The Wall Street Journal did an excellent piece today concerning what most of us call corporate welfare. If the Congressional Super Committee is serious about reducing our budget deficit, they would be wise to read this article. You, on the other hand, might be wise pouring a stiff drink before you do so.
We spend $6 billion each year subsidizing ethanol production and its blending into our fuel.
The FCC recently decided to spend $4.5 billion a year bring broadband to every home in America, whether they want it or not.
We spend untold billions subsidizing the growers of rice, wheat, corn, sugar and soybeans, most of which goes to corporations and large wealthy farmers…all at a time when commodity prices are at or near all time highs.
Under President Obama, we spent $8 billion on an Advanced Technology Vehicle manufacturing Loan Program…I’m sure the money was desperately needed by Nissan, Ford and Tesla Motors. In addition, we spent $2.4 billion to build battery operated electric cars. And, of course, we have the money thrown away on the likes of Solyndra, Beacon Power and Ener1.
The Republicans are big fans of the nuclear business. Just last month Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R. Oh.) threw his weight behind a bill to provide a $2 billion loan to a uranium enrichment plant, in, you guessed it, Ohio.
The Export-Import Bank has a portfolio of $14.5 billion of outstanding loan guarantees to assist major U.S. exporters. More than 90% of the funds went to 10 corporations, including Boeing ($6.4 billion), General Electric ($1.043 billion) and Caterpillar ($425 million).
Before you say we need this to compete with other countries that subsidize, wouldn’t it make more sense to cut our corporate tax rate…one of the highest in the world? Our companies have difficulty competing because of our tax rates, not because of other countries’ subsidies.
All of these subsidies should disappear yesterday. No, their disappearance will not, in and of themselves solve our spending problem, but, it’s a start.