Outside the stadium our nation's kids and seniors and low-income mothers may be dealing with food  and housing  cuts, but on the corporate playing floor new low-tax records are being set again this year. Just as this is a golden age for sports, this is also, as noted by the New York Times , "a golden age for corporate profits."
Corporations have simply stopped paying their taxes, perhaps using the 2008 recession as an excuse to plead hardship, but then never restoring their tax obligations when business got better. The facts are indisputable. For over 20 years, from 1987 to 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes. Since the recession, this has dropped to 10%  -- even though their profits have doubled in less than ten years.
Pay Up Now  just completed a compilation of corporate tax payments over the past five years, using SEC data  as reported by the companies themselves. The firms chosen are top-earners who have filed 10-K reports through 2012. Their US Tax figures represent the five-year total of "current" payments.
The 64 corporate teams paid just over 8% in taxes  over the five-year period.
The Slink Sixteen
Boeing: In addition to receiving a refund despite $21.5 billion in profits, the company ranked high in job cutting , underfunded pensions , andcontractor misconduct .
Exxon Mobil: Made by far the largest profits in the group, but paid less than 1% in U.S. taxes, and yet received oil subsidies  along with their tax breaks. Unabashedly reports a 2012 "theoretical tax"  of over $27 billion, almost 90% of its total income tax expense. The company was also near the top in contractor misconduct .
Verizon: Second worst tax record, with a refund despite $48 billion in profits.
Kraft Foods: Received a refund from the public despite $13.5 billion in profits. Also a leading job-cutter .
Citigroup: One of the five big banks who are estimated to get a bailout/refund  from the American public amounting to three cents from every tax dollar.
FedEx: The company paid less than 5% in federal taxes while relying on the publicly-funded Post Office  to deliver thirty percent of its ground packages.
Honeywell: Less than 6% in taxes, a leading job cutter , near the top in instances of contractor misconduct , and run by the "Fix the Debt" CEO with the largest pension fund .
An 8% tax rate, a leader in job cuts  and underfunded pensions , and in the top 20 of contractor misconduct  instances.
Notable for an 8.4% tax rate, job cuts , offshore holdings , and the top U.S. spot on the contractor misconduct  dollar list.
Apple: Where to begin? Avoiding federal taxes , avoiding state taxes , hiding overseas earnings , engaging in intellectual property  schemes, using the "Double Irish"  to transfer profits from Europe to Bermuda, and underpaying  its store workers despite conducting most of itsproduct and research development  in the United States.
Pfizer: One of the leaders in stockpiling untaxed profits  overseas, and right behind Merck in contractor misconduct  dollars.
Google: A master at the "Double Irish"  revenue shift to Bermuda tax havens, while using tax loopholes to bring a lot of the money back to the U.S.  without paying taxes on it. Recognized  as one of the world's biggest tax avoiders .
Microsoft: Named as one of the biggest offshore hoarders  while using tax strategies to bring much of their untaxed money back to the U.S., where it also avoids state taxes .
GE, Boeing, Exxon, and Apple. Merck almost crashed the party, but the competition was too stiff.
No one wins this game. In a financial sense they do, but the gains are outweighed by the greed and irresponsibility of tax avoidance.
All these companies, after using our infrastructure and technology and research facilities and higher education and national defense to build incomparably successful businesses, are now doing everything in their power to avoid paying anything back, while instead using a carefully manipulated set of "legal" business writeoffs and exemptions and loopholes to cut their tax bills to almost nothing. And all the while they rant about the unfairness of the U.S. tax code.
The real madness is that human beings are suffering because of the tax games corporations play.