There is a new organization called Open the Books (this is their Facebook page) which is providing dollar amounts in expenditures in state and federal governments. I will be watching the development of their organization with interest. This first publication that I am aware of, is pretty striking. (It’s the one specifying the 1.2 trillion dollar corporate welfare and that number appears to be only partial.) Certainly, this amount dwarfs the amount spent on education or aid to the poor. And yet while those things are the subject of continuous debate, this kind of expenditure seems by comparison to be little considered.
Maybe that will change now with these new reports.
New Report: Fortune 100 Companies Have Received $1.2 Trillion in Corporate Welfare Recently
Posted by talesfromthelou on March 21, 2014
By Aaron Cantu
Bank of America.(Photo: Stefan Georgi / Flickr)Military contractors, oil companies and banks are the biggest ‘welfare queens’ around.
Most of us are aware that the government gives mountains of cash to powerful corporations in the form of tax breaks, grants, loans and subsidies–what some have called “corporate welfare.” However, little has been revealed about exactly how much money Washington is forking over to mega businesses.
A new venture called Open the Books, based in Illinois, was founded with a mission to bring transparency to how the federal budget is spent. And what they found is shocking: between 2000 and 2012, the top Fortune 100 companies received $1.2 trillion from the government. That doesn’t include all the billions of dollars doled out to housing, auto and banking enterprises in 2008-2009, nor does it include ethanol subsidies to agribusiness or tax breaks for wind turbine makers.
What Open the Book’s forthcoming report does reveal is that the most valuable contracts between the government and private firms were for military procrument deals, including Lockheed Martin ($392 billion), General Dynamics ($170 billion), and United Technologies ($73 billion).
From the web site, Class War in America.
It is a primary item of faith among conservatives that the reason we must not have a social system that helps the poor is that poverty is caused by inner-city blacks who refuse to work, belong to gangs, sell and use drugs, are unwed mothers, and so on. All they want to do is live in luxury on the welfare checks we pay for. This is presumed to be because they are naturally inferior and lazy, an argument that is older than slavery. (Every single one of these beliefs is provably false, of course.)
One thing never seems to be discussed: The entire cost to support poor people comes to about $58 billion, most of which would go away if it were possible for the poor to earn a living wage.
This is what the twelve trillion
corporate welfare looks like:
It seems unreasonable that anyone should receive undeserved money from the government, and the righteous right has been ranting about it since the dawn of time. All this ranting, however, doesn’t prevent the red states from using more federal aid than they contribute, which sounds like undeserved welfare to me.
Plus, for unknown reasons, the right doesn’t rant about the $12 trillion in corporate welfare that the 100 wealthiest companies and their very wealthy officers have received recently. It was handed to rich corporations gratis over the past twelve years, a trillion a year. The $58 billion social welfare cost they object to is 0.06% of one year’s worth of corporate welfare. That’s six hundredths of one percent, an amount that’s less than a typical rounding error.