L. Gilbert: Excessive corporate welfare

For all those who are obsessed about local welfare for the least fortunate among us, I share this listing of eight corporate subsidies in the fiscal cliff bill that just passed Congress:

— NASCAR tax breaks to equal $43 million over two years.

— Railroad tax credits of $165 million a year to maintain tracks.

— Hollywood studios got $150 million for 2010 and 2011.

— Mining companies got an unspecified amount for safety training for work and safety equipment.

— Subsidies for Goldman Sachs headquarters ($1.6 billion tax-free financing).

— A $9 billion off-shore financing loophole for banks.

— Tax credits for foreign subsidiaries of $1.5 billion for 2010 and 2011.

— A research tax credit projected to cost $8 billion for 2010 and 2011 with depreciation provisions projected to cost about $110 billion for those years.

Almost weekly we read locally the writings of those who are obsessed with welfare for the poor and needy right here in L-A, which pales in comparison to corporate welfare such as I listed above. Add to that the billions of dollars for oil company subsidies and billions upon billions more that we don’t see.

We see someone buying clear lobster meat with an EBT card and say “isn’t that terrible” because it is what we see.

There are billions upon billions upon billions of corporate welfare dollars the public doesn't see and remain well hidden, all the while there are those who are obsessed with local welfare payments. There is something wrong with that picture.

Time to obsess over corporate welfare.

Laurent Gilbert Sr., Lewiston

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Jim Cyr's picture

Time to

obsess over all those passing "Pork barrel ear marks". And most "local welfare payments" ride the cart. I believe that corporate welfare is eating some of our hard earn money, but some may say that they are "pushing" the cart more than riding. What is wrong with that picture is we have a spending problem and "class warfare" only keeps US away from the real problem!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And, if he hasn't already

And, if he hasn't already done so, YOUR president will sign the bill into law. Why is that not acceptable to you?

RONALD RIML's picture

Small amounts of welfare for small minds to dwell on.

While the Robber Barons rob you blind.......

RONALD RIML's picture

But, but, but, but.......

They're not THOSE People!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The only way to solve this

The only way to solve this problem in my opinion is to take the money out of Washington.


The National Government

All the rancor about the Federal Government that we hear from the Tea Party and now from the gun lobby has a lot more to do with the 1860.s than with 1776. After the Civil War, the United States of America was declared to be indivisible, see the Pledge to the Flag, and those who took arms against it to be terrorists and traitors. That is the law of the land and it is not tyranny. A democratic government has the right to protect itself from enemies from without and within. So in spite of all the NeoConfederates out there the Federal Government will stand and that means we can either have effective government or we can have a government that is a tool for crooks, lobbyists, war profiteers, and their yes men. A weak government is more susceptible to corruption and to attack and that is why these folks, including organized crime and terrorist organizations. spend so much money to make it weak. Our only defense is the vote of the people and that is why so much money is spent to divide us by interfering with voting, gerrymandering, promoting racial and religious hatreds, inciting class warfare, fanning regional divisions and hatreds, and even sex discrimination resentments. When the American people decide to make their government strong again we will have a better chance at controlling spending, corruption, crime and terrorism. As for those folks who are now threatening to overthrow the Federal Government with their guns, that battle was already lost with the signing of the Patriot Act.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

First, I know of no organized

First, I know of no organized group of any significance that is advocating overt roughing this government.

Second, never feel confident that it cannot be done for that is when the government will become the most vulnerable. In other words, never say never.


Take the money out

Corporations, financial institutions, political advisers, politicians, lobbyists, war profiteers and foreign governments are already taking the money out of Washington by the bucketful. What we need is to have the money we send to Washington come back to us in ways that serve our communities rather than to have it be raided by thieves. We also need for companies who profit from doing business in this country to contribute to the welfare of our communities. Most of the smaller local businesses already do this and consider it part of the cost of doing business. The global corporations , for example Halliburton, KBR, Exxon, J P Morgan, AIG, etc. etc. , however, have no interest in American communities and they are the ones who are hoarding their money in tax havens, polluting the environment, corrupting our political processes and taking advantage of workers here and abroad. . They use us just as they use the tax havens and have no loyalty to anything but the bottom line. We need legislation to make this kind of piracy illegal and expensive. For me it would be a good day when I never again would read the words "too big to fail"

Jim Cyr's picture

Take the money

we send to Washington and send it back ?? How about not sending it to start with ? Then we won't have to worry about getting our fair share back. It stays at home so as we get our own house in order first !! You must have forgotten that our elected officials created these so called "tax havens". And for those of you insisting on "Class Warfare", a famous General, who was also one of our Presidents, once said "Without Free Enterprise, there can be no Democracy".

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How else can Washington take

How else can Washington take its cut?

What astounds me is that so many people believe those folks in Washington are looking out for our interest - go figure.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Yet you still look to the

Yet you still look to the people who are the root of the problem for the solution - legislators. No wonder nothing ever changes.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

I don't think the founders....

..........ever envisioned career politicians. To get the corruption out, we must get the money and perks away from those who make their living undermining the will of the people. Of course, that would mean no bribes from corporations or unions.

Who am I kidding? Legislators love all those private jets, lavish hotel rooms, luxury, first-class all the way. I have always been against term limits but now I am leaning that way.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How long was Snowe an elected

How long was Snowe an elected official? 40-43-47 years, Robert Byrd of WVA spent most of his adult life as a politician. You're right about career politicians; they are the very root of the problem. Term limits, at every level, should become the law of the land. Presidents, thank God, are limited to only two terms. That should be the maximum for any office, including Supreme Court judges.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I repeat. Let’s take the

I repeat. Let’s take the money out of Washington and let the crooks go elsewhere. Neuter the politician figuratively speaking.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I repeat. Let’s take the

I repeat. Let’s take the money out of Washington and let the crooks go elsewhere. Neuter the politician figuratively speaking.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Neutering suggests that the

Neutering suggests that the individual had a pair to begin with, which as you know, is often not the case.


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