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Sarah Palin Slams GE, Solar Firm

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sarah Palin has joined the manic bashing of General Electric (GE - Get Report), calling the conglomerate "the poster child of corporate welfare and crony capitalism."

One day after Elizabeth Warren said that GE "pays nothing in taxes" as part of her announcement that she would run for the U.S. Senate to represent her home state of Massachusetts, Palin -- the former half-term governor of Alaska, cable stalwart and perennial fence-sitting would-be presidential candidate -- said that the company "pays virtually no corporate income taxes."

Palin said nothing about reforming the tax code to address the tax credits claimed by General Electric.

Palin quickly steered her piece to Solyndra, the Fremont, California solar panel manufacturer that went out of business in August after receiving a $535 million in federal loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. Solyndra's offices were raided by the FBI last week, as agents executed search warrants as part of the Department of Energy's investigation of the company.

GE responded by saying that people accusing the firm of "crony capitalism" don't "want the facts to get in the way of their political rhetoric." The company also said that it had "announced the creation of 8,000 new US jobs, 7,000 of which are manufacturing jobs," since 2009, and that it was "the nation's second-largest exporter because we have invested billions of dollars in technology."

Responding further to charges of being "in bed" with the government, GE said that last year, only 4% of its revenue came from the U.S. government, and "of that, 75 percent was the result of jet engines that we provide to the U.S. military."

Regarding the charges of not paying any taxes, the company said it "actually paid significant taxes in 2010 for previous years and $1 billion in state, local and other taxes," and that its "tax rate was low in 2010 because we lost $32 billion in our financial services business during the global financial crisis."

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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