The corporate welfare queens happily accept billions of dollars in development incentives and tax subsidies. A new report by Good Jobs First, a watchdog group that monitors corporate subsidies, found that a small amount of large corporations have received billions in corporate welfare over the last 20 years.
Good Jobs First has found that 25,000 subsidy awards, or 75 percent of cumulative disclosed subsidy dollars, is distributed to only 965 corporations to the tune of $110 billion. The top receiving parent company for number of subsidies is Dow Chemical with 416 subsidy awards that equal nearly $1.5 billion. Boeing received only 137 by comparison, yet state and local governments paid the aviation company over $13 billion.
According to a press release that accompanied the study, “some of these big recipients, such as Boeing are well known for aggressively seeking tax breaks by pitting states against each other for jobs.” Simply put, corporations will pitch job opportunities to different states and will sell those jobs away to the highest bidder.
Because the money is coming from budgets funded by public taxes, citizens are ultimately just paying for their own jobs, alongside education, infrastructure, and other public services. These “megadeals” struck between state and local governments and large corporations are another aspect of the perpetuating state of income and class disparity.
“In our megadeals study last year, we found that since 2008, there has been a spike in the number and cost of gold-plated deals, even though overall flow remains depressed,” said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy. “It looks like the corporate rich are getting richer at the expense of public goods that benefit all employers.”
Corporations receive a seemingly endless flow of government cash from all levels, but low-income, working-class families are financially gutted year after year. Congress failed to temporarily increase SNAP benefits last November, causing a seven percent decrease in distributed benefits.
Since November, the SNAP cuts have caused low-income families to suffer even more. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, most SNAP households spend 97 percent of their benefits by the month’s end, and the groups says that the cut will result in these households running short on grocery money.
Food banks across the country have already reported shortages caused by the SNAP cuts and some economists say that the cuts can affect local economies. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics wrote to the Joint Economic Committee that each SNAP dollar generates nearly double its worth in local economies.
Corporations continually enjoy billion-dollar handouts despite the fact that they generate equal amounts of money in revenue each year. Meanwhile, the poor are continuously being stricken of any well-needed government assistance. Corporations and the one-percent elite are always leaning on the argument of self-creation and independence of the free market. Corporate-received government stipends prove otherwise.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.