Corporate Welfare explained
Corporate welfare Simplified can defined as “financial assistance, as tax breaks or subsidies, given by the government to profit-making companies, especially large corporations (Dictionary 2012)”. Ralph Nader is known as a lawyer, consumer advocate, and a political activist. Nader is credited with coining the belittling term that relates big corporation handouts with subsidies intended for the poor.
“A program is considered corporate welfare if its public cost outweighs its public benefits” according to Nader (Nader 1999). Corporate welfare comes at an expense to other concerns. Fair consumer prices, national security the creation of new jobs, and even economic competition are all sacrificed because of corporate welfare.
One of the biggest impacts of corporate welfare I read was that of the taxpayers. Most hard working Americans can hardly afford to pay their taxes to begin with. Yet at the end of the day, they are left responsible for the financing of these large corporations that often do not even contribute to the good of the public.
Corporate welfare finds its’ roots at the beginning of corporate America. Jamestown Company and the Massachusetts Bay Company are known as the “Crown Corporations.” These company’s colonized America and were given private rights to exploit designated areas (Nader 1999). The issue of corporate welfare as a public policy has been plaguing lower and middle class taxpayers since, what seems like, the beginning of time.
Recession Corporate bailouts
I found statistics from 2006 on the spending of corporate welfare. That year, roughly $59 billion was spent on traditional social welfare programs. These programs include food stamps and housing assistance. That same year, about $92 billion was expended on corporate subsidies. The government spent over 60% of taxpayer’s money on these corporations than they did their own people.
When politicians push corporate welfare to the voters, they tell the people that it will help create more jobs and stimulate the economy. I don’t see it like that. What I see is taxpayers paying more money, leaving them with less money to be able to afford the goods and services. This causes a decrease in demand for these products and services, leading corporations to lay off people (Sinn, 2014).
If I were president I would modify the public policy on corporate welfare to support the needs of the consumer rather than those of corporations. I’m not one for math, but looking at a pie chart from the IRS in 2011 the numbers I came up with was crazy! I read a post on a forum online and had to see for myself.
If these corporations roughly made $6 trillion, but paid only $250 billion, that means their tax percent was about 5%. Whereas, the average American pays close to 30%! So let’s do more math. If they paid the other 25% like we do, that’s over $1 trillion dollars. Now wouldn’t that help our national debt a little bit? I would love to see an increase in the taxes these corporations pay.
Maybe these tax breaks should go to the smaller businesses. These big corporation CEOs take home millions of dollars a year in corporate incentives thanks to the federal government. I’m sure we have all seen the commercials on tv that have the slogan “for just a few cents a day you can help a starving child in need.” I’ll leave you with this quote I found.
“For just $93 billion a year the federal government is able to provide a better life for these CEO’s and their families. That’s less than the cost of 240 million cups of coffee a day. Won’t you help a needy corporation today?”
Ultimately, Corporate welfare is a necessary part of American society, and capitalism. Large companies that hire hundreds of thousands of employees, and contribute to the economy cannot be allowed to close down. The result of large corporations closing down leads to economic recession, and unemployment. There is always two side to any economical perspective.
“Define Corporate welfare at Dictionary.com” Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/corporate+welfare
Nader, Ralph. “Nader’s Testimony on Corporate Welfare.” The Nader Page | writings from Ralph Nader. Retrieved from http://www.nader.org/releases/63099.html
Sinn, M. (2014) Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs. Think by the Numbers. Retrieved from http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/
DeHaven, T. & Edwards, C. (2002) Corporate Welfare Update. Tax and Budget Bulletin. Retrieved from http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/tbb-0205-7.pdf