      4. Asian Guy

        oh and are any of these government programs efficient? Judging from your poor grasp of the English language I’d say at least the school system has been a failure for you.

        8 years ago at 4:12 pm
  6. AnimalMother

    Bernie should really take heed of the motto “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Good luck explaining to your unemployed supporters how all your bullshit “free” programs will get funded when all the rich move away to some other country that wont tax the shit outta them for being successful.

    8 years ago at 2:00 pm
  7. UlyssesSGrant_WilliamTSherman

    You know what’s funny? If it wasnt for dems like FDR’s fucking New Deal, and Jimmy Carters expansion of entitlements, corporations could be paying zero percent taxes. And you know what? Thats what should be happening. I dont see why the US Government has any right to American’s hard work, to take 40-60 percwent of their hard earned salary. Goddammit, this makes me so fucking mad. If anything, increase sales tax and let people keep their fucking money.

    8 years ago at 2:08 pm
    1. Saber and Key

      Well, the government does need taxes to fund a military, infrastructure, public K-12 education, fund research, fund organizations like the CDC, EPA, etc…and that shit is all expensive, but we as citizens all benefit from all of those.

      Now, I’m not saying people should be taxed at the levels Bernie suggests by any means, but the government absolutely has the right to take our “hard earned money” in order to ensure we are safe and have basic rights.

      The crux of the Sander’s argument is essentially that “basic rights” go farther than what we currently have and the government should fund those as well, which logically leads to the conclusion that the government has to take more money. I personally agree with him on healthcare (to me health is too important to be a good that only goes to the highest bidder, and every other developed nation had some form of UHC besides from us), but not really on anything else.

      Sorry for the rant, it just annoys me when I see stuff that suggests that Sanders/his supporters are lazy or hate the rich when in reality it’s just a fundamental disagreement on what things a government should provide to their citizens, which then leads to the logical conclusion that more “basic rights” cost more leading to more taxes.

      8 years ago at 2:28 pm
      1. Frabst

        But that’s also assuming every individual wants these things and assuming that the government is right in forcing people to pay for things that they may not want.

        Then we get into the argument of is it moral for the government to do that and then we can argue about morality and how it’s subjective and how each of us have our own set of truths based off of varying starting points etc.

        What I’m trying to say is whenever ~50% of what I earn is taken to pay for a whole lot of shit I don’t agree with (social welfare programs) then I tend to get angry.

        8 years ago at 2:44 pm
      2. Saber and Key

        No disagreement there, and that argument can also be made for what the government currently guarantees.

        8 years ago at 2:47 pm
      3. Frabst

        Exactly, it’s a philosophical rabbit hole and that’s why both sides are so dug in on their positions.

        8 years ago at 3:02 pm
      4. Jingles

        It is tough. There are certainly things the government should provide. I just think it might be impossible to find things that 100% of people want. At least to the same extent. How big should the military be? How much should the government provide Healthcare?

        8 years ago at 3:56 pm
      5. MrStealDornsMom

        Yeah but a lot of his supporters are lazy fucks who blame all their problems on “Wall Street” and “corporate greed”. You want a free college education? How seriously did you take that free high school education? You’re pissed because you make dog shit money making pottery or whatever while the 1% makes fucking stacks? Well that’s probably because there is an actual demand for their skills. Bernie supporters need to grow the fuck up. If this were ancient times they would starve to death because they are weak did not survive. Oh the good ole days…

        8 years ago at 3:18 pm
      6. MrStealDornsMom

        The weak did not survive* Thinking about Bernie supporters just made me so mad I lost the ability to write a fucking sentence

        8 years ago at 3:20 pm
      7. Saber and Key

        I agree to an extent but you’re painting broad strokes. Just like not all Trump supporters are racist rednecks who live in trailer parks, not all Bernie supporters are lazy kids making pottery. Only the most vocal ones are. And of course, in this instance, both politicians will pander to those respective groups to get votes. So goes politics.

        8 years ago at 3:51 pm
      8. Jingles

        Health insurance companies have always been bastards. Plain and simple. Forcing people to deal with them is the big issue. Premiums are through the roof. I had a check-up today and was speaking with the nurse, she and her husband (with no children) pay the same “family” rate as a family of 6. Its fucked up. And that isn’t the government being bastards, that’s the insurance companies. But they’re able to be even bigger bastards than they were before since the government has handed are balls to them on a silver platter.

        8 years ago at 4:02 pm