NYTimes Hit Piece Against FedEX Boomerangs … Badly

Written by Wes Walker on November 18, 2019

Naturally, they worked in an anti-Trump angle. Because it’s the New York Times, and that’s what they do.

This was supposed to be a rant against FedEx and taxes. It quickly became a conversation about the Grey Lady’s own tax history.

The NYTimes, as today’s leftists tend to do, went after the big, bad corporation. In this case, the bad guy in their story was FedEx.

FedEx had lobbied for the Tax cuts Trump’s administration passed.

Four months later, President Trump signed into law the $1.5 trillion tax cut that became his signature legislative achievement. FedEx reaped big savings, bringing its effective tax rate from 34 percent in fiscal year 2017 to less than zero in fiscal year 2018, meaning that, overall, the government technically owed it money. But it did not increase investment in new equipment and other assets in the fiscal year that followed, as Mr. Smith said businesses like his would.

Nearly two years after the tax law passed, the windfall to corporations like FedEx is becoming clear. A New York Times analysis of data compiled by Capital IQ shows no statistically meaningful relationship between the size of the tax cut that companies and industries received and the investments they made. If anything, the companies that received the biggest tax cuts increased their capital investment by less, on average, than companies that got smaller cuts.

FedEx’s financial filings show that the law has so far saved it at least $1.6 billion. Its financial filings show it owed no taxes in the 2018 fiscal year overall. Company officials said FedEx paid $2 billion in total federal income taxes over the past 10 years.

As for capital investments, the company spent less in the 2018 fiscal year than it had projected in December 2017, before the tax law passed. It spent even less in 2019. Much of its savings have gone to reward shareholders: FedEx spent more than $2 billion on stock buybacks and dividend increases in the 2019 fiscal year, up from $1.6 billion in 2018, and more than double the amount the company spent on buybacks and dividends in fiscal year 2017. — NYT

As though stock buybacks were a bad thing that companies are not supposed to do.

Did they bother to ask whether any of those ‘big bad horrible’ shareholders that benefited from these buybacks could have included any union pension plans?

That would put a different spin on it, wouldn’t it?

FedEx hit back.

The New York Times published a distorted and factually incorrect story on the front page of the Sunday, November 17 edition concerning FedEx and our billions of dollars of tax payments and billions of dollars of investments in the U.S. economy. Pertinent to this outrageous distortion of the truth is the fact that unlike FedEx, the New York Times paid zero federal income tax in 2017 on earnings of $111 million, and only $30 million in 2018 – 18% of their pretax book income. Also in 2018 the New York Times cut their capital investments nearly in half to $57 million, which equates to a rounding error when compared to the $6 billion of capital that FedEx invested in the U.S. economy during that same year.

I hereby challenge A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times and the business section editor to a public debate in Washington D.C. with me and the FedEx corporate vice president of tax. The focus of the debate should be federal tax policy and the relative societal benefits of business investments and the enormous intended benefits to the United States economy, especially lower and middle class wage earners.

I look forward to promptly hearing from Mr. Sulzberger and scheduling this open event to bring further public awareness of the facts related to these important issues.

And just like that, an attack leveled at FedEx by the New York Times became an opportunity to air the New York Times’ own failures to live up to the standards to which they’ve held others.

What a beautiful self-own.

Keep up the crackerjack journalism, guys.

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