Supersized and Subsidized: America’s 8 Top Corporate Welfare Queens
The United States can be a quirky place. It’s the country that is home to innumerable profitable companies and groundbreaking corporations. We have fostered new technologies and advancements like flight and automobiles. We go to war all across the world in attempts to liberate others from oppression. We generally have a high quality of life, and are for all intents and purposes, we are the wealthiest nation to ever exist.
However, if there’s one thing people really don’t like, it’s when others get free money. We live in a society where it is commonplace to see welfare recipients demonized, people on food stamps ostracized, and anyone on any form of public assistance is often made to feel guilty that they need help. After all, this is America isn’t it? Can’t you just pull your self up by your bootstraps?
There is a rift in logic, however, when it comes to assistance for large, profitable multinational corporations. For context, according to reports from The Cato Institute, during 2002 corporate welfare handouts shot all the way up to $92 billion. Most of those subsidies were secured by companies in industries like natural resources, which are some of the most profitable entities in the history of the world. As one writer at Forbes points out, cutting these huge subsidies would be a great way to help balance the national budget, but it is never put into action.
Fast-forward to current place and time as subsidy tracking group Good Jobs First has released a report detailing where exactly taxpayer dollars are being funneled, and which states are the most likely to divvy up handouts. There are some surprises in the report, but many details won’t come as much of a shock at all. New York and Washington were the top two states for handing out corporate subsidies, with New York alone topping more than $20 billion across nearly 69,000 individual handouts. The data also shows that roughly 75 percent of disclosed subsidy dollars have gone to 965 big companies. The total known value of subsidies across the country came out at an estimated $110 billion, although its likely more.
From its data, Good Jobs First was able to identify the top 100 recipients of corporate subsidies, dominated by transportation and natural resource companies. Here are the top eight companies from that list, and the total known amount in subsidies they are receiving.