End Corporate Welfare

When big corporations get subsidies and tax breaks from the government, it costs you, the average person. Robert Reich breaks down what “corporate welfare” is — and why it needs to stop — in this video from MoveOn.org.

Here is why we must End Corporate Welfare now!

When corporations get special handouts from the government, subsidies and tax breaks, it costs you. It means YOU have to pay more in taxes to make up for these hidden expenses. The government then has less money for good schools and roads, medicare and national defense and everything else you need. You might call these special corporate handouts Corporate Welfare. At least welfare goes to people in need. Corporations are not people despite what the Supreme Court says and they don’t need or deserve handouts.

In the big picture, corporate welfare is costing 10s of billions of dollars per year. Some estimates put it over a hundred billion that would otherwise go to better schools or roads or an lower taxes. In reality, only about 12 percent of federal spending goes to individuals and families. An increasing number goes to corporate welfare. For example the oil, gas and coal industries get their own special tax breaks. Big Agro business gets farm subsidies. Big Pharma gets their own subsidies in the form of a ban on the government using it’s bargaining power on medicare to negotiate better drug prices. Big Wall Street banks have an implicate guarantee they’ll be bailed out if they get into trouble again. Hedge fund and private equity managers get a special tax loophole that treats their income as capital gains, at a lower tax rate than ordinary income.

The size of government isn’t the problem.

The larger problem is that much of government is no longer working for the vast majority it’s meant to serve. If it were responding to the publics interests instead of the moneyed interests, it would be providing for more support for communities, families and individuals who need it the most instead of for big corporations and wall street.

So what do we do?

There is no reason that any corporation should be on the dole or that your hard earned dollar should be going to them for no reason other than their political clout. So we have to demand an end to corporate welfare. No more handouts to particular industries just because their big enough or powerful enough to get them. No more specialized tax breaks. No more exemptions or bailouts or special treatment. No more crony capitalism. We must End Corporate Welfare and do it now.