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Whirlpool’s Windfall

March 24, 2011

(This article is re-posted from Open Secrets.)

“Whirlpool Corporation, which had global sales of $18 billion and turned a $619 million profit in 2010, likely won’t pay a dime of corporate income tax this year,” write the watchdogs over at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), “or for years to come, thanks in large part to an expensive lobbying blitz.”

Thanks to a 2005 energy law that allowed corporations to claim tax credits for manufacturing energy-efficient appliances, Whirlpool has collected more than $500 million in credits, a fact first reported by Bloomberg News. And last year, the company and other supporters of the tax credits went to the mat for language to extend the provisions again. Lobbying on H.R. 4853, the bill that extended the tax credits, was part of Whirlpool’s $940,000 lobbying operation in 2010, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s nearly a nine-fold increase since 2005.

Since that time, the company has also greatly expanded its roster of hired guns. In 2010, Whirlpool hired 15 lobbyists, most of whom have passed through Washington’s famed “revolving door” between public service and the private sector, including one former congressman: ex-Rep. Martin Russo (D-Ill.) of Cassidy and Associates, who left the firm in December.


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 25, 2011 3:15 am

    That’s a 3.4% Profit Margin, not great by corporate standards.
    Also probably important to remember that sales taxes were paid by consumers on the 18 billion in sales.

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