1.2 Trillion Corporate Welfare 2000-2012


01 1.2 Trillion Corporate Welfare 2000-2012

 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.

James Pilant

New Report: Fortune 100 Companies Have Received $1.2 Trillion in Corporate Welfare Recently

Posted by talesfromthelou on March 21, 2014

By Aaron Cantu

AlterNet

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.

Until now.

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).

via New Report: Fortune 100 Companies Have Received $1.2 Trillion in Corporate Welfare Recently | Tales from the World.

i_060From Around the Web.

From the web site, Class War in America.

http://classwarinamerica.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/the-12-trillion-welfare-ripoff/

The $12-Trillion Welfare Ripoff

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:
$12,000,000,000,000.

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.

Capitalism, What a Concept!


Reading a newspaper i464Capitalism, What a Concept!

If you read the story below you will discover that large corporations are receiving enormous sums of money from state and local governments. Apparently, free market neo-liberalism is good for the common folk like us but we must not speak the dire word, competition, when it comes to large corporations. After all, why should a multi-national organization with billions of dollars in resources do the hard thing like compete in a free market when they can milk state and local governments?

So, it is neo-liberalism for us and corporate welfare for them. Can you say, “Hypocrisy?”

What does neo-liberalism for us mean? It means depressed wages, direct competition with workers in undeveloped nations, continued decline in what we can expect in terms of education and any other government benefit, and that we will be forced into ever more dire circumstances of economic insecurity.

What does neo-liberalism mean for multi-national corporations? In terms of the company itself, nothing. They don’t do neo-liberalism. They do it to others. In terms of the environment of the company, it means they pay less in wages, less in taxes and can exert ever increasing control over their workers while maintaining a loyal and servile class of would-be courtiers who bow and scrape before them while uttering the sacred phrase, “Job Creators.”

Yes, job creators. You can ship American jobs overseas by the millions, play havoc with the American dream of owning a home, almost destroy the world’s economic system and you win the title of “job creator.”

We live in a strange country where people can believe in this kind of nonsense.

James Pilant

The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare | Al Jazeera America

State and local governments have awarded at least $110 billion in taxpayer subsidies to business, with 3 of every 4 dollars going to fewer than 1,000 big corporations, the most thorough analysis to date of corporate welfare revealed today.

Boeing ranks first, with 137 subsidies totaling $13.2 billion, followed by Alcoa at $5.6 billion, Intel at $3.9 billion, General Motors at $3.5 billion and Ford Motor at $2.5 billion, the new report by the nonprofit research organization Good Jobs First shows.

Dow Chemical had the most subsidies, 410 totaling $1.4 billion, followed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway holding company, with 310 valued at $1.1 billion.

The figures were compiled from disclosures made by state and local government agencies that subsidize companies in all sorts of ways, including cash giveaways, building and land transfers, tax abatements and steep discounts on electric and water bills.

via The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare | Al Jazeera America.

From around the web.

From the web site,

http://sunlightonthewater.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/corporate-welfare/

So…when the corporations, and their toadies in Congress, are spewing forth the lie that corporations pay too much in taxes, inhibiting job growth, you can cite this.

S&P 500 members citing effective tax rates of 0% in past twelve months, ranked by market value (in billions):

Verizon: $146.4

MetLife: $53.9

Eaton: $32.7

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: $29.6

Public Storage: $29.5

Ventas: $19.3

Avalonbay Communities: $17.4

Agilent Technologies: $16.9

Vornado Realty Trust: $16.8

Boston Properites: $16.7

Seagate Technology: $15.9

Broadcom: $15.7

News Corp.: $9.8

Lam Research: $8.8

Kimco Realty: $8.6

Waters: $8.5

Macerich: $8.3

Plum Creek Timber: $8.4

PulteGroup: $6.4

Apartment Investment & Management: $4.3

Perkin Elmer: $4.2

From around the web.

From the web site, Badger Democracy

http://bdgrdemocracy.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/whole-foods-ceo-john-mackey-and-conscious-capitalism-putting-lipstick-on-a-pig/

In 2011, an $8 million tax break for a new Washington DC Whole Foods development raised questions of return on public investment and why public money was even needed:

And why does this project require a special subsidy to move forward in the first place?  This Whole Foods already would qualify for a set of tax incentives for grocery store development, including a 10–year property tax break on the store itself.  Moreover, while some projects near Nationals Park have languished in the recession, this area is likely to be part of the emerging rebound, thanks in part to prior public investment by the District.  Finally, if a Whole Foods will revitalize this neighborhood as it did in Logan Circle, why won’t private market interests step up to make it happen?

In the same year, Whole Foods received $4.2 million in tax subsidies to open a Detroit area store, uncovered only by FOIA requests:

The documents, obtained by the Chaldean News under the Freedom of Information Act and provided toCrain’s, show that Whole Foods is asking for $4.2 million in city, state and federal incentives to open a store in downtown Detroit.

According to the exchanges, the 21,000-square-foot project is expected to get $1.5 million in local and community foundation funds, $1.2 million in federal tax credits under the New Market program and $1.5 million in state incentives.

Michael Sarafa, president of the Bank of Michigan and co-publisher of The Chaldean News, questions the use of incentives to lure a national grocery chain to Detroit. He said there are 83 independently-owned grocers in the city, many of them owned by Chaldeans, who did not receive incentives.

 

Controversial “TIF” funds are being used for construction of a Whole Foods-anchored development in St. Louis, hardly in a blighted area.

The new Whole Foods development in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago is being partially funded by an $11.3 million “TIF” in an already well-developed area.

Subverting Pensions for Profit


English: The corner of Wall Street and Broadwa...
English: The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showing the limestone facade of One Wall Street in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Subverting Pensions for Profit

 

There are real plots, real conspiracies. It’s a sad thing that people sometimes unite not for ethical or moral principles but for the destruction of people’s lives, for predation, for money at any cost.

 

One of the constant themes in the lust for profits has been the conversion of public goods into private possessions: public and charity hospitals often run by churches converted into private property; parks, highways, parking meters, converted into private ventures, America’s public lands opened up for fracking in the one of the greatest land grabs in all of recorded history … I can go on and on.

 

Here is another one, public pension funds being converted into Wall Street Piggy Banks, looted with fees and then fed into speculation for anyone’s profit but the pension fund’s. It is as if the national looting of the last generation, the conversion of pensions into the predatory and vicious 401K’s didn’t generate enough profit, we must never stop looting, never stop stealing, never stop creating fictitious crises to be exploited.

 

Maybe this one can be stopped. I would like to see that.

 

James Pilant

 

The right’s sinister new plot against pensions – Salon.com

 

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/10/the_rights_sinister_new_plot_against_pensions/

 

As state legislatures prepare for their upcoming sessions, you will no doubt hear a lot about public pensions. More specifically, you will hear allegations that states are going bankrupt because of their pension obligations to public employees. These claims will inevitably be used to argue that states must renege on their pension promises to retirees.This is what I’ve called the Plot Against Pensions in a report I recently completed for the Institute for America’s Future. Engineered by billionaire former Enron trader John Arnold, championed by seemingly nonpartisan groups like the Pew Charitable Trusts and operating in states throughout America, this plot is not designed to strengthen pensions or to save taxpayer money, as its proponents claim. It is designed to slash public employees’ guaranteed retirement income in order to both protect states’ corporate welfare and, in some cases, enrich Wall Street.Consider the math of state budgets. According to Pew’s estimates, “The gap between states’ assets and their obligations for public sector retirement benefits (is) $1.38 trillion” over 30 years. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research notes, this gap was not caused by benefit increases, as conservatives suggest. Data prove that most of it was caused by the stock market decline that accompanied the 2008 financial colla

 

via The right’s sinister new plot against pensions – Salon.com.

From around the web.

From the web site, Brave New World.

http://bravenewworldnews.com/2013/10/01/the-plot-against-pensions/

Finding: Conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.

 

States and cities have for years been failing to fully fund their annual pension obligations. They have used funds that were supposed to go to pensions to instead finance expensive tax cuts and corporate subsidies. That has helped create a real but manageable pension shortfall. Yet, instead of citing such a shortfall as reason to end expensive tax cuts and subsidies, conservative activists and lawmakers are citing it as a reason to slash retiree benefits.

 

Finding: The amount states and cities spend on corporate subsidies and so-called tax expenditures is far more than the pension shortfalls they face. Yet, conservative activists and lawmakers are citing the pension shortfalls and not the subsidies as the cause of budget squeezes. They are then claiming that cutting retiree benefits is the solution rather than simply rolling back the more expensive tax breaks and subsidies.

 

According to Pew, public pensions face a 30-year shortfall of $1.38 trillion, or $46 billion on an annual basis. This is dwarfed by the $80 billion a year states and cities spend on corporate subsidies. Yet, conservatives cite the pension shortfall not as reason to reduce the corporate subsidies and raise public revenue, but instead as proof that retiree benefits need to be cut.

 

Finding: The pension “reforms” being pushed by conservative activists would slash retirement income for many pensioners who are not part of the Social Security system. Additionally, the specific reforms they are pushing are often more expensive and risky for taxpayers than existing pension plans.