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Verizon CEO hits back at Bernie Sanders

Verizon CommunicationsInc. CEO Lowell McAdam refuted accusations laid against the companyby Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

In an April 13 blog post on LinkedIn Corp., McAdam said that the accusations leveledby Sanders are baseless and that Verizon's financial statements clearly show thatit has paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years, with a 35%tax rate in 2015.

McAdam added that while Sanders claims that Verizon does notuse its profits to benefit America, Verizon has actually invested about $35 billionin infrastructure, almost all of it in the U.S. Verizon has also paid out more than$16 billion in dividends to the average stockholders of its stock. McAdam also factoredin the $16 million Verizon has invested in plant and equipment, as well as the $42million a year it spends on vendors and suppliers, in Sanders' home state of Vermont.Verizon has also announced a $300million investment in Boston.

McAdam also refuted Sanders' contention that Verizon is demandingits workers take pay cuts and reduce health benefits or their jobs will be shippedoverseas. He said that Sanders is oversimplifying the ongoing negotiations between Verizon and the labor unions.Verizon's objective is not to cut jobs or ship them overseas but "to preservegood jobs with competitive wages and excellent benefits while addressing the needsof [its] ever-changing business," according to McAdam.

While agreeing that the facts of life have changed for Verizon'sunionized employees in the last 15 years, McAdam said that Sanders should not ignorefacts when making statements about Verizon.