We’ve always tried to keep from bashing all corporations all the time, and have never hesitated to celebrate good corporate citizenship whenever it came to our attention— but these days it’s getting hard to like the massive corporate machine that runs our country. Especially since so much of our tax money goes straight into corporate pockets. Don’t believe me? The facts are sobering… the following info comes from Paul Buchheit over at commondreams.org:
Right now, in 2013, if you earn $50,000 a year at your job you pay the following in taxes:
$247.75 per year for defense
$3.98 per year for natural diaster relief (FEMA)
$22.88 per year for unemployment insurance
$32.82 per year for SNAP (food stamps)
$6.96 per year for welfare
$43.78 per year for retirement and disability to government workers (civilian and military)
$235.81 per year for (your OWN) medicare
$4,000 per year for corporate subsidies.
That doesn’t include what we pay them for their utilities, services, and products. The government gives them our tax money as a direct pay-in to keep them profitable. The Cato Institute estimates that the U.S. federal government spends $100 billion a year on corporate welfare, including “cash payments to farmers and research funds to high-tech companies, as well as indirect subsidies, such as funding for overseas promotion of specific U.S. products and industries…It does NOT include tax preferences or trade restrictions.” Which are a whole separate thing, apparently. The river of money paid out to corporate interests is so huge it defies imagination… and the massive tax breaks negotiated for corporations by their lobbyists aren’t even considered part of that.
It DOES include fossil fuel subsidies (reported by the IMF as $502 billion, though that might be an underestimate), as well as business incentive pay outs to oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, and big-box retail chains.
Not to mention the BANKS. The U.S. Government awards the banking industry approximately 3 cents of every tax dollar collected— a taxpayer subsidy of $83 billion, with the five biggest banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs — receiving three-quarters of it. Without the taxpayer subsidy those banks could not make a profit, so whenever you read about massive profits earned by the banks (and used to justify huge bonus pay-outs), remember that every bit of that profit was received by the banks, as a gift, deducted straight from your paycheck.
Let’s not forget government granted patent monopolies, which allow drug companies to charge whatever they want for their drugs, artificially inflating the price of prescription drugs by close to $270 billion a year.
Corporate tax subsidies cost taxpayers over $180 billion per year, and include special corporate benefits like Graduated Corporate Income, Inventory Property Sales, the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation, and Deferred taxes. Not to mention baldfaced corporate strategies to evade the rest of the taxes they rightfully owe, which U.S. PIRG reports cost the average 2012 taxpayer an extra $1,026 in individual taxes to make up for revenue lost from offshore corporate tax havens.
So essentially, the average American family now pays an annual $4,000+ subsidy to corporate assholes who’ve spent the past ten years doubling their profits and paying off our elected officials to cut their own tax bills in half. And those corporations have rewarded America by exporting over 2.9 million American jobs overseas during that same period.
Maybe Guy Fawkes had it right.