The Kings of Corporate Welfare
The U.S Government and Corporations have teamed up to pick the pockets of U.S. Taxpayers.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats talk about the real welfare cheats: Corporate America, which profits from a little-talked-about, but extremely lucrative array of subsidies, tax breaks and other government handouts.
Big business even managed to come out ahead in the fiscal cliff deal, when the Obama administration worked with Congress to preserve more than $200 billion in so-called "tax extenders" for businesses of all kinds. And that's on top of a system in which some of the biggest corporations in the U.S.--the real takers--pay no taxes while making record profits, thanks to ruthlessly exploiting their workers, while raking in big money in subsidies.
Perhaps the most outrageous of the government subsidies is the vast amount of public money--tens of billions of dollars from the federal government alone--handed to the oil and gas industry.
The costs associated with climate change aren't borne by the oil and gas industry, but by ordinary people.
Beyond the government subsidies, the infrastructure of the U.S. is designed to force people to rely on fossil fuel-burning automobiles for transportation, guaranteeing the industry a massive market for their product. Yet instead of using tax revenue to build reliable, affordable green public transportation systems, these systems are starved of resources by budget cuts, forcing fares to increase and service to be cut--while billions of dollars continue to flow into the pockets of the oil and gas giants.
Another major recipient of subsidies puts our health and safety at even greater risk: nuclear power. This industry literally wouldn't exist if not for government largesse.
For one thing, the cost of the devastation caused by accidents at nuclear power plants is so great that purchasing private insurance would be prohibitively expensive. Instead, the nuclear industry is only responsible for the first $12.6 billion in damages in the case of a disaster. Taxpayers are on the hook for the rest--and the costs of a nuclear meltdown at a U.S. plant have been estimated at $720 billion in today's dollars. Of course, much of the damage to life, health and the environment from such a disaster would be irreversible.
Rather than subsidizing healthy foods, a much larger share of federal handouts go to commodities that are used to produce junk food. U.S. PIRG found that "only one of the top 20 federal [agricultural] subsidy programs directly supports a fresh fruit or vegetable: apples."
But the subsidies for agribusiness seem almost humane when contrasted to the vast sums of government money given away to the arms industry.
In 2010, world military spending was $1.63 trillion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, with the U.S. accounting for over 40 percent of the world's total. And a lot of this spending came in the form of government money given to private companies that produce weapons, airplanes, drones, trucks, personnel (mercenaries) and military equipment and related services.
Of the top 10 recipients of federal government contracts in 2011, all were corporations in the "defense" industry. The top 10 alone received nearly $150 billion in 2011. Lockheed Martin, the top recipient of federal contracts, received over $42 billion in 2011, which accounted for more than three-fourths of its revenue.
And while politicians today, especially Democrats, talk about gun control, governments are subsidizing corporations that produce the same type of weapons being used in the mass shootings that led to demands for gun control. For example, New York state has subsidized Remington Arms to the tune of $5.5 million since 2007, supporting the production of semiautomatic rifles that are illegal in the state.
There's more if you wish to continue.
Feeling betrayed yet?
Here is a link that might be useful: Welfare Cheats Assisted by U.S. Government