Thursday, February 10, 2005

Corporate Welfare: How come Lockheed gets food stamps and we don't?

How come General Electric gets a place in The Projects and we have to sleep on the streets? How come Monsanto gets government handouts? Where's MY government cheese?

Walmart gets Medicaid. Lockheed-Martin gets food stamps. Everyone knows that Halliburton is on the dole. And what's up with those welfare queens on Wall Street? How come we have to work and pay taxes and they don't? My income is called "income" and I pay through the nose but their income is called "capital gains" and doesn't count. How come they get a free ride?

The pharmaceutical industry gets Medicaid too. According to NewsTarget, "79 drug companies are now being accused of defrauding state Medicaid programs by artificially inflating the prices of drugs." But are WE eligible for Medicaid? Taxpayers need not apply.

It is against HUD regulations to allow people with drug abuse records and bad credit to receive housing subsidies but HUD makes an exception for George Bush. With his seven trillion dollar deficit and history of drug use, why does HE get to live in subsidized housing? If I were to go that far into debt, would the government start to pay me too?

Bush's new tax law has been nicknamed "welfare for the rich" for a very good reason. According to Paul Krugman of the New York Times, "More than half of the benefits from this backdoor tax cut would go to people with incomes of more than a million dollars...." Wow!

And guess who else is on the corporate welfare roles? ES&S and Diebold. 80% of America's votes are counted on jankity voting machines that NOBODY would buy if they weren't government-subsidized. Even slot machines are a lot more reliable than these. When California's Secretary of State Kevin Shelley blew the whistle on Diebold in 2004, it was he, not the head of Diebold, who lost his job -- just another fabulous demonstration of Welfare Economics.

How come all those "public utilities" that make billions in profits each year are being guaranteed AFDC? (For the uninitiated, AFDC stands for Aid to Families with Dependent CEOs -- and Enron executives.) California rate-payers now have to pay $1,300 EACH to make up for Pacific Gas & Electric's bankruptcy -- and having our new governor meet secretly with Enron executives before his election has only made us Californians wonder if Arnie too is on the dole.

And Congress is on welfare too. According to Carol Wolman, "Last week, eighteen Senate Democrats crossed the aisle to vote for limitations on class action suits, a measure that protects corporations from consumers seeking redress from harm caused them by corporate products, such as cigarettes or defective tires." It's a very safe bet that, on Capitol Hill, those monthly checks arrive in the mail.

Who else is sponging off our tax dollars? Time-Warner, Disney, Clear Channel, Viacom -- those are OUR airwaves that the FCC, like good social workers, are handing out for free.

Every day you and I try to grind out our 9-to-5 living while American corporations use our tax money to sit around on their fat butts eating bonbons and watching the soaps.

Without corporate welfare to shore them up, corporate giants would fail because they are inefficient, ineffective and shoddy. Capitalism is when you build a better mousetrap and people come to buy it. Corporate welfare is when we taxpayers pay a billion dollars for ONE mousetrap. If checks from us didn't arrive in corporate mailboxes at the first of each month, we would immediately see what a joke American "capitalism" is. Without corporate welfare, those Queens would all be standing down at the corner waiting for us to drive by and offer them jobs. "Lord, I just broke a nail and soiled my Armani!"

Let me repeat. "America is NOT a capitalistic society. America is a corporate welfare state."

Under the law in America, corporations are considered as "persons," persons with individual rights -- like the right to go on the dole.

The very next law that America needs to pass is this: A "person" is a person. And a corporation is NOT.

After that, let's do away with corporate subsidies. While Bush et al. are happily taking away "subsidies" like education, baseball fields, home heating, clean water and Social Security from us little people -- from farmers, families, small businesses, seniors, veterans and what my aunt used to call "the salt of the earth" -- and making us sink or swim alone, IT IS ONLY FAIR that fat subsidies to corporate giants -- including tax breaks, offshore manipulations and war profiteering -- be jerked out from under the corporate red carpet too. Let's see how well these corporate welfare queens do when they too have to swim with the sharks.

Let's stop handing over our paychecks to welfare cheats.