ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Economy & Government

The Corporate Welfare Congress

Updated on October 22, 2009

Corporate Pork

The Corporate Welfare Congress

Perhaps you've heard that this is the Congress for "the little guy," the "forgotten" middle class, the working stiff. If that was the plan, it isn't working. On present trends, the 110th Congress will go down as one of the biggest blowouts in corporate welfare history.

That's saying something, considering that the last GOP Congress gave big business some $92 billion a year in subsidies, according to the CATO Institute. Cato's latest analysis indicates that if all the pending spending bills pass, corporate welfare will exceed $100 billion in direct outlays in 2008.

The handouts for the rich that have a good chance of passing include the most expensive farm bill ever; a rise in the mortgage limits on loans that can be securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (see below); some $2 billion in loan guarantees to ethanol producers; and expansions in flood and terrorism insurance to benefit home builders, mortgage banks and real estate developers.

Many of the 40 largest existing corporate welfare are set to get a raise, including the Commerce Department's $116 million manufacturing extension program, the $100 million Advanced Technology Program (which funds R&D for the likes of IBM, GE and Xerox), and the $200 million Agriculture Market Access Program, which underwrites foreign advertising for the likes of Pillsbury and Dole. We' call all of this the "K Street" project, but even Tom DeLay never thought this big"

-BIG AGRIBUSINESS. The House has already passed a five-year farm bill with a cost of $286 billion. The USDA calculates that two-thirds of these subsidies are directed to the richest 10% of farmers. The huge cooperatives that grow rice, cotton, corn wheat and soybeans will get $7.5 billion a year. These handouts will come despite record crop prices and farm land selling at an average of 18% above a year ago. The USDA estimates that farm net income will reach $87 billion this yar nearly 50% higher than in 2006.

-ETHANOL-On top of the 51-cent per gallon tax credit for this inefficient fuel, the Senate energy bill requires a doubling of ethanol production from corn, $500 million in new direct payments to ethanol producers, and $2 billion more for loan guarantees for new ethanol refineries.

-BIG SUGAR--The farm bill requires the USDA to buy up domestic sugar equal to the amount that is imported from Mexico under NAFTA, which is a disguised form of trade protection. This sweet deal is like requiring the Transportation Department to purchase a Ford and GM car for every Nissan and Toyota imported into the U.S. The taxpayer cost: $1.4 billion.

-FLOOD INSURANCE--The House has passed a bill that replenishes a fund drained by Hurricane Katrina. But along the way it also raises the maximum coverate limits, and for the first time covers wind damage for commercial properties [Comment: what about residential properties?]. The National Taxpayers Union calculates that taxpayers could be on the hook for $100 billion of future losses.

-TERROR INSURANCE--On September 19, the House approved a new federal terrorism backstop for developers at an estimated 10-year cost of $10.4 billion The original terrorism insurance bill, passed int he wake of 9/11, was supposed to be temporary. But under pressure from business lobbies and insurers, industry won a 15-year extension covering up to 90% of terrorism-related losses.

-"RENEWABLE" FUELS--Energy bills moving through congress tax oil companies and pass most of the $25 billion or so in expected revenue to wind, solar and Midwestern biofules companies, even though private venture capital for such fuels hit new peaks in 2005 and 2006. For 20 yars, the feds have poured more than $10 billion into this industry with little reduction in U.S. oil dependence.

-CORPORATE PORK--There are 13,000 earmarks in this year's appropriations bills, including hundreds that benefit narrow business groups. Such as : $500,000 to build a baseball stadium for the Cincinn ati Reds monor league team in Billings, Montana; $150,000 for the Troy, Michigan Chamber of Commerce; $500,00 for the Arkansas World Trade Center; $4 million for a rail bridge for CSX railroad.

If you want to know how good liberals can tolerat such largess for the rich, keep in mind that in Washington quids often come with a quo. The latest FEC fundraising reports indicate that industry lobbyists have shifted their allegiance from Republicans and are now funneling cash to Democrats they expect to hold their majority. Roll Call newspaper, which covers Congress, reports that in the first half of 2007 business lobbyists gave "all or most of their cash to Democratic candidates and party committees."

They're getting their money's worth.

Lead Wall Street Journal editorial October 23, 2007

More Corporate Pork

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 8 years ago from United States

      You hit the nail on the head, most of our problems lie in the digression of the sessions of congress, tucking lovely little bits of pork fat onto what could have been a feast for the public, but now is so overloaded with gluttony that it damages the heart of America. We need a good healthy enema for all of the fat cats that have been hamming things up. Superb article.~~~MFB III

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)