10 Examples of Welfare For The Uber Rich
Flip on the news and you’re bound to see a conservative pundit decrying the evils of welfare and government assistance. At the same time, there are plenty of other “welfare” programs that are simply called something different; tax subsidies. And they cost a lot more than any welfare program in any country ever. Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University, has compiled a list of ten examples of welfare for the rich at The Huffington Post.
Tax subsidies start at the state and local level. A recent New York Times report found that state and local governments hand out $80 billion in subsidies to corporations, including over $100 million to 48 different big companies. General Motors came in well ahead of any other company, receiving $1.7 billion in subsidies across 16 states while companies like Shell, Chrysler, and Ford all received $1 billion apiece. Other companies like Amazon, Boeing, and Microsoft all collected over $200 million apiece.
On the federal level, studies estimate that federal tax subsidies to corporations cost taxpayers nearly $100 billion annually.
Aside from subsidies, corporations also have access to numerous tax breaks. These tax breaks help drop big corporations’ tax rate down from 35 percent to just 13. According to federal studies, that’s another $200 billion that corporations don’t have to contribute to federal revenue each year.
Hedge fund managers also receive special tax breaks that drop their tax rate down to just 15 percent despite the fact that 68 percent of these managers are among the top 1 percent of earners in the country. That is estimated to cost another $83 billion in lost revenue.
Then there are the indirect subsidies. Because fast food wages are so low, estimates show that taxpayers spend $243 billion per year to provide assistance for low-wage workers that wouldn’t be necessary if they were paid a living wage.
Some other examples are the mortgage tax deduction which costs $70 billion annually in lost revenue even though 77 percent of the deduction goes to people who make over $100,000 per year. Of course, there are government bailouts that have cost taxpayers over $200 billion since 2008. Emergency legislation such as Sandy Relief aid or economic crisis aid typically includes tax relief as well which has cost taxpayers about $67 billion. You can get a subsidy for just about anything. Corporate jet? Subsidy. Second home? Subsidy. Check out the full list at Huffington Post.
(Image courtesy of Russavia)