News & Notes

Ten Examples of Welfare for Corporations and the Ultra-Rich

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This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post.

Olympic athletes queue up at the McDonalds inside the dining hall at the Olympic Village in London. July 2013. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Olympic athletes queue up at the McDonalds inside the dining hall at the Olympic Village in London. July 2013. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

There are thousands of tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and corporations provided by federal, state and local governments, but these 10 will give a taste.

1. State and local subsidies to corporations: An excellent New York Times study by Louise Story calculated that state and local government provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations. Over 48 big corporations received over $100 million each. GM was the biggest, at a total of $1.7 billion extracted from 16 different states, but Shell, Ford and Chrysler all received over $1 billion each. Amazon, Microsoft, Prudential, Boeing and casino companies in Colorado and New Jersey received well over $200 million each.

2. Direct federal subsidies to corporations: The Cato Institute estimates that federal subsidies to corporations cost taxpayers almost $100 billion every year.

3. Federal tax breaks for corporations: The tax code gives corporations special tax breaks that have reduced what is supposed to be a 35-percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually, according to the US Government Accountability Office.

4. Federal tax breaks for wealthy hedge fund managers: Special tax breaks for hedge fund managers allow them to pay only a 15-percent rate while the people they earned the money for usually pay a 35-percent rate. This is the break where the multimillionaire manager pays less of a percentage in taxes than her secretary. The National Priorities Project estimates this costs taxpayers $83 billion annually, and 68 percent of those who receive this special tax break earn more than $462,500 per year (the top 1 percent of earners).

5. Subsidies to the fast food industry: Research by the University of Illinois and UC Berkeley documents that taxpayers pay about $243 billion each year in indirect subsidies to the fast food industry because they pay wages so low that taxpayers must put up $243 billion to pay for public benefits for their workers.

6. Mortgage deduction: The home mortgage deduction, which costs taxpayers $70 billion per year, is a huge subsidy to the real estate, banking and construction industries. The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that 77 percent of the benefit goes to homeowners with incomes over $100,000 per year.

7. The billions above do not even count the government bailout of Wall Street, while all parties have done their utmost to tell the public that they did not need it, that they paid it back or that it was a great investment. The Atlantic Monthly estimates that $7.6 trillion was made available by the Federal Reserve to banks, financial firms and investors. The Cato Institute estimates (using government figures) the final costs at $32 to $68 billion, not including the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which alone cost more than $180 billion.

8. Each major piece of legislation contains new welfare for the rich and corporations. The Boston Globe analyzed the emergency tax legislation passed by Congress in early 2013 and found it contained 43 business and energy tax breaks, together worth $67 billion.

9. Huge corporations that engage in criminal or other wrongful activities protect their leaders from being prosecuted by paying huge fees or fines to the government. You and I would be prosecuted. These corporations protect their bosses by paying off the government. For example, Reuters reported that JPMorgan Chase, which made a preliminary $13-billion mortgage settlement with the US government, is allowed to write off a majority of the deal as tax deductible, saving the corporation $4 billion.

10. There are thousands of smaller special breaks for corporations and businesses out there. There is a special subsidy for corporate jets, which cost taxpayers $3 billion a year. The tax deduction for second homes costs $8 billion a year. Fifty billionaires received taxpayer-funded farm subsidies in the past 20 years.

If you want to look at the welfare for the rich and corporations, start with the federal Internal Revenue Code. That is the King James Bible of welfare for the rich and corporations. Special breaks in the tax code are the reason that there are thousands of lobbyists in the halls of Congress, hundreds of lobbyists around each state legislature and tens of thousands of tax lawyers all over the country.

Bill Quigley is a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans.
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  • Suze Phillips

    The mortgage deduction helps a LOT of middle class families, so it seems weird to demonize it with the other “giveaways.”

  • WisdomSeed

    I think they explained it saying that 77% of those benefits go to people with incomes over $100K so it helps the wealthy a lot more than the middle class.

  • henry

    Y’all forgot about the Estate tax breaks, in which the 1st $5mill is exempt from estate tax, and the capital gains and dividend tax breaks, which is any reason Romneys tax rate was a lot less than his secretaries. And dividends do NOTHING to help jobs; quite the opposite. Dividends should be taxed at 70%, then people would find other things to do with their money, like actually create the jobs we all keep hearing about which they do NOT do.

  • henry

    @Suze, true and crazy of them to do that. They should be talking about the .01% of the 1% not the middle class. Families with incomes over 100k are not the problem. People with income over $5mill a yr who pay 15% in taxes, like Romney should be the issue. And they already put in a fix on the mtg deduction, by limiting it.

  • Anonymous

    Good list, BUT I think #6 is actually a good one for your average family. The tax savings on a mortgage’s interest is the very reason many middle class families can actually afford a home over being lifelong renters. Renting tends to put much MORE money into the pockets of corporations and the wealthy than middle-class home ownership does.

  • Anonymous

    It should go to help middle class families. It shouldn’t go to subsidize a billionaire’s mansion.

  • Mike

    While I enjoy the mortgage interest deduction, it really doesn’t save me that much. I think I got back an extra $400 last year on my taxes from it. If $400 makes or breaks you, you’ve got bigger problems than giving up the mortgage interest rate deduction.

  • Jack Haesly

    This exactly the reason, in my opinion, the IRS and government spending is nothing more than a huge Ponzi Scheme supported by the vast majority of Americans that can least afford to support it. There is nothing fair or uniform about the tax code.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Mike but your response is indicative of the flawed American imagination. You do not fully grasp the paycheck-to-paycheck reality of so many of us, completely apart from merit or what we deserve. If one member of a couple loses his/her job, savings go in no time. Factor in children & you are swamped, taking any old job which might place you in that public assistance category. To some of us, $400 is a great deal.

  • Darvel Lloyd

    I added up all those tax breaks and subsidies that Bill Quigley listed above, including the bail-out of Wall Street (#7) and just a few of the thousands of special tax breaks for corporations and businesses (#10), and the total comes to OVER 1100 BILLION, OR 1.1 TRILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR! Isn’t that colossal amount of money about equal to the entire annual federal budget?

  • Mike

    You sure make a lot of assumptions. I support a wife and two kids on my single income. I understand greatly how quickly savings accounts are decimated and what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, as I’ve done both.

    My point was that if your mortgage is large enough that you’re getting back roughly $400 on interest deduction on your taxes, then you should be able to handle not having that $400. If you can’t, then you need to downsize your home and your lifestyle and live within your means. And if your interest rate is so high that you’re getting $400 back with a much smaller mortgage, then you need to refinance your mortgage. If you can’t because you’re underwater, then chances are you bought more house than you could really afford to begin with.

    We are the only country in the world that has a tax break for mortgage interest, and we suffer because of it. For that matter, the majority of people who actually get some benefit from the deduction earn $100k+ (I do not).

  • Tony Hilton

    If we didn’t have the mortgage interest deduction house prices would be much lower in general.
    What you are not paying in taxes to the government is going to the bank holding your mortgage. Ok, maybe you get a little of the benefit but mostly it’s the banks and developers.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately the deduction is only used by 30% of homeowners. In order to receive it, you have to itemize and most people don’t. And 77% of those who do use the deduction make over 100K which is high middle class at best. It certainly doesn’t help lower middle class home owners. That is the reality. It is mostly used by the well off.
    Skip Moreland

  • westcoastoceangirl

    Excellent list for those that will read it; the amount of money thrown at corporations through these handouts is obscene. ‘could have done without the header “Welfare Queens” since these corporations are largely headed by men..not women, but “Welfare Kings” might not be such a good ole’ caption grabber.. just sayin!

  • Anonymous

    In some places (such as LA, San Diego, SF / Bay Area) 100k is NOT high middle class. Sure in Iowa, 100k is a good living, in those areas, 100k annual salary is not much at all.

  • Anonymous

    I think the US GDP is somewhere around 13 trillion, so 1.1 trillion would be less than 10% of that. Seems a trifle on the low side for the federal budget. I think the total share of GDP of the government in the US (local, state & federal) is somewhere between 35% and 40%, so …

  • Anonymous

    Again ‘wealthy’ is relative, in many urban areas, 100k is NOT that much, especially for a family. The median rent where I live for a 3 bedroom apt is about $2200 / mo, that’s 26,400 (post tax, JUST for rent)

  • Anonymous

    Well about 70% of us must not live in those areas, because only 30% use the deduction. Making over 100K puts you into the top 10% in earning money, which means that 90% of us don’t earn that much. So I would consider being in the top 10% at least high middle class, it isn’t near what most of us earn.
    Skip Moreland

  • WisdomSeed

    I live in a pretty ‘urban’ are and $100k a year is a lot of money, considering that many people in urban areas are earning less than $44k a year, which I think is the median wage.

    The thing is, that particular tax break depends on the size of the mortgage and not the so the bigger the mortgage the bigger the break.

  • Anonymous

    That’s why Wall Street backed Obama this past election, if you look the Obama administration has given out most of these not including Obamacare exemptions. Come on people wake up!

  • Anonymous

    Do away with the IRS FLAT TAX!

  • Anonymous

    Where do subsidies to professional sports rank in these money transfer programs? they helped bankrupt or destabilize several cities already.

  • Suze Phillips

    I could see capping the mortgage deduction, or making sure it isn’t abused on second homes, but I stand by my argument that it does help the middle class. When my husband and I bought our first house, when we were just in our twenties, that mortgage deduction made a big difference in being able to afford a home and stop paying rent. Now that we are older we don’t use it because we no longer HAVE a mortgage. My newlywed daughter will need that deduction when she becomes a homeowner. Penalizing middle class families because you think 100K is a lot of money and you want to punish “rich people?” Sorry, that’s just mean. This was supposed to be an article about billionaire corporations taking our tax monies — not about taking away the one deduction that many middle class families actually get to use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    Then vote for the GREEN PARTY!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not punishing, but when someone in the top 10% is complaining about losing something that the bottom 90% of us can’t use is not exactly in touch with the rest of us. 100K may not seem like a lot to you but when the ave is about 44K a year, 100K becomes a lot to the many of us that don’t make that much.
    47% of people don’t make beyond 25K a year. So yes 100K is a lot of money to most of us. Don’t make it sound like you are poor. You are far better off than most of the people in this country when you are in the top 10% of money earners.
    Skip Moreland

  • Anonymous

    ‘[The mortgage interest deduction] really doesn’t save me that much. I think I got back an extra $400 last year on my taxes from it. If $400 makes or breaks you, you’ve got bigger problems than giving up the mortgage interest rate deduction.’

    I did not need to make any assumptions, something I never do. Your original post above is very offhand about the sum of $400 & you indicate that if it ‘breaks you, you’ve got bigger problems… ‘. Just sounded hypercritical of people if $400 would ‘make or break’ them. Lots more Americans are in that category today, irrespective of background, education or other variables. No offense intended, Mike.

  • Suze Phillips

    “47% of people don’t make beyond 25K a year”
    Disqus, THAT is the situation that requires mending, not the mortgage deduction. Other first-world countries don’t have “working poor” — American wealth disparity resembles that of a banana republic. And I would point out to you that 25K is not necessarily the HOUSEHOLD income, either. Your bizarre argument, that suggests the poor should direct their ire at folks barely earning more than they are? sounds like the divide-and-conquer tactics of ALEC/GOTP.

  • Anonymous

    I am discussing reality, not anger. Of course something should be done to help those who don’t make much. However there is quite a bit of opposition to that from the right. And it is the household income for many, under 25K is the poverty level for an entire household. You should do the research.
    What I suggest is rather, that tax deductions that don’t help most of the people are not good tax deductions. Many tax deductions are for the better off or rich people. The better off don’t need tax deductions like the bottom 90% does. Why do people like you think that you deserve more than the rest of us?
    Skip Moreland.

  • Boston bred master of logic

    No, actually we the taxpayer are in effect paying their workers the rest of what their employers could and should pay them. The net effect is the employers kept the money we the taxpayer gave the workers in assistance. You might oppose a living wage on the assumption the price of everything would rise accordingly…yet out of the other side of your mouth likely come the words, those milking the nanny stare are being rewarded for doing so. Try this on–Id much rather pay more for my fast food and Walmart underwear and sock and actually reward the hard working employee for working hard. Get it yet?!

  • Avatar

    Tea Party clearly failed as third party ‘grass-roots’ because they are too radical and partisan than the Republicans. Want to have the true bi-partisan party with zero tolerance of racist? That is called Independents.

  • Avatar

    Worse, Ted Cruz and Tea Party desperately want to re-name Washington D.C. into Reaganville D.C. They should be questioned for where their loyalties lies with.

  • Kevin Cronin

    Kirk, Google, “did the US make money on the GM bail out”. You will find the US taxpayer came up with a 10.5 billion LOSS.

  • Suze Phillips

    You say you aren’t angry, yet you keep accusing me of thinking that I, personally, “deserve more than the rest of us.” If you were paying attention at all, you would recognizing that I am saying that the REST OF US deserve more, including my daughter and her husband, as they start out their life. You have your ideological blinders on, and you say ridiculous, biased, uninformed things. I WAS earning around $20,000 when I bought my first house, with FHA loan and a modest down payment.

    You believe only wealthy people itemize deductions? You’ve got that assbackward: Having a mortgage, for many couples, is the reason they use the long 1040 and take more than the standard deduction. They then take other deductions that they would have missed.

    When I was a realtor back in the 1990s, I specialized in helping lower middle class people find modest, affordable homes WITH affordable financing. Some realtors may have been selling McMansions to folks who couldn’t afford them, but not me. You imagine that only “the rich” buy homes, when in fact study after study has shown that the people who retire comfortably after a lifetime of working are those people who bought a small house and built up EQUITY. Look at the data. Look at the reality. The loans debacle of the past decade were a shame, true. But most of that was due to repackaging and speculating on mortgage futures, not because young marrieds with two incomes bought a modest $90K home in Des Moines, Skippy. Grow up. And stop painting me as some out-of-touch 5% when I am not. At one point in my life, I lived in a truck.

  • Suze Phillips

    How in the world would the home seller price have anything to do with whether or not people expected to use the mortgage interest deduction? Can you support that assertion? Because I used to be a realtor, and I actually saw the opposite: Builders and home-sellers often offered nice discounts on houses if they also expected income from selling or arranging the mortgage. It’s the same strategy when auto dealerships often great deals on cars because they anticipate making big money on the financing end. I do think that allowing mortgage deduction on EQUITY LOANS may have hurt people who used their properties as piggy banks, though. I am not saying the law can’t be improved.

  • Suze Phillips

    We are NOT the only country that has a mortgage deduction, not that it matters. Look it up.

  • Suze Phillips

    I know that this is what happened, but I’d like to point out that the “excessive increase in cost of homes” isn’t happening at present, and historically that bubble didn’t exist. It’s also a much more a phenomenon in certain markets.

  • old enuf!

    Once u take ur country back, please to return it to it’s rightful owners, the American Indians will be so thankful. Let’s put the blame where it belongs “trickle down economics “!!! A GOP mindset! How is that working out for YOU!

  • Anonymous

    What does that mean?

  • Anonymous

    My state will no longer allow registering as Indepent. Must be R or D. :(

  • Neil Forte

    Expose of the welfare queens,Take heed R Reagan!!

  • Anonymous

    Where did you get that info?

  • Anonymous

    There are a lot more than those. :(

  • Anonymous

    Many of these places charge customers tax then keep it. http://www.ilsr.org/retailers-legally-skimming-sales-taxes-paid-customers/

  • Anonymous

    You were the one that brought up the 100K earning and how you shouldn’t lose that deduction because 100K wasn’t that much money. And I didn’t say only the rich buy houses. I said that itemizing was most likely to be done by the well off, not by the middle class or lower. And numbers bear that out, it is only a small percentage of middle or lower class incomes that itemize their taxes.
    Which means that most homeowners would not be affected at all by the lost of the deduction. Now if the deduction didn’t have to be itemized, then I could see saving it. But the people who benefit the most right now are the well off and rich.
    Now if the government wants to change their policy to help the majority of home owners instead of just a few, I wouldn’t be against it. Though it wouldn’t help me anymore as my mortgage is paid off.
    But until all home owners can use it, instead of the few, it’s not a good deal. It would be far better to reduce property taxes for people than to keep the deduction. But in my area, 50% of the community can’t be taxed that way because they are exempt. In order to attract businesses, they get tax free deals. Which puts the tax burden onto the poor, which means the community can’t afford anything.
    The rich and well off get far too many perks that the rest of us don’t and can’t get. That needs to change. And when someone like you says that 100K is not very much and most of us have to live on far less, that does tell me that you are out of touch. It sounds like you forgot how it is to live on 20K a year with your complaining about how tough it is on 100K.
    It was your sob story that you kept pushing that got me.
    Skip Moreland

  • Suze Phillips

    Other than a real talent for misquoting and generally cherry-picking your way through a text, you’ve got nuthin. You’re intellectually dishonest (or merely dense) and clearly have a ginormous chip on your shoulder that’s keeping you from getting ahead in the world. Poor poor you. Maybe someday you’ll look back and realize that you deserved every bit of your own misfortune. Hope you gain some kind self-awareness before you damage not only your own life, but that of everyone around you.

  • GregoryC

    Kentucky permits registration as Independent, but unfortunately our primaries are closed to all but the two-party duopoly. I was a registered Democrat for decades until I couldn’t make excuses for their loyalty, subservience to Wall Street over the population. I changed my registration to Independent 7/11/11. What a date.

  • Anonymous

    You need to look at what you wrote and what you sound like.

  • kidsandliz

    And yet they can’t extend federal extended unemployment benefits which would cost significantly less than any of these tax breaks… sigh

  • Anonymous

    Look it up, its all true. Is there one specific thing I said that you question? If so I provide a link otherwise I’m not going through each one. I don’t have time.

  • GregoryC

    President Obama’s secretary paid more than Obama too. The president and first lady paid 18.4% effective tax rate on $608,611 gross income (2012). Statistics courtesy of The White House. The Obamas did give generously to charity, unlike the Bidens who gave $7,190 to charity on $385,072 gross income. Philanthropy.com states Americans give ~ 4.7% to charity.

  • Anonymous

    Congress creates the tax laws.

  • Alvin Miller

    Republicans insisted that unemployment be paid for, a good way would be to eliminate one of these corporate tax breaks. But of course, we can’t do that. That would be punishing the “job creators” to give to the “moochers”.

  • Alvin Miller

    3rd parties will never win. We have a winner take all elections, who ever gets the most votes wins. 3rd parties only play the spoiler. Want to change the parties? Then register as either a democrat or republican, and go to your local caucuses. Get involved. That is how the tea party took over the republican party, they showed up. If more people would do that, then the parties would change.

  • Alvin Miller

    So when asked to provide a source for your claim, you say look it up yourself. Not very convincing. If you make a claim, it’s on you to provide evidence for it. Not for others to do so.

  • Bruce Nolan

    I voted for Ralph Nader in FL as a protest vote in 2000, also convinced
    my girlfriend to. Baby Bush The Lesser (as my friend calls him) is
    handed the Presidency by the SCOTUS and Gore (who would have been far
    less destructive to the US/world in my mind) “loses” by 600 votes. That’s my “3rd party” experience and I still feel
    guilty. If 600 Nader voters vote for Gore, we’d have
    avoided the 8-yr disaster of Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld-Rice.

    -registered independent

    PS: What a sick world, where Romney’s greatest accomplishment (health care system in Mass) is something he has to run away from. What did dumping $1B/week into Iraq for a decade get us? Nothing.

  • kidsandliz

    It was REPUBLICANS under Bush who instituted federal extended benefits. They didn’t insist they be paid for back then, nor all the other times the REPUBLICANS were in charge and extended them.

    Seriously? moochers? The people receiving benefits have been laid off due to no fault of their own (you can’t get them if you quit, were let go with cause, were fired…) – they were working and paid into the system, but now that they are receiving benefit through no fault of their own they are moochers?

    I got my state’s max which was $196/week – just about any crap job is better than that. That is 73% of the poverty line for a family of one, 54% for a family of 3. If I am going to mooch off of someone I’d need to get far more than that to even begin to think that mooching was an attractive option LOL.

  • William Smith

    vote for no incumbents

  • Mike

    We need a new constitution with a Parliamentary system. That is the only way to break up the 2 parties as they exists permanently.

  • Alvin Miller

    I was being sarcastic. I was parodying the republicans. Sorry thought the quotation marks would of been a hint.

  • Terence

    No worries, Alvin. It wasn’t ambiguous in any way. Keep the faith!

  • Terence

    I know Bruce. It’s all pretty disheartening. We need to vanquish this ‘Winner-take-all’ system we are lumbered with, then we would not need to put so many resources into a possible 3rd party. At least we could then get elected.

  • Terence

    But you do have a pretty good Demo governor from what my relatives there tell me. Is that so?

  • Barbara Kavanagh Crowley

    Well I guess we know for sure who the real “takers” are. It’s just sick as the real takers are just veyr lucky people. They have no talents, no special intelligence. They were simply in the right place at the right time. Some at that being where and to whom they were born. Nothing special at all. In fact many of them are quite uninformed or just plan stupid.

  • Terence

    Hahahaha Thatcher tried that in Great Britain – with disastrous results, later to be completely abandoned. For example: they threatened my 74 year-old widowed mother with eviction if she did not comply – with money she so obviously did not have. Just do a search on ‘Thatcher and a flat tax’ First proposed by Thatcher’s economic guru milton Friedman. Think you’re being shafted now? You ain’t seen nothing…

  • Terence

    Don’t you really mean: you don’t have the time to fabricate these spurious claims? You come across just as devious and patronizing as those you criticize.

  • Jim Stoner

    PURE FASCISM!

  • Avatar

    If it’s okay with you I would ask you this, which state? I’m a Vermonter.

  • Anonymous

    Washington.

  • paulsimon

    Right. If you include sales and payroll taxes poor folk pay a bigger percentage of their income in tax.

  • paulsimon

    Great for those with high incomes, not so good for the rest of us.

  • paulsimon

    Maybe not, but should that money go to those with homes? Maybe it should go to those with no roof over their head.

  • paulsimon

    Not if you include the billions we didn’t have to pay in Unemployment and welfare. Those saved jobs also paid taxes. It was a good deal for everyone except GM bondholders.

  • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

    1 State and Local money paid to corporations: $80 billion
    2 Federal money paid to corporations: $100 billion
    3 Federal tax breaks: $200 billion
    4 Hedge Fund Manager tax breaks: $83 billion
    5 Fast Food welfare for below-poverty workers: $243 billion
    6 Mortgage deductions for homes > $100K : $54 billion
    7 Wall Street 2008 bailout: $230 billion
    8 Tax breaks tagged onto emergency legislation: $67 billion
    9 JP Morgan tax writeoff for penalties for crimes: $4 billion
    10 Wealthy-only tax breaks (jets, second homes): $8 billion

    Total: $1.07 Trillion

    Tell me again about Reagan’s welfare queens with their Cadillacs and junk food.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    Your state sucks. Would you mind informing us just what state that might be?

  • Tim Bales

    These so called Job Creators are the Moochers !

  • http://www.wirepoints.com/ Mark Glennon

    Much of this is tax policy intended to encourage or discourage various things, and calling it “welfare” for corporations or the rich is populist demagoguery.

  • Steve Saylor

    This whole system has to go. The perpetual-growth, consumption-and-waste economic models are no longer sustainable, Neither is the Central Banks’ Fractional Reserve Ponzi scheme.

  • Ted

    At the end of this story there are politicians getting greased (follow the money)

  • Thomas Amnesia

    It’s just the opposite. Do the wealthy really need an incentive to invest their disposable millions by taxing capital gains at rates lower than actual working incomes? Do the rich really need an incentive to buy mansions? Do corporations really need financial help to hire more employees? Calling tax loopholes, kick-backs, and payoffs for the rich “policies to encourage various behaviors” is simply elitist bullsh__ and an insult to the 99%.

  • Thomas Amnesia

    Agreed. And the first step is a national effort to make election day a holiday so working people have an equal opportunity to wander into the polling places when they want and spend a couple hours waiting to punch a card. And let registered voters vote without having to jump through residency requirements and state issued ID cards. If you are a citizen and registered to vote, you can vote. Simple, isn’t it? and that’s why Big Money doesn’t want it. In other words, we should be afforded the time and legal standing to cast our votes. Finally, let’s start counting all the votes even when it’s unnecessary. The margin of victory is sometimes just as important as identifying the winners.

  • Thomas Amnesia

    Easy, Bro. If 800 more Floridians voted for Gore that year, Bush would have won by 600 votes. Get it? Florida was chosen for a reason and it really didn’t matter who you voted for. What mattered was which votes were counted and that was a fluid decision to assure a certain outcome. It wasn’t your fault. Be proud of who you voted against. 85% of Americans now state they voted against Bush the Lesser so you have to believe that a whole lot of people wish they had voted like you.

  • http://www.wirepoints.com/ Mark Glennon

    I said “much of this” and that is correct. Credits for low income housing are there to help the poor with housing. Countless credits for renewables and energy savings are there for the environment. The home mortgage deduction is there to help homeowners (and is phased out for the rich), R&D credits are there to advance technology, charitable deductions are there for…well, some “elitist bullsh_. I am sure you would say.

  • Thomas Amnesia

    Don’t let that “R” od “D” define your existence. I registered as an “R” just to fu** with their primaries and vote for the biggest tool on the ballot and they occasionally win!!!! I register on neo-con web sites just to mess with them, too!! Aren’t we all really independents on election day with the ability to vote for anyone we want?

  • http://lindagalindo.com/ Linda Galindo

    Just watched the movie “Fed Up” at the Sundance Film Festival. A compelling case that is actionable against huge corporations that are controlling and strangling the food supply to ensure that diabetes and childhood obesity continue to increase. See it if you can and decide for yourself. Best outcome is that individuals can take action and be personally accountable immediately.

  • mcalip

    I agree politicians are getting “greased”. However, the “real winners” in this are the wealthy elite. They are the financial backers of BOTH political parties, so it really doesn’t matter who wins, albeit a Republican or Democrat, the elite know they can manipulate them. It’s been this way at least since Grover Cleveland!

    Read books on the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Morgans, Warburgs, Vanderbuilts, Mellons, Astors, Rothchild, Bush, etc. They don’t just operate in this country, they own almost evey single government world wide! They operate “behind” the veil. They own every major media outlet, every pharmaceutical company (since 1948), every large chemical plant, etc. They are the ones who brought Hitler to power in Germany before WWII.

    The two major political parties in this country is just for the benefit of the people. To create the illusion that we have a choice. There needs to be a better way!

  • Thomas Amnesia

    Exactly – credits for low income housing because fast food workers (avg age = 39) can’t afford the rent. Home mortgage interest – I don’t know, do billionaires mortgage their homes? Really?? WHAT??? You’re playing the charitable contribution card, Mark? Where was that on the above list? Again I say, “elitist bullsh–!!!”

  • Anonymous

    Straight-party voting is common. :(

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how different politics would be if voting for President and Vice-President were separate like it used to be. I cannot find why that was changed.

  • William Smith

    no ssi tax after 100,000 no taxes paid on billions earned by large corporations lower taxes for JOB CREATORS are you kidding me most companies spend more effort on job eliminatiuon and wage suppression than they ever do on job creation and the jobs created are low paying

  • William Smith

    the wealthy of the world do everything in their power to make sure the less fortunate continue to be the most discriminated against part of society they don’t care about race or creed only that if you are not wealthy you considered lazy or stupid if you work hard you do a low value job how can multi-billion dollar corps have any job that is low value

  • Sasha Patino

    Social policy should be enacted through social programs. Tax policy should be based solely on raising revenue. But both parties want to add this incentive or that tax break, and none bother to even look at the existing code when they add to it, thus creating the whole tax lawyer and tax accounting industries.

    Sometimes the simplest solution can be best – 20% straight across the top. You earned $20,000 pay $4,000. Your company earned $200,000,000, pay $40,000,000. No deductions. No schedules. No AMT. Not based on profits after expenses – based on revenue earned.

    Will it ever happen? Not this generation. Not this country, but hopefully somewhere.

  • jakeandlizzie

    Our problem is that we have elected leaders in Washington who use the tax code to manipulate behavior and give favors to groups of people. Everyone should be requires to support the government. The tax code should be simple and if income is going to be taxed the their should be one rate, no deductions for anyone. Any income from welfare, social security to billionaires should pay the same percentage. If that happened chances are people would be letting government know they want a change in their spending. This won’t happen because the people we put into power by our voting or failure to vote have found the power tool to control by the massive tax code.