Corporate Welfare

Quotes / Links /
"...I'm talking about the real bums, with names like Wal-Mart, Intel, Tyson, Home Depot, Boeing, Dell, Toyota, and Borders. There are two things that these outfits have in common: They are highly profitable, multibillion-dollar corporations... and they all go town-to-town, state-to-state, with their hands out, bumming subsidies from us taxpayers. it's not spare change, either--the pinstriped bums suck up a whopping $500 billion a year in give-aways doled out by our governors, mayors, and other officials...

"...the pitch goes something like this: "We might just build a new facility right here in Greater Bugtussle, creating beaucoup new jobs and scoring big political points for you, Mr. Mayor. All we'd need to seal this sweet deal is for the city and state to give us a few (ahem) 'incentives' to locate here--like, say, a truckload of cash, 40 acres of land, some new buildings and roads, free water and electricity, and an exemption from property taxes...

Intel did this in Austin, Texas. "Less than two years later, the deal soured, Intel honchos announced that Texas taxes on capital equipment were too high for their taste (never mind that corporate taxes are actually next to zilch in our state), so they were backing out, even though they had already pocketed some of our incentives...

"... they are now playing the offshore card, proclaiming that state and local governments must do more for them or they'll haul off to Asia for all future expansion...

"... but here's the carefully kept secret that exposes the incentive game as one of the biggest scams ever pulled: Corporations do not base their expansion decisions on state and local giveaways.

"It's nothing but a game, created during the past 30 years by corporate interests to convince gullible politicians, the media, and the public that this "pay to play" scam is a legitimate use of public dollars and a central element of corporate decision-making. Nonsense. Corporations decide where they're going to locate based on real business factors. It's after that decision is made that they try to score the taxpayer funds...

"Study after study has been done on these giveaways, and the overwhelming conclusion is that they create neither jobs nor economic growth" (Jim Hightower and Philip Frazer, eds. "The great corporate jobs-for-subsidies con-job." Hightower Lowdown, July 2005).

"Texas, he notes, tends to throw money at companies up front while states employing best practices, such as Oklahoma, dispense benefits only when certain employment miliestones have been met. And because Texas' financial woes are structural--there is no state income tax or corporate profits tax--it's very difficult for the state treasury to benefit...

"...there is something unseemly about a well-heeled company with highly compensated executives brandishing a tin cup and looking for a handout" (Paul Sweeney. "Texas: The Corporate Welfare State." Texas Observer, April 15, 2005: 6-9, 28).

"In subsequent years, "corporate welfare" began to be noticed critically by such right-wing groups as the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. They viewed it as an unacceptable disruption of market forces and a drain on taxpayers...

"...US Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio)...held the first hearings on corporate subsidies, giveaways and bailouts ever in Congress. Mr. Norquist joined with a mixed panel of liberals and conservatives" (Ralph Nader. "False patriotism." Progressive Populist, May 1, 2005: 19).


Wikipedia on corporate welfare

10 Taxpayer Handouts to the Super Rich That Will Make Your Blood Boil The next time you hear someone complain about how the poor get ďall this free stuff,Ē show them this.

By Tom Cahill, October 28, 2015

1. Tax Breaks for obscene CEO bonuses ($7 billion/year)
2. Tax cuts for luxury corporate jets ($300 million/year)
3. Big oil subsidies ($37.5 billion/year)
4. Pharmaceutical subsidies ($270 billion/year)
5. Capital gains tax breaks ($51 billion/year)
6. Corporate tax subsidies from state and local governments ($80.4 billion/year)
7. Handouts to Big Ag ($18 billion/year)
8. Welfare for Wall Street ($83 billion/year)
9. Export-Import bank subsidies ($112 billion)
10. Federal contracts for the top 200 biggest companies ($880 billion/year)

Where Is The Outrage Over Corporate Welfare? I donít blame the corporations. They act rationally. If someone gives you $1 billion, you take it. The blame lies with us. The sheer size of the corporate welfare system should spark outrage whether we are conservatives, liberals, or libertarians. And that outrage should be reflected in how we vote.

Colby Glass, MLIS