|An oft repeated
phrase by republicans is that, "America is sinking
into the depths of a welfare state" What they fail
to realize is that America has been in a welfare state since
at least the 1800's with the advent of the railroad barons,
even though the amount of welfare paid today would have
been unimaginable in previous times. Do not confuse this
with welfare for the poor, that only made up a meager
1% of spending in the budget even during its hayday, the
American military spends over 50% of the Federal Budget.
The aforementioned welfare would be considered welfare
for the rich. The basic function of the US government these
past 50 years has been to serve corporate interests, that
are fundamentally exploitative. Every year around 100 billion
dollars in given directly to US businesses.(cato.org 1997
estimates) With the Bush tax cut proposal over 150 billion
dollars will go directly to industry. In this table we can
see how the funds have been distributed before,
Company 1990-94 Technology: Left Subsidies |Right 1994 Profits
Amoco $23,600,000 | $1,800,000,000
AT&T $35,600,000 | $4,700,000,000
Citicorp $9,600,000 | $3,400 ,000,000
DuPont $15,200,000 | $2,700,000,000
General Electric $25,400,000 | $4,600,000,000
General Motors $110,600,000 | $4,900,000,000
IBM $58,000,000 | $3,000,000,000
Motorola $15,100,000 | $1,600,000,000
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "How Billions in
Tax Cuts Failed to Create Jobs," June 4, 1995.
"Corporate welfare is a large and growing component
of the federal budget. America's most costly welfare recipients
today are Fortune 500 companies. In 1997 the Fortune 500
corporations recorded best-ever earnings of $325 billion,
yet incredibly Uncle Sam doled out nearly $75 billion in
taxpayer subsidies."- Cato Institute. Enron alone before
its collapse was privy to $7.219 billion dollars of public
funds!(Institute for Policy Studies)
In the Fortune top 100 transnational corporations all
100 had benefit from corporate welfare policies and 20 were
saved from total collapse. This is the way our economy works,
the public take the risk and losses while only the upper
echelons of corporations see the profits.
Take a look at any of the dynamic industries, aeronautics,
fiber optics, computers, and the internet. All were reasearched
with public funds then handed over to be exploited for profit
to private power. Even railroads were paid for by the US
government throughout the 1800's then handed over to private
power. Is this a government you want to be proud of?
Bush's Defense department has mismanaged over 1 trillion
dollars for corporate contracting(subsidy) (5/15/03 CNN).
His current Defense department plan calls for 486 Billion
dollars (5/12/03 CNN). An example of the massive amount
of corporate welfare is the 63 Billion dollars allotted
to pay Boeing for an unneeded 341 F-22 aircraft. Another
example is the Navy contracting the construction of 30 Virginia
Class submarines at a price tag of 65.3 Billion dollars.
Note nearly every expenditure the military makes it gives
money for private contractors as profits. A huge percentage
of the military budgeting goes directly to profits for the
corporations. While Bush can find 485 Billion for his
corporate contractors Bush can't find the 7 Billion
dollars to provide clean water to the world. This has
been the standard procedure since World War II and the the
beginning of the Cold War. The ultimate capitalist good
is weaponry, it is the only product that constantly obsoletes,
and is constantly used by the largest customer in the world,
the US government.
The very definition of Corporate welfare is the game corporations
play with the states and transnationals play with countries.
A perfect example of this just occured with Boeing in our
backyard. Boeing doesn't feel the need to pay any taxes
since it already provides the US with a "defense"
against whoever the evil person ordained by the president
is that year, so when Seattle decided that it needed more
revenue to pay for public housing and to tax Beoing, Boeing
packed its bags and left. Where did it goto? It went here
to Chicago, where Mayor Dailey paid Boeing a company that
makes 51.1 Billion dollars in profit, 64 million dollars
from the public housing budget to set up their corporate
headquarters here. The lesson here was when corporations
are forced to do something they don't want to, they move
and basically destroy the community they left.
Want more proof? How about the unprecedented aircraft-leasing
deal currently being put together by the Pentagon and Boeing
-- a plan that uses the same kind of accounting sleight-of-hand
popularized by the gang at Enron. Here's how it works: instead
of the Pentagon buying the 100 new jets it wants to use
as aerial refueling tankers directly from Boeing, at an
upfront cost of $138 million per plane, a special-purpose
entity created on Wall Street will purchase the planes and
lease them to the Air Force.
That way the Pentagon gets to acquire the planes without
having to dip into the Air Force's limited procurement
budget, and Boeing gets to reap billions in new military
contracts without having to show the debt associated with
the shady deal on its balance sheet. It's an off- the-books
win-win deal for them both -- but a losing proposition
for taxpayers, who'll end up forking over an additional
$8 billion to cover the interest payments on the leases.
The sleazy new deal is being put together by the good
bankers at Citigroup -- the same outfit that helped Enron
defraud shareholders out of, what do you know, also $8
billion. Who says irony is dead?