Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welfare Kings

Away from animation topics on a Sunday night, I was struck by this:

In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.”

First, welfare subsidies for private planes. The United States offers three kinds of subsidies to tycoons with private jets: accelerated tax write-offs, avoidance of personal taxes on the benefit by claiming that private aircraft are for security, and use of air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial.

As the leftists in the George W. Bush administration put it when they tried unsuccessfully to end this last boondoggle: “The family of four taking a budget vacation is subsidizing the C.E.O.’s flying on a corporate jet.” ...

It's forever fascinating how some poor dweeb who ekes out half a living earning the minimum wage, and so qualifies for food stamps, qualifies for an Earned Income Tax Credit, and (now) gets subsidized health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, is vilified as a leach. But very little attention (or nastiness) is directed at

Large Corporate Farms on subsidies
Big Oil Companies on subsidies
Big Pharma on subsidies
Military Subcontractors on subsidies
And of course, MY favorites, all the Big Banks that guzzle at the public trough.

“Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent,” the report from the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First shows that the largest corporations in the world aren’t models of self-sufficiency and unbridled capitalism. To the contrary, they continue to receive tens of billions of dollars in government handouts. Such subsidies might be a bit more defensible if they were being doled out in a way that promoted upstart entrepreneurialism. But as the study also shows, 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.

But since we do live in this most excellent of corporatist states, this is to be expected, yes?

Add On: Happily, the Chosen Few don't get special treatment in our courts. Do they?


Chevy Nova said...

And what the hell has this administration done about it in six years? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Obama has towed the line for his suitors in every conceivable way. Not a SINGLE case pending against any of the banks that caused the financial crisis.

People say "during the housing crisis" as if it happened and is done with. Its still going on. The same people are in charge that were in charge then - and they only know how to make a lot of money one way. They are still cooking the books. Still swapping synthetic credit defaults and still building a house of cards that will fall down the road.

Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein are LAUGHING at this administration. When Obama went to Wall Street to talk about the new standards he wanted for banks, they didn't even show up. He was speaking a block away from their offices and they didn't even go. They just thumbed their noses because he's in their back pocket and he will leave office without doing ANYTHING about the shell game that the markets have turned into.

Its pathetic.

Celshader said...

And what the hell has this administration done about it in six years?

One that comes to mind is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Proposed by the Obama Administration in 2009, written by Congress in 2010, signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

Chevy Nova said...

That act has, by and large, failed to be implemented. Two thirds of its rules have missed their deadlines. Its a joke.

To whit:
Dodd-Frank act: After 3 years

The Volcker Rule has pretty much been nixed:
The Loopholes In The Volcker Rule

Steve Hulett said...

Chevy Nova:

As I said, we live in a corporatist state. And Obama has been under-whelming as regards what needs to be done. His worst first term appointment (in my opinion) was Tim Geithner, who is (in my opinion) in the back pocket of the large banks.

BUT. Obama is underwhelming as compared to Franklin Roosevelt or even (and I shudder to say this) George Herbert Walker Bush, who at least bit the bullet and put some S & L crooks in jail. But compared to any Republican Presidential aspirant, I would estimate that he's better.

You think McCain would have cleaned up the mess? He was telling us how really great the economy was as it came crashing down around our ears.

You think Romney would have been better? Given who was backing Mittens, I tend to think not.

So there you have it. Obama, not great on the issue. But better than the real-life alternatives.

Chevy Nova said...

Well, thats simple conjecture on your part. You're entitled to it, but its not a compelling argument. Look, as your post relates, even GW Bush stepped forward to oppose the private jet subsidies. (he even has some convictions against wall street crooks)
Whats Obama done?
The answer is: substantially less than the previous president.

The Frontline documentaries on the subject are a damning indictment of this administration.
Frontline: The Untouchables

Anonymous said...

lol - complaining about corporate welfare after lobbying for tax incentives for the movie industry.

You're not against corporate welfare. You just want it for your own industry instead.

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