Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
FedEx delivered some cold, hard truth to The New York Times. On Sunday, FedEx CEO Fredrick Smith challenged New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger to a public debate after the paper erroneously charged the delivery company of dodging its tax bill last year.
As part of its campaign against tax reform, the Times published a fallacious front page article on how FedEx “owed nothing” and “did not increase investment” after President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to spur the economy. The Times implied that FedEx broke its promise to reinvest its tax savings after the corporate tax rate dropped.
The article on FedEx is part of the Times’ astroturfed narrative that tax reform hurts the poor and helps the rich. Since Trump was sworn in 2017, the Times has published over forty biased articles on tax reform, calling it a “windfall for the rich” and a “con.” These sound more like talking points from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-styled socialist Congresswoman.
But the “distorted and factually incorrect story,” as Smith called it, proves that the only thing the Times is better at than producing fake news is accusing others of wrongdoings that it itself has committed.
In 2017, while it was publishing anti-tax reform articles, the Times paid nothing on its $111 million earnings. Yet, the paper still let go of several staffers that year. In an open letter, former editors called their firings “humiliating” and wrote that the Times management compared them to “dogs urinating on fire hydrants.” The letter begged management to reconsider its plans to fire a hundred editors.
The following year, in 2018, the paper paid only a $30 million federal income tax despite generating nearly half a billion dollars in revenue. The $30 million is around only 18 percent of its pretax income, which is lower than the current corporate tax rate. Did the Times use the same tax benefits it rails against? Coincidentally, that same year, the Times published fewer articles on tax reform.
And, as it paid less in taxes, it decided to keep those savings for itself. In 2018, it reduced its investments in the economy, which is exactly what it accused FedEx of doing. Despite paying fewer taxes that year, the Times cut its investments in half to a paltry $57 million, pocket change for companies of its size.
So, while the paper of America’s elites may try masquerading as a crusader of the working class that tacitly supports “eating the rich,” its tax statements reveal that, under the veneer of journalism, it is a shrewd corporation. The hypocrisy is palpable.
On the other hand, FedEx, has paid $10 billion in taxes in the past five years and has contributed $6 billion in the economy last year.
And, unlike the Times, after TCJA was signed, FedEx announced that it would spend over $3.2 billion to increase wages, improve pensions, and expand its shipping hubs in Indianapolis and Memphis, which would drive economic activity in those areas.
The Times spun tax cuts as solely benefiting rich executives. In reality, which the Times isn’t familiar with, two-thirds of the $200 million FedEx allocated for wage increases went to hourly employees.
In other words, FedEx kept its promise to invest in its company and to help grow the economy. The same can’t be said of the Times, which cut its staff and investments after paying less in taxes. It’s no wonder that Sulzberger is hiding from a debate.
Katlyn Batts is the Chairwoman of the Wingate University College Republicans and an employee of the Jesse Helms Center.