13 December 2015

Corporate Welfare

Saw this cute little picture on Facebook.  Posted by someone called "The Christian Left".  They posted the following warning in the comments.

"If you have come to this fb page to verbally attack and abuse poor people who rely on government assistance, your comments will be deleted and you will be banned. First and only warning. We do not tolerate verbal abuse of the least of these on The Christian Left. Go find yourself a conservative hate group to join, you are not welcome here."

Pointing out that social programs are all cost is apparently such an attack, so I am putting my comment here.

I said, "Tax revenue from the poor, $0. Tax revenue from subsidized businesses, $609,700,000,000, Return on investment for subsidizing businesses, 663%. This isn't even hard math." in reply to their graphic.

Never mind that $59 billion isn't near the total on how much is spent on social programs.  The problem is, define social welfare program...  In a broad sense $2.38 trillion got spend on social welfare in 2015.  Social Security, Unemployment, Labor, Medicare and Health are all social welfare programs and they're 60.2% of expenditures.  The matter is muddied because social security and medicare are also taxes, taking in $1.065 trillion.  So welfare is spending $1.315 trillion that comes out of other taxes.  That's a lot more than $59 billion, ain't it?

Considering that $609.7 billion is barely 10% of total revenue, someone should be upset, because the corporate tax rate is a lot higher.  I calculated that from sites giving me the percentages of GDP then percentages of revenue.  It's wrong.

Corporate tax income for fy 2015 was $344 billion, still a 374% return on the subsidy!

But it should not be consumers who are upset they're skating on their taxes!  Taxes are an expense, just like paying the rent and utilities and buying raw materials.  The costs of those expenses are rolled into the price of the final product and passed on to the consumer.  Every penny of that $344 billion is paid by a consumer in the form of higher prices on goods and services.

Consumers like those people being subsidized by social welfare programs!

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