Immelt acknowledged, "The fact that we paid nothing to the I.R.S. this year can only be described as obscene." He went on to add:
"When a company's lowest paid employee pays more in federal taxes than the company itself there is a fundamental flaw in the system. In this tough economy millions of hard-working Americans are struggling to just get by let alone to pay their own taxes. Moreover, they are being hit on all sides by cutbacks in government services at both the federal and state levels. Frankly, I'm surprised that they aren't rioting in the streets."Immelt said that corporations like G.E. should not be able to concentrate their profits offshore and said that as President Obama's liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, he plans to lobby other American multinationals to imagine a better way. "We must be better corporate citizens. We must pay our fair share," he said.
At the end of the presser, Immelt replied to a question about the G.E.-designed reactors at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with, "My bad." .