General Motors got some invaluable publicity for the upcoming GMC Hummer EV when President Joe Biden took one for a spin during a visit last week to the plant where it's built.
"That Hummer is one hell of a vehicle," Biden gushed afterward.
But the presidential visit also earned GM a brief public scolding for paying less federal income tax than Biden believes that it should.
Speaking at the grand reopening of the plant GM now calls Factory Zero, Biden said it's not right that many large, profitable companies often pay little or no income taxes. He didn't specifically name GM, but he noted that many companies incorporate in his home state of Delaware to help them avoid taxes.
"More corporations incorporated in my state of Delaware than all states combined. And guess what? They ain't paying enough. Sorry, Mary," Biden said, turning to GM CEO Mary Barra.
GM paid no federal income tax for about a decade after its 2009 bankruptcy. However, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report that Biden referenced, listing 55 profitable companies that paid no federal income tax in 2020, does not include GM.
Earlier in his remarks, Biden called Barra "an incredible leader" and noted that they were standing in the same plant she managed in the early 2000s, when it was called Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly.
"I believe Mary has gotten a promotion or two since then," he added.