“Corporate Welfare” is a term that had gained notoriety during the Great Recession of 4Q07 to 1Q09. Most of the individual components of it have already been covered in previous Blog Posts: bailing-out the Banks, Insurance and other Financial Services Companies; the Automotive Industry and Ancillary Business; as well as a number of other Large Corporations, such as General Electric. In addition, Congress has never re-enacted the Extraction Tax for Oil Companies, which was eliminated when Oil sold for $14.00 per barrel on World Markets. Then there are the subsidies to Big Sugar and Corporate Agriculture Companies. Plus, “gifts” to the Defense Industry by developing multi-billion dollar “Toys of War”, which the Pentagon doesn’t want or need.
On the other hand, while the Republican Party plays along with Big Business and the Wealthy, the Poor are being short-changed across-the-board. Although the Minimum Wage differs somewhat from state to state, it is generally around $7.25 per hour. If it had been indexed for inflation when it was first signed into Law, it would currently be around $22.00. States that have raised the Minimum Wage considerably higher seem to have flourishing local economies. So, the nay-sayers are poorly informed.
If you cannot support yourself and your Family on, let’s say, $22,650 annually (two jobs at $7.25 per hour, 30 hours each job per week, 52 weeks per year), you can look to America’s Social Safety Net. Well if you do look, that Cupboard is getting quite Bare, thanks to Speaker John Boehner and Company–at both the National and State Level. The GOP has been fighting to: cut Food Stamps for Poor Families substantially; block access to Welfare; allow Extended Unemployment Benefits to expire; reduce School Free Lunches; restrict Medicaid and refuse Extended Medicaid Benefits; and that, among many other programs that the GOP is fighting, they are refusing to raise the National Minimum Wage to even $10.10. That would amount to $31, 512 annually, using the formula noted above. Could you live on that, generally without benefits.
So, as the Conservatives in Congress appear to act, Budget Deficits don’t seem to count when there is a Republican President. Off-setting spending cuts don’t count when it comes to rewarding Big Business; but, for what? When it come to the Poor, Retirees, the Disabled; People who are unemployed for no reason of their own, that’s when the GOP wants to Balance the Budget. But, on the backs of whom? Let’s face it: the Poor do not have Lobbyists.