Yes. We do.
Corporate welfare is offered in various forms. Mostly it takes the form of subsidies, reduced fees, tax deferments, tax rebates, and tax amnesty. In some cases, it shows up as legislation designed to protect companies from liability due to financial malfeasance or injurious products. Corporate welfare also shows up in tariff and import laws, where certain products from favored nations or manufacturers receive a wider range of available international markets. Any and all government intervention that assists a private corporation to increase its profits is, de facto, corporate welfare.
For example, the current lobbying efforts of Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton to enact retroactive legislation which would allow them to evade criminal and civil liability, are excellent examples of corporate welfare, should they succeed in getting it passed. It would save them each billions of dollars in payout to victims and in legal fees. There are also fees that private companies, particularly those who deal in natural resources pay to the federal government for access to federal lands. These fees are often waved. Why?
Re: in your simple mind it's just a big check handed to a CEO.
Any tax that is not paid by the corporation increases it profit by decreasing its overhead. Now that increase in profit may not go to the CEO directly, rather to the corporation and thus to the shareholders who, by contract with the CEO, usually pay him a bonus according to his performance. So yes, some of it usually does wind up in the pockets of a CEO. I honestly don’t care where it goes. It is from where it is being taken that is the issue.
Re: money is used for research, development and implementation of ideas. without government funding many of today’s technological breakthroughs would not be possible.
Bullshit. If a private company wishes to do research to develop newer and better products, why should the taxpayer have to contribute to a private venture? If the corporation can’t profit from what it does without taxpayer help, then perhaps it should, following the laws of the free market, go the fuck out of business. Corporations can hire the best and brightest with all their money and, with all those MBAs and PhDs running around, one would expect them to have enough brain-power to succeed. If they need MY help to develop a new product, they don’t need to stay in business.
Re: funding provides jobs which in turn create tax paying employees
WRONG AGAIN. Name one corporation in the
In fact, the corporations the receive the LARGEST benefits from ‘welfare for the rich’ have already moved their manufacturing bases overseas, where they rape the local labor force and taxpayers as they did when they were here. If what you were suggesting was even remotely truthful, I would readily admit to the upside. When it has happened, as in the bailout of Chrysler in the 1980s, it did enable 1000s of regular guys to keep their $20/hr jobs for a short time but, more importantly, it allowed the upper management of Chrysler to keep their $20 million a year salaries and bonus packages. Do you really think that the CEOs were worried about the guys and gals working on the line?
Your assertion is also, even if true, fundamentally unfair in principle. Why should the guy who does the actual work that enriches the corporation, pay a larger percentage of his income to shoulder the tax burden that the corporation has wriggled itself out of? So not only does Joe Worker pay income and sales taxes for himself, but he has to pay a higher tax to make up for what is either being directly given to or forgiven of the company he works for! In addition, since most workers do not work for these companies to begin with, what advantage does corporate welfare offer them? I, who do not work for a Fortune 500 company, will have to make up the difference they didn’t pay. Absurd!
Re: yes, there is corruption
I have to wonder what you define as ‘corruption’. Embezzlement, fraud, and insider trading are corrupt, no doubt, but they are criminal acts that still fall under established criminal and civil codes. So is shoplifting for that matter. We are not speaking here of individual or even institutional criminality, although they are part of the issue. The corruption is of the system that permits any corporation to be legally subsidized by taxpayer’s dollars or legislation.
The entire system of corporate welfare is from its core, a corrupt, albeit still legal, game of extortion and bribery. It is interesting that the many champions of the free market are so willing to advance the cause of taxpayer assisted corporate expansion, and thus ignore the basic rules of free market economics. If the government is helping one company over another, it is just plain unfair to all the others. If the government is helping anyone, then why should they be in business?
Corporations, WalMart in particular, know exactly how to approach a municipality and what line of bullshit to lay on them in order to gain a most-favored tax exempt status for a determined period of time. Let’s be real, the Walton family is one of the wealthiest in the world. I don’t wish them any evil, but c’mon already. Do you really think, at this point, being the largest retailer in the
Corporate welfare also allows companies that should no longer be in business, either because of lousy products, strong competition, bad business planning, or criminal behavior to continue operating beyond what normal market forces would permit. Corporate welfare also means that they get to play with YOUR money and protect their own from risk. Corporations also have investment portfolios. I would love to have someone else’s cash to play the market risk-free. Corporate welfare SUBVERTS the normal business atmosphere.
Re: do a little research before you start yammering your jaws about a subject in which you obviously have no knowledge of.
Take your own advice, please.