Foodstamps Cost a Few Bucks, Corporate Welfare Costs Billions
|November 20, 2013||Posted by Staff under Corruption, Inequality / Concentration, Politics, Subsidies & Waste & Public Debt|
This 2013 excerpt of Truthout, Nov 5, is by Thom Hartmann’s Daily Take Program.
In 2012, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 per year paid just $36 towards the food stamps program. That’s just ten cents a day! That’s less than the cost of a gumball.
When it comes to funding the rest of America’s social safety net programs, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 a year pays just over six dollars a year.
But the American taxpayer is paying a lot for the billions of dollars the U.S. government gives to corporate America each year. The average American family pays a staggering $6,000 a year in subsidies to big business.
Where does some of that $6,000 every year actually go? For starters, $870 of it goes to direct subsidies and grants for corporations. This includes money for subsidies to Big Oil companies that are polluting our skies and fueling climate change.
An additional $870 goes to corporate tax [loopholes that other taxpayers end up paying for] — or twice as much; Citizens for Tax Justice found that the U.S. Treasury lost $181 billion in corporate tax subsidies, which means the average American family could be out as much as $1,600 per year.
Of that $6,000 for corporations each year, $1,231 of it goes to making up for revenue losses from corporate tax havens. This money goes to recouping losses from giant transnational corporations like Apple and GE that hide their money overseas to boost profits and avoid paying income taxes.
In the past decade alone, corporations have doubled their profits. What we really can’t afford is doling out $100 billion each year to corporations that don’t need it. We can afford to help the poor in this country.
A similar story appeared earlier at Alternet.
Ed. Notes: Actually, the subsidy to corporations is not tax loopholes. Government should not be taxing anyone’s earnings. And critics should not confuse corporate income with true earnings. Logically, if you don’t want corporations to have so much money, don’t give it to them in the first place.
The actual subsidy to corporations occurs when government grants privileges to businesses at pennies on the dollar. Companies pay pennies for limits on their liability, so do banks for the power to create new money, so does hi-tech for patents and copyrights, so do utilities for franchises, on and on. Each one of those little pieces of paper from the state is worth billions to the lucky insiders who get them.
So if we’re to grant such privileges, let’s charge full-market value for them, just as a business charges whatever the market will bear for its products and services — like weapons and insurance.
Even better, let’s stop politicians from spending our money and let’s spend it ourselves. That means we’d recover all of society’s surplus — all our spending for nature and privilege — and make it our common wealth by using it to fund a dividend to citizens. Doing that let’s us get rid of both counterproductive taxes and wasteful, addictive subsidies. We’d earn what we get, keep what we earn, and get an equitable share of the worth of Earth.
It’s the geonomic recipe for fairness and efficiency, and it has worked wherever tried, to the degree tried.