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REPORT: Of Discouraging $110B in Corporate Welfare, $88M Goes to Koch Industries

Scott Walker's not even mentioned here, but why not rope him in? (drawing by Barbaro Broido)

Scott Walker’s not even mentioned here, but why not rope him in? (drawing by Barbaro Broido)

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A new report from Good Jobs First, “Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent,” provides detail on our ‘corporate welfare state’ and the way large corporations benefit from programs being sold to the public as beneficial to American citizens.  In total, state and local governments have handed out $110 billion in corporate welfare.  The argument is made that these subsidies are beneficial, but the report shows that the money is mostly going to those who don’t really need it:

…a full “three-quarters of all the economic development dollars awarded and disclosed by state and local governments have gone to just 965 large corporations”—not to the small businesses and startups that politicians so often pretend to care about.

In dollar figures, that’s a whopping $110 billion going to big companies. Fortune 500 firms alone receive more than 16,000 subsidies at a total cost of $63 billion.

Not surprisingly, one of the parties who benefit most from this form of corporate welfare is the Koch Brothers.  Yes, the billionaire brothers who champion the free market have received $88 million through Koch Industries from these government programs.
The report lays out the corporate welfare queens by industry, state, and amount of individual subsidies received.  Among them are some of the country’s most prominent companies and largest employers:

In dollar terms, the biggest recipient by far is Boeing, with a total of more than $13 billion, reflecting the giant deals it has gotten in Washington and South Carolina as well as more than 130 smaller deals around the country. The others at the top of the cumulative subsidy dollar list are: Alcoa ($5.6 billion), Intel ($3.9 billion), General Motors ($3.5 billion) and Ford Motor ($2.5 billion).

The company with the largest number of awards is Dow Chemical, with 416. Following it are Berkshire Hathaway (310), General Motors (307), Wal-Mart Stores (261), General Electric (255), Walgreen (225) and FedEx (222). Forty eight companies have received more than 100 individual awards.

Good Jobs First has also has created Subsidy Tracker 2.0, which allows you to research the details of which companies are receiving what from whom.  The database currently includes information on 245,000 subsidies awarded by 514 programs in all 50 states.  

In a political culture which demonizes low-income welfare recipients just trying to get by, perspective is needed: The most blatant waste of “taxpayer dollars” is not food stamps, unemployment benefits, or Social Security, it is unnecessary corporate giveaways.  Massive business interests, disinterested in the well-being of the nation as a whole, shout down the voices of the poor and take advantage of the system they’ve paid to control.
Read the full report here.


2 Comments on “REPORT: Of Discouraging $110B in Corporate Welfare, $88M Goes to Koch Industries”

  1. I have seen this story in other places and the figure for Koch was 88 million not 88 billion. It still is free market corporate socialism but I think if the 88 mil is the true figure it should be reported as such. We should report facts, let them lie. Verifiable facts will prevail in the end killing all the lies.

    1. thanks for the heads up.

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