Estimates of how much pork, subsidies and tax breaks that government
gives away to corporations vary, but reasonable estimates run from $100
to $150 billion a year. Here are what various think tanks and policy groups
- According to the conservative Heritage Foundation (which is basically
in bed with corporate America), government could save $20 billion a year
by eliminating just three dozen corporate giveaways. This is almost one
year's worth of AFDC.
- The Office of Management and Budget and Congress's Joint Committee
on Taxation (who have a vested interest in playing down the numbers) report
that taxpayers pay businesses $51 billion in direct subsidies and lose
another $53.3 billion in corporate tax breaks, for a total of $104.3 billion
- Ralph Nader's Center for the Study of Responsive Law has identified
$167 billion in corporate tax breaks and handouts given away in 1994.
- The Progressive Policy Institute, a moderate Democratic think tank,
has identified $225 billion worth of questionable, special-interest spending
and tax subsidies that Congress should reevaluate. It has also called for
Congress to save $265 billion over 5 years by eliminating or scaling back
120 specific programs.
- The Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank, estimates that federal
aid to corporations ranges from $250 to $350 billion a year. It has specifically
identified 125 federal programs subsidizing private businesses that would
save taxpayers $85 billion if cut.
- The House Progressive Caucus, which is mostly comprised of Democratic
members of Congress, has called for the elimination of $800 billion in
tax subsidies and other benefits for corporations and the rich.
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