Tomorrow, Peter Peterson is going to hold another one of his dumb national "fiscal summits" to further fan the flames of the phony debt and deficit "crisis"--a non-existent crisis that covers up the bigger problem of the widening divide between rich and poor. Since people want to talk about saving money, let's start by cutting over two trillion dollars in corporate welfare. Two trillion dollars. That's real money--and doesn't require taking a single dime from schools, infrastructure investments and other social programs.
I underscore: there is no debt or deficit "crisis". So, the proposal below (developed as part of the Job Party's drive for a 21st Century WPA) to cut corporate welfare is offered simply because we should always try to use money wisely and more productively--and our tax dollars should be used to subsidize outlandish CEO salaries and benefits.
What is astonishing about the list below is that we can redirect two trillion dollars WITHOUT even talking about raising taxes on the rich (which we should do), enacting single-payer health care (which would save hundreds of billions of dollars and be the easiest way to shore up Medicare) and ending immoral wars.
End Big Oil and Big Gas Tax Breaks
2011-2015 savings: $80 billion (Taxpayers for Common Sense).
Big Oil has made almost $855 billion in profits in the past decade. There is no need to give such a profitable industry a tax break.
End Deferral of Taxes on Income of U.S.-Controlled Corporations Abroad
2011-2015 savings: $199 billion (Citizen for Tax Justice estimate).
Encourages off-shoring of work and capital.
End Accelerated Depreciation on Equipment
2011-2015 savings: $141 billion (CTJ estimate).
Accelerated depreciation can result in a very low, or even negative, tax rate on profits from a particular investment.
End Deduction for Domestic Manufacturing
2011-2015 savings: $76.7 billion (CTJ estimate).
Provides virtually no benefit to the economy and is blatant corporate welfare.
End Last-In, First-Out Accounting (LIFO)
2011-2015 savings: $24.2 billion (CTJ estimate).
Corporations use LIFO to hide their true profits.
Cut Subsidies to Big Agribusiness
2011-2020 savings: $52 billion (Taxpayers for Common Sense).
Small farms are disappearing while big agri-business racks up huge profits—with corporate welfare support.
Permit Government to Negotiate Drug Prices for Medicare.
Savings 2012-2021: $157.9 billion. (Congressional Progressive Caucus).
Barring government involvement is an indirect corporate subsidy.
End Tax Breaks For Drug Companies.
2011-2020 savings: $50 billion (estimated based on figures from Rep. Jerrold Nadler).
Stops a $5 billion-a year annual tax break for direct-to-consumer advertising. We should pay for drug companies to market to us?
Enact A Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee.
2012-2021 Savings: $70.9 billion (Congressional Progressive Caucus).
Imposed on largest banks as a repayment of corporate welfare extended via bank bailouts for financial crisis precipitated by banks.
Enact a Derivatives and Speculation Tax.
2012-2022 savings: $650 billion (Congressional Progressive Caucus).
Wall Street receives indirect corporate welfare/subsidies via a regulatory system and infrastructure investment for which it pays virtually nothing. A very tiny transactions tax will end the corporate welfare.
Cut Military Budget
2011-2020 Savings: $550 billion (Sustainable Defense Task Force).
According to the Task Force, weapons research, development, and procurement activities…“now routinely cost taxpayers over $200 billion a year. Procurement costs are up 110% in real terms since 2000. Setting aside war-related expenditures, DoD “peacetime” spending on research, development, and procurement has increased 75% in real terms.” This focuses only on the Task Force’s cuts that reasonably have a “corporate welfare” component, primarily weapons systems that don’t work and/or aren’t needed to fight an enemy that does not exist.