Monday, November 7, 2011

Corporate Welfare, OWS and the tea party movement

This morning's WSJ editorial page picked up on a theme from this blog that the occupiers and tea partyers can come together in opposition to corporate welfare. The whole article is worth a read, but they offer additional egregious examples of the waste of your tax dollars in support of companies that should sink or swim on their own.

Some of the most expensive flops include the Supersonic Transport plane of the mid-1970s, Jimmy Carter's $2 billion Synthetic Fuels Corporation (the precursor to clean energy), Amtrak, which hasn't turned a profit in four decades, and the most expensive public-private partnership debacle of all time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have lost $142 billion of taxpayer money.

The ethanol subsidy, benefiting mostly corn farmers and corporate fuel blenders in the Midwest, costs about $6 billion a year through an array of tax subsidies, tariffs and mandates while making fuel and food more expensive.

Crop price supports for wheat, corn, rice, sugar and soybean farmers are supposed to help struggling family farms, but at least half the subsidies go to large and wealthy farmers and corporations. Congress can't seem to wean the farm belt off these payments even though commodity prices and farm incomes are near an all-time high. Restricting those funds to farmers with incomes below $250,000 would save $30 billion over the next decade.

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 ($424 million).

The Presidential candidate that can capture the anger over these outrages can easily beat Obama, because he is all in for government subsidies, and has doubled down on defending the likes of Solyndra.

The Republican nominee doesn't have to have a great track record on this issue, he just has to show a credible change of heart on the issue. Fortunately, there is an easy way to do so, campaign against ethanol subsidies in Iowa, and then consistently oppose any other such subsidies the rest of the campaign. Tying Obama to corporate welfare is relatively easy. Given the justified anger over giving our tax dollars to corporations, Obama should have no chance. That he does is shameful.


  1. that being said, I would argue that should be changed down the road

  2. outside of gingrich, the 'pubs are too busy campaigning against each other to perform any of the above tasks.

    go gingrich.

  3. Yes, the Tea Party is just like the Occupy movement....except for the personal hygiene, civic responsibility, and respect for private property.

  4. Mutnodjmet, LOL.

    Calivancouver, not sure if you are serious, the cost per passenger mile of freeway is much lower than tracks, which might be your point, but I am little giddy today from so many visitors.

    drozz, you are right, but Mittens could be the one to get started. I think he will be the nominee.