Government handouts

Have you  ever been broke? I don’t mean that you have investment cooking somewhere that you don’t want to get into or you couldn’t afford going out to dinner seven days a week.

“Or I can’t go to Swader’s with you all because I’m broke.”

I mean truly broke, you could sell your 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier with 300,000 miles or with August approaching – maybe you could get three of those backpacks full of school supplies. Since you lost your job, everything has been going downhill.

You were a manager at KY Trucking for years but you were one of first ones to get laid off. Your expertise lies in truck routing, but there just aren’t any jobs out there that don’t require a college education. When you got your job, you had just finished high school and when the trucking job came along, your life was really coming together and you moved right up the ladder. But with you bum left leg you can’t ever get your CDL.

Unemployment ran out pretty quick because that fast-food job negated that burger flipping job. Your electric bill is two months behind and your about to get evicted from your lot where you have had your mobile home for years.

It’s been a long time since you’ve been broke, but now you remember exactly what it felt like. You can picture all the ugly details of the way it felt to struggle with the empty bank account, the awkward moments, the feelings of despair.

Your brother is just making it and your mom and dad are on social security and that conversation with your sister still plays clearly over and over in your mind.
“I really don’t manage the money, you’ll have to talk to Bob,” she said.

“But we’re in dire straits and I’m might not make it.”

“I’m sorry, you’ll be alright until Bob comes back into town next week, well more like ten days.”

“Can I call him out where he is now?” Knowing he would help you out being an understanding kind of guy.

“I’ll tell him to call you when he gets back,” she said.

“I don’t think I’ll make it until then, I’ll lose everything,” I told her.

“Oh, I know you and your exaggerations, he’ll call you when he gets back.” She hung up rather abruptly.

So he and his family sucked it up and moved back in with his parents.

He had heard from his friends how all people cheat the system, but then realized that he wouldn’t be gaming the system, only getting a little help until he could get back on his feet. While he was waiting to talk to a case manager at “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)” he read an article in Forbes Magazine concerning statistics about those receiving government aid.

According to  Dean Baker, Truthout, “In 2012, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 per year paid just $36 towards the food stamps program.

“That’s just ten cents a day!”

“But Republicans think that’s still too high a price to pay to help the neediest and most vulnerable Americans.

“And when it comes to funding the rest of America’s social safety net programs, the average American taxpayer making $50,000 a year pays just over six dollars a year.

“Simply put, the American taxpayer isn’t paying much for social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicare.

“But we are putting out a lot for corporate welfare.

“The average American family pays a staggering $6,000 a year in subsidies to Republican-friendly big business.

“So where does some of that $6,000 that you and I are paying every year actually go?

“For starters, $870 of it goes to direct subsidies and grants for corporations.

“This includes money for subsidies to Big Oil companies that are polluting our skies and fueling climate change and global warming. Compare that to the $36 you and I pay for food stamps a year.

“An additional $870 goes to corporate tax subsidies.

“The Tax Foundation has found that the “special tax provisions” of corporations cost taxpayers over $100 billion per year, or roughly $870 per family.

“But in reality, that number is much higher.

“Citizens for Tax Justice found that the U.S. Treasury lost $181 billion in corporate tax subsidies, which means the average American family could be out as much as $1,600 per year.

“Finally, of the $6,000 in corporate subsidies that the average American family pays each year, $1,231 of it goes to making up for revenue losses from corporate tax havens.

“This money goes to recouping losses from giant transnational corporations like Apple and GE that hide their money overseas to boost profits and avoid paying taxes to help the American economy.

“The bottom-line here is that American families are paying $6,000 or more per year to subsidize giant transnational corporations that are already making billions and billions of dollars in profit each year. In the past decade alone, corporations have doubled their profits.

“Republicans on Capitol Hill keep suggesting that we can’t afford to help the poor in this country, and they’re wrong.

“What we really can’t afford is doling out $100 billion each year to corporations that don’t need it.”


Mark, I really enjoyed this

I really enjoyed this editorial. I like the comparison you draw between regular folks and corporations and clearly illustrating the subsidies that taxpayers are already paying out to each. Thanks. Keep it up.

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