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Thread: What American Taxpayers Should Really Be Outraged About

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    Senior Member Tom Joad's Avatar
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    What American Taxpayers Should Really Be Outraged About

    Who are the real hogs at the Public trough?

    It isn't poor people.

    What American Taxpayers Should Really Be Outraged About

    According to the White House's 2012 Tax Receipt, an American who made $50,000 in 2012 only paid $22.88 in taxes towards unemployment insurance.

    Similarly, an American who took home $50,000 in 2012 paid just $36.82 for federal food stamps benefits and just under $7 for additional welfare and government assistance programs.

    So what should American taxpayers really be outraged about?

    According to the White House's 2012 Tax Receipt, an American who made $50,000 in 2012 paid nearly $248 in taxes for America's military and defense programs.

    And overall in 2012, the United States spent a whopping $689 billion on defense and military-related programs.

    Just think how strong and well-funded the unemployment insurance program could be if we cut just a fraction of that defense spending and put it towards America's social safety net.

    But the amount of money Americans hand over to the defense industry each year pales in comparison to what they hand over in the form of corporate subsidies.

    In 2012, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 per year paid a staggering $6,000 in taxes for corporate subsidies, over 174 times what they paid for unemployment insurance.

    Of that $6,000, $870 goes to direct subsidies for corporations, including the likes of Exxon, Shell, BP and other Big Oil corporations that are polluting our planet and driving climate change.

    Hundreds more go to corporations as indirect subsidies.

    In fact, Researchers at the University of Illinois and University of California-Berkeley found that American taxpayers pay a staggering $243 billion each year in indirect subsidies to the fast food industry.

    That's because the fast food industry pays such low wages that We The People are forced to make up the $243 billion difference to pay for the healthcare and other public benefits of fast food workers.

    Americans are also paying millions in indirect corporate subsidies to Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer.

    America's largest retailer makes nearly $35,000 in profit every minute, and as of 2012, the corporation's annual sales were around $405 billion.

    But those huge profits don't trickle down to Wal-Mart employees, who on average take home just $9 per hour.

    Those low wages, combined with very poor benefits, force many Wal-Mart employees to reach out to the government for assistance with healthcare, food and housing costs.

    As result, a report released earlier this year by congressional Democrats found that Wal-Mart's low wages and poor benefits cost American taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per store.

    Despite what Republicans might try to tell you, the overwhelming majority of taxpayer funds are not going to social safety net programs like unemployment insurance or food stamps.

    Instead they're going to prop up multi-billion dollar corporations and an out-of-control military industrial complex that's ballooning in size and power.

    This is a simple matter of priorities.

  2. #2
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    This is the crux of the argument. Don't worry about small expenses because there are bigger ones. I'm concerned about ALL expenses, big and small, proportionally.
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    Just think how strong and well-funded the unemployment insurance program could be if we cut just a fraction of that defense spending and put it towards America's social safety net.
    Erroneous in multiple ways. For one, cutting spending, say, on discretionary military, doesn't result in suddenly having loads of cash lying around to divert elsewhere (we have hundreds of billions in annual deficits already). For another, there are legitimate reasons why hundreds of billions are not going into unemployment benefits don't just revolve around not having enough money (because really, the government can spend any amount it wants).

    In fact, Researchers at the University of Illinois and University of California-Berkeley found that American taxpayers pay a staggering $243 billion each year in indirect subsidies to the fast food industry.

    That's because the fast food industry pays such low wages that We The People are forced to make up the $243 billion difference to pay for the healthcare and other public benefits of fast food workers.
    There have been dozens of threads repeating this incessantly around here in the last few months. For one thing, social welfare is social welfare. It's not a subsidy doled out to a corporation. Adults choosing to work in fast food are making a personal choice. Conservatives want to reduce these "indirect subsidies" but liberals defend them. Liberals fight to the death to defend social welfare and then bitch about the fact that some corporations indirectly benefit. Beyond stupid.

    For another thing, the fast food industry is built on a cost-cutting business model. Forcing them to pay median salaries to be cashiers or french fry scoopers would essentially abolish their business model. And finally, who gives a shit about the fast food industry anyway? Let's focus on more representative aspects of the private sector than just one cheap piece of shit industry. I'm tired people's prattling on and on about something as stupid as fast food to try to push their wage inflation agenda.

    America's largest retailer makes nearly $35,000 in profit every minute, and as of 2012, the corporation's annual sales were around $405 billion.
    Oh looky, another cliché. $35,000 a minute in profit divided by all its employees is an extra $1,985 per year. Or $165 a month. Not exactly enough to raise its workers from wherever they are to some nice white picket fence middle class life. So, BFD. And remember, that's just for illustrative purposes. No one would invest in Walmart if profits were all distributed to workers at the end of the fiscal year. Ask a Walmart exec what would happen to its business if no one invested in Walmart anymore. The answer you'd get is that the company would close, and Amazon would replace it (it already is).

    The word "force" is also used erroneously multiple times in that link. I'm sick of this left wing propaganda.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 12th February 2014 at 11:58 AM.
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    Veteran Member Telecaster's Avatar
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    Sad but true. Now...is it bad? Is it the worst option we should expect to find?...

    Think by Numbers » Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
    Farm Subsidies

    However, the largest fraction of corporate welfare spending, about 40%, went through the Department of Agriculture, most of it in the form of farm subsidies. (Edwards, Corporate Welfare, 2003) Well, that sounds OK. Someone’s got to help struggling family farms stay afloat, right? But in reality, farm subsidies actually tilt the cotton field in favor of the largest industrial farming operations. When it comes to deciding how to dole out the money, the agricultural subsidy system utilizes a process that is essentially the opposite of that used in the social welfare system’s welfare system. In the corporate welfare system, the more money and assets you have, the more government assistance you get. Conversely, social welfare programs are set up so that the more money and assets you have, the less government assistance you get. The result is that the absolute largest 7% of corporate farming operations receive 45% of all subsidies. (Edwards, Downsizing the Federal Government, 2004) So instead of protecting family farms, these subsidies actually enhance the ability of large industrial operations to shut them out of the market.
    So where does agribusiness get its product from, anyway? Could it be some are those family farms? Then what happens when agribusiness has to tighten its belt?

    Wal-Mart. Always high subsidies. Always.

    The same is true in all other industries, too. The government gives tons of favors to the largest corporations, increasing the significant advantage they already have over smaller competing businesses. If, in the court of public opinion, Wal-Mart has been tried and convicted for the murder of main street, mom-and-pop America, then the government could easily be found guilty as a willing accomplice. Wal-Mart receives hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidization by local governments throughout the country. These subsidies take the form of bribes by local politicians trying to convince Wal-Mart to come to their town with the dream of significant job creation. Of course, from that follows a larger tax base. For example, a distribution center in Macclenny, Florida received $9 million in government subsidies in the form of free land, government-funded recruitment and training of employees, targeted tax breaks, and housing subsidies for employees allowing them to be paid significantly lower wages. A study by Good Jobs First found that 244 Wal-Marts around the country had received over $1 billion in government favors.
    With less incentives, aka $$$, how many stores will Walmart open on its own?

    On the surface, I agree, corporate subsidies suck. But what happens without them? Personally, I'd like to see them all go away so we can all judge together with firm facts in hand.
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    Join, or Die nonsqtr's Avatar
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    That 700 billion dollar defense budget is supposed to buy us peace.

    Clearly, it's not working.

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    stop blaming the tax payer for how the government spends the money.

    shakes head................. what a BS article.

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    Veteran Member Kontrary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtm1963 View Post
    stop blaming the tax payer for how the government spends the money.

    shakes head................. what a BS article.
    Well the taxpayers the ones in control..but only if they decide to use that power and change what they want changed. Its not easy, it may include a high risk to your life even....it would be a sacrifice for the taxpayers to mobilize and create change (and not all taxpayers agree on what those changes should be, a secondary problem). So either the taxpayers are willing to take up the fight or they arent...so far, not so much. Its the same in most places....Egypt, they are taking up the fight. That revolution is still in full swing and far from landed. It will be interesting to see where it lands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrary View Post
    Well the taxpayers the ones in control..but only if they decide to use that power and change what they want changed. Its not easy, it may include a high risk to your life even....it would be a sacrifice for the taxpayers to mobilize and create change (and not all taxpayers agree on what those changes should be, a secondary problem). So either the taxpayers are willing to take up the fight or they arent...so far, not so much. Its the same in most places....Egypt, they are taking up the fight. That revolution is still in full swing and far from landed. It will be interesting to see where it lands.
    the top 10% of tax payers pay for most of what you get from the federal government.

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    Veteran Member Kontrary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtm1963 View Post
    the top 10% of tax payers pay for most of what you get from the federal government.
    I think that is nothing more than hyperbole. This is just another appeal to say that a very small percentage are the ones doing all the work and deserve better treatment than everyone else...as if they are the ones who suffer for us all.

    It also skirts the basic issue, the people of the country have the ability to change things but its a matter of what level of sacrifice people are willing to make. We always get the govt we settle for, we always get the level of corruption we are willing to accept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrary View Post
    I think that is nothing more than hyperbole. This is just another appeal to say that a very small percentage are the ones doing all the work and deserve better treatment than everyone else...as if they are the ones who suffer for us all.

    It also skirts the basic issue, the people of the country have the ability to change things but its a matter of what level of sacrifice people are willing to make. We always get the govt we settle for, we always get the level of corruption we are willing to accept.

    its a known fact to those of us who pay attention that the government spends most of the tax dollars, not on the quote "poor" but on the so-called middle class, upper class tax payers.

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