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GOP Welfare Queens..
Last comment by sebekm 8 months, 1 week ago.

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While corporations are often painted as the independent drivers of the U.S. economic system, the beacons of small government success aren’t always void of government help, with some reaping success at the hands of taxpayers.

In 2012, the government spent just shy of $50 billion on public service programs, including food assistance and social welfare operations: that’s compared to the $92 billion the government spent on corporate welfare programs, funds issued through tax breaks, subsidies and grants to some of the nation’s most prominent businesses.

Below is a list of the best (or worst) companies and industries accepting tax breaks and funds to fuel corporate profits, while at the same time standing up for a free market system and shunning a “nanny” state government that doles out tax dollars to those who don’t need it.

As pointed out by the CATO Institute, the U.S. government spent $92 billion in private-sector business subsidies back in 2006 — and it hasn’t lost its taste for corporate welfare just yet.

1. Wal-Mart
The nation’s largest retail outlet is passing its tax bill down to the American public in more ways than one.

A University of California Berkeley report indicates the corporation’s low-wage jobs were costing the state an estimated $86 million in taxpayer-funded public assistance programs. While boasting the necessity for low-wages, the corporation was essentially handing down costs to taxpayers in the form of publicly-funded health insurance and food assistance programs.

A more blatant example of Wal-Mart’s delight in public funds came through a taxpayer-funded control tower at an airport that houses Wal-Mart’s cargo corporate fleet. According to Bloomberg News, a spending bill approved in 2011 halted measures that would have taken away government-funded controllers for Wal-Mart’s jets in Rogers, Arkansas.

Airports the size of Rogers Municipal Airport in Arkansas typically aren’t required to have their own control towers. But because the airport hosts Wal-Mart’s fleet, ushering in plenty of traffic, it is required to purchase the traffic controller, and pay costs associated with the airport that essentially serves as Wal-Mart’s own public (but really private) airport. The airport is slated to spend $81,000 this year for the tower.

“In this time when we’re trying to reduce deficits and find smart ways to cut what we’re spending, here we are essentially giving a subsidy to a private corporation under the guise of air traffic control,” Eric Zimmerman of Washington’s Taxpayers for Common Sense told Bloomberg.

2. The oil industry — ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell, to be precise
While conservative rhetoric focuses on the clean energy industry, highlighting government-funded failures like Solyndra as proof of government efforts to hoist up an industry that profits greedy green entrepreneurs, millions in subsidies for oil companies are swept under the rug.

The top five oil companies — ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell — receive a combined $4 billion in tax breaks each year, and that trend is likely to continue. While rationale indicates the tax breaks trickle down to the consumers, prices have risen over the last few years, despite increases in domestic oil production through new fracking technology.

According to the Center for American Progress, Americans saw an 11 percent increase in gasoline prices in one year. In 2012, the average household spent just shy of $3,000 on gas, reaching the highest level in four years.

Meanwhile, oil companies continue to rake in record profits. In 2012, the oil companies, in combination, earned $118 billion in profits, with $72 billion in cash reserves.

On the flip side, Solar-power company Solyndra received $535 million in a federal loan through the Obama administration. After the company went bankrupt, it wasn’t able to pay that loan back. This is what many Republicans have labeled as a government “scandal,” one that used taxpayer funds to help green business get rich quick.

Op-ed columnist Joe Nocera, writing for the New York Times, disagrees. He claims the premise of the federal loan program is to take risks, and that not all projects pull through.

“Most electricity today is generated by coal-fired power plants, operated by monopoly, state-regulated utilities. Because they’ve been around so long, and because coal is cheap, these plants have built-in cost advantages that no new technology can overcome without help,” he wrote. “The federal guarantees help power the cost of capital for technologies like solar; they help spur innovation; and they help encourage private investment. These are all worthy goals.”

And they’re loans.

Despite the back-and-forth between both sides of the political aisle, the difference in taxpayer-funded subsidies to the oil industry far outweighs those enjoyed by the green [industry] — by the billions.

3. Haliburton
Throughout the course of the Iraq War, Haliburton, once headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney, made just shy of $40 billion in taxpayer-funded government contracts associated with the Iraq War.

Altogether, government contractors made $138 billion in taxpayer funds for work carried out through the Iraq War, representing a significant portion of government funds working on behalf of private industry.

KBR, owned by Halliburton, was the top recipient, earning many of those contracts through controversial no-bid processes, including one 2010 deal that paid the company $568 million to provide housing, meals and bathroom services to U.S. soldiers. That contract was later subject to an investigation and Department of Justice lawsuit.

According to International Business Times, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq indicated contractor corruption cost the government $60 billion, with some companies being paid to do services they never accomplished — instead, those jobs were done by U.S. servicemen and women.

In comparison to U.S. troops, private contractors outweighed them in sheer numbers. In 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, there were 155,826 private contractors, compared to 152,275 U.S. troops.

The Army alone increased its reliance on government contractors, increasing annual spending to $5 billion a year between 2001 and 2010, compared to its $200 million prior to that, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

4. IBM, General Electric and Dow Chemical (via the Advanced Technology Program)
A less-known government subsidy program is giving taxpayer-funded grants to some of the nation’s most well endowed businesses, without debate by the general public.

As noted by the CATO Institute in its report, The Corporate Welfare State: How the Federal Government Subsidizes U.S. Businesses, the organization points out that companies earning Advanced Technology Program (ATP) grants are eating up significant portions of the federal budget.

Created in 1988 to aid technological innovation, companies have been receiving funds to venture into new technological territory. Yet according to the CATO Institute, many companies have used the free money as a way to boost business forward, without first looking into other ways to fund projects. The U.S. Government Accountability Office indicates 63 percent of companies applying for ATP grants are doing so without first attempting to fund projects.

On the top of the list? Fortune 500 companies IBM, General Electric, Honeywell, XEROX and Dow Chemical. IBM alone has received $49.2 million in ATP grants, followed by General Electric with $32.2 million and Honeywell with $29 million.

According to the Heritage Fund, the ATP program, as of 2005, had cost taxpayers $2 billion in total: 40 percent of funds went to Fortune 500 companies. Currently, the cost to taxpayers for the ATP program is $70 million annually.

Original Publication URL: http://www.mintpressnews.com/4-examples-of-corporate-welfare/167149/


Latest Activity: Nov 06, 2013 at 8:13 PM


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Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 20:41 PM
Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 21:01 PM
Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 21:25 PM
PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 21:56 PM

Sheran - get some rest. Fox is going to push you over the edge.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 22:17 PM

I don't just watch FOX... You are full of "Give me, I'm Entitle to that". My prayers are with you and yours... Idel hands are the devils workshop. Hand outs accounts on the devils side! If you can't afford it your not entitled to it...

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 22:34 PM

You really need some rest....I want go back and fourth with you because your acting off of emotions. If you want your business and life back, be happy for others and rejoice when others are doing well. You can get it all back if you learn to serve and bless others. Don't let the devil use you.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 23:00 PM

I'm not acting off of emotions! I'm acting off my tax dollars supporting entitlement people. Every time you go to the grocery store and pick up a pakage of meat, can of vegetables and go to the check out stand with your EBT card with more in your buggy than mine... Idel hands at my expence.

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 23:18 PM

Unfortunately, I don't own an EBT CARD. I want stoop to your level. I love my life......I love my home, cars and family. I'm blessed. I worked hard to obtain what I have. People like you, empower me the more. Thanks for reminding me how the lord has blessed me to have a sound mind, healthcare, good health and Joy. End of discussion.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 23:23 PM

Sounds like a "NAVIGATOR" I need my job.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 10:53 AM

The discussion continues. Apparently convicted felons get to be a "navigators." So those who value their home, cars, family, and have a sound mind, healthcare and good health/joy will possibly have all that at risk when their personal information is shared with convicted criminals.

Now THAT's what I call joy. En-joy.

PoliticsNation commented on Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 11:14 AM

You can't be a navigator in the state of Georgia without a background check...The other states could have followed suit but they chose not to. Georgia thought they we're hurting the program by putting the measures in place because of the extra 200 dollars a person has to pay to become a navigator. Georgia residents can rejoice because our navigators don't have backgrounds

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 11:41 AM

@PN: Great Blog. Unfortunately The Conservative Right CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! (think Jack Nichelson here.) They prefer to believe the Big Lie of Corporate America.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 at 18:13 PM

General Motors did not pay one cent of Taxes last year. The corporate billionaires have a stable of well paid tax lawyers to find loopholes and ways to avoid paying ANY Taxes.

Yet many here, prefer to bash the working poor and truly destitute for getting food from the government.

I believe the Good Book says in Matthew that it is easier for a Camel to pass thru the head of a needle then it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Tot is a rich, make that very rich, man.

We Dems believe we ARE OUR BROTHERS KEEPER. Unfortunately, Rich Conservatives, on the other hand, are keepers of their own and other peoples MONEY!

timeontarget commented on Friday, Nov 08, 2013 at 06:17 AM

Tot is indeed a very rich man but you might be surprised and probable even shocked at his net worth on a financial statement.

sebekm commented on Friday, Nov 08, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Georgia may require background checks BUT HEALTHCARE.GOV doesn't. And the Democrats are MASTERS at being the keepers of OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, as evidenced by their tax and spend history. They never met a tax hike they didn't like.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Nov 08, 2013 at 16:19 PM

Yes Sebe. But Dems spend it on others while Republicans spend it on themselves and Corporate Greed Heads. Think Gorden Gecko (sic) here: Gordo summed it up well when he championed the point in the movie Wall Street: "Greed is Good."

wayne44 commented on Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 16:58 PM

Just curious about oil companies so I looked up to see how much tax they paid in 2012. The tax rate for corporations is 35%. ExxonMobile paid 31 Billion in taxes for a net income of 45 Billion at a rate of 39%. Chevron paid 20 Billion for a net income of 26 Billion at a rate of 43%. ConocoPhillips paid 7.9 Billion in taxes on a net income of 8.4 Billion for a rate of 51.5%. Occidental Petroleum paid 3.1 Billion in taxes on a net income of 4.6 Billion for a tax rate of 43%. The only other ones of the top 25 corporations who paid tax that paid 35% or better was United Health Group at 35.9 and Home Depot at 37.2%. I don't know how much of a tax break they get but it seems to me they are paying more than the given rate of 35% on their profits. Makes you wonder just what kind of shape we would be in if they all didn't pay any income tax.

sebekm commented on Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 21:08 PM

Yes, wayne - the left pounds big business but most of the time they don't know what they're talking about. Good info.


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