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Many argue for and against corporate welfare. I support it…mainly because it’s already happening and too many corporations are receiving state and federal assistance through vast subsidies and tax breaks, even though these companies are very profitable. Much of this welfare is also unregulated and comes with little to no strings attached. So if it’s going to happen anyway…it needs to be responsibly regulated.

Currently, there are too many profitable large corporations and businesses that receive welfare assistance through tax breaks, subsidies, and bailouts. Yet none of the CEOs or other members of these corporations’ upper management have ever been held accountable for the irresponsible decisions that inspired the massive corporate welfare payoffs in the first place.

While mismanagement accountability is a topic for another time, what follows is an option to regulate corporate welfare.

So let’s model corporate welfare after another program that works: TANF. TANF stands for Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

According to The American Enterprise Institute, as recently as September 2015, TANF has been a resounding success over the last 2 decades. It “helped raise the labor force participation of never-married mothers from 59.5 percent in 1995 to 73.8 percent in 2001 and reduce their poverty rate from 51 percent to 38.5 percent” and “has been a rare bright spot in US anti-poverty policy.”

So for sake of conversation, let’s model our Corporate Welfare Act, in very general terms, after TANF.

So for sake of conversation, let's model our Corporate Welfare Act, in very general terms, after TANF.
TANF allows a maximum of five years of financial assistance. Large corporations and businesses should be limited to the same. Thus, if a corporation doing business in the United States is receiving a welfare tax break or subsidy, it would be subjected to the same five year limitation, with no option for extension.

We live in a capitalist economy; if a corporation cannot survive after five years of subsidy, another should rise to take its place.

Further, any corporation that receives a welfare subsidy or tax break should be required to be 100% transparent and open their books and other records to government oversight. TANF requires this already…families are required to provide banking and financial information before receiving any government assistance and while receiving welfare assistance, families are required to provide updated financial information on demand. Corporations should be required to do the same.

Additionally, any corporation or large business receiving welfare should be barred from receiving any subsidy or tax break if their global profits are beyond a certain point. TANF already requires this. TANF bars assistance to families who earn over a certain sum of income…the same should be required of corporations. If the corporation is profitable like Boeing or Microsoft, it doesn’t need any welfare tax breaks or subsidies. This would include loans and gifts.

Any corporation receiving welfare tax breaks or subsidies would be required to employ at least 51% of their global workforce from United States citizens residing in any of the 50 states. These workers would be required to be permanent employees, not contractors or temporary workers.

Corporations receiving welfare assistance would be required to limit CEO and upper level management compensation to ten times the amount of their lowest paid workers — this would include the value of any stock options and deferred compensation.

State and federal legislatures would be barred from enacting laws that allow tax breaks and other subsidies without full payback and accountability written in.

Finally, when the law is enacted, all current subsidies and tax breaks immediately cease, requiring corporations to pay their fair share.

Isn’t it time we take steps to stop allowing profitable big businesses and multinational corporations, who get preferred status through corporate welfare tax breaks and subsidies, to offshore American jobs? They need to be regulated responsibly — this is one way to do it.

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

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110 comments
Dave Morreale
Dave Morreale

Example of capitalism out of control! The robber banisters a have returned like before the Great Depression. The deregulation of banks and wall street, rich individuals billionaires and the Increased pay and stock options to CEO subsidies of the corporations they control. Also, foreign aid, inside trading of the congress individuals. I wonder how this legal criminal action are allowed. While the American public took there eye off the ball shady underhanded deals were done. A fabricated war, deregulation of the rules to protect the middle class and the environment. The focus is on almost everything else. Drug war, war on the poor. Teachers, police, firefighters pentions. Now the objective is to demonize Medicare and Social Security. Privatize public schools and absorb the the taxes that support the education system. Into the coffers of corporate reach. My opinion is the change to a global economy has left most of the infrastructure for the middle class in shambles. Not only roads and bridges but, the guarantees to working people and the people struggling to make ends meet. A restructured tax system is needed; I don't know if a flat tax is the answer. How is a corrupt congress going to work for the good of the people?

Ron Clark
Ron Clark

Spot on Francis Moeller! Taxation in the U.S. is a shell game, which mostly keeps "we the people" confused and broke.

Mike Mittleberger
Mike Mittleberger

Phyllis I was raised in the street. I personally know girls who are 2nd nd 3rd generation welfare babies having babies. If your on welfare nd foodies you should not be having more children. Atleast 40 maybe even 50 women with 3-5 kids. They beat the age by having more kids. Believe me or not I dont care. But thats a fact. You want to doubt me thats your business. Hell I have nieces who do the same. So please dont tell me im wrong. Here's an incentive, dont allow families on welfare to have more kids until they can afford to pay for them. Otherwise they just keep having them. So your mistaken if you think im wrong I speak from knowledge & from working with those kinds of families.. G'Day! .

Herschel Huff
Herschel Huff

Yep, The tax paying folks are the ones who work for a living, so why should they pay for a business refuge through government to support a business that can't make it on its own. That is total BS. OH Yeah Baby.

Phyllis Lloyd
Phyllis Lloyd

In some cases people are completely taken off food stamps and cash assistance if they fail to cooperate with work programs. So you are wrong about your last statement about no incentives to work toward getting off programs. They are required to seek employment and training. Only the elderly, disabled, or those with one parent and children under the age of 6 are exempt from work requirements.

Josh Leonard
Josh Leonard

What the USA suffers from is Socialism: Socialization of Corporate Costs (I see you Walmart, McDonalds etc) and Privatization of Corporate Profits. Corporate Welfare in the country is double the size of all our social welfare programs (SNAP, AFDC, etc) put together. This does not even include the rampant off-shoring of profits and taxes, the corporate inversions and other tax dodges that only the .1% can take advantage of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_welfare

Josh Leonard
Josh Leonard

Yea Teresa that was awesome. It's the sort of thing he has done his whole career like asking Bernanke who exactly the economy is working for and why mainstreet still cant get loans when all the money if FREE. Yeah its ok to give corporations and banks all the tax breaks and offshore accounts. So the lobbyists can buy lawmakers. But GOD FORBID any candidate wants to help the middle class. Trickle down hasn't worked. http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-the-economy-and-jobs/bernie-sanders-on-job-creation/

Robert Poole
Robert Poole

Just stop the welfare checks and those that float and survive will make it into the corporate world..or move back in with mommy who told them how special they are...

Ashlee Willis
Ashlee Willis

So, my personal feelings tend to be rooted in the belief that corporate welfare isn't good for our society, especially because larger companies tend to always be the beneficiary of it. However, I know that if in 2008 there wouldn't have been a capital infusion bill for the banking system, the recession would have been deeper and longer, and I don't know what our country would look like today. So, I see it as a necessary evil, but one that should be used more sparingly than it is. We don't have a purely capitalist economy, which is good because if we did, we would truly let the losers lose and that could be terrible for not only our country, but individual jobs. I know employees of GM probably agree.

Donnis Thran
Donnis Thran

More money goes out to these guys than people that need help, I am so tired of that.

Doug Howell
Doug Howell

Ha. Now thats funny. Not a bad idea. But funny nonetheless considering the government would be the 'enforcer'.

Lorraine Guay
Lorraine Guay

Donald Trump admitted last night to taking these advantages in the laws when he was questioned regarding his bankruptcies.

Herb Oetken
Herb Oetken

Our current public welfare costs pale in comparison to corporate welfare costs.

Tom Hartz
Tom Hartz

Yes. But I also believe there are too many able-bodied men and women receiving social welfare benefits as well as too many illegal immigrants receiving welfare benefits. All being paid for by the hard working tax paying citizen. And lets not forget about all the career politicians and their benefits!

Rosemary Southwick
Rosemary Southwick

Well.......I think Trump told you this back in May! You see Washington is the corporate screw ups that make regulations to please their wallets!

Teresa Ash Willis
Teresa Ash Willis

Did you see the post where he cled out 18 CEOS that didn't pay their taxes?

Robert Nordby
Robert Nordby

While I would agree that corporate welfare should cease, as should crony capitalism, at the same time though so should government sponsored social welfare. Entitlement programs are essentially the death knell for the notion of individual liberty in this nation.

Phil Fedor
Phil Fedor

I have no problem with temporary tax breaks for businesses, as that is a way to encourage startups and relocation to a particular area. But they must be temporary, the the taxes should increase as the business's revenue increases. But subsidies & bailouts should never happen, no matter how big the company is.

Connie Botero
Connie Botero

Hell no. Corps should not get any govt welfare.

Bob Judware
Bob Judware

Make them succeed or fail on their own !

Doug Luthanen
Doug Luthanen

Taking less than you did before from someone who earned it is hardly "welfare." Save that term for the practice of giving someone something that someone else earned.

Francis Moeller
Francis Moeller

This is giving me a headache, I want you to realize how much hidden tax is in everything you by. From the start when the stuff comes out of the ground and makes its way through the manufacturing process all the hidden taxes are astronomical. If you pay $3.50 for a pound of ham burger, I'll bet that $2.00 is hidden tax. JUST THINK ABOUT IT...

Dominick Dicamillo
Dominick Dicamillo

The best way to get corporation's to stay and keep good paying job's in America is to close the loopholes for the corporation's who left. Making a better playing field for the ones who stayed and kept employing Americans. But to keep giving corporate welfare to the rat corporation's that jump ship for cheaper labor is insane. If a corporation has less than 55% of its work force (not upper management) then no tax breaks. Go to the cheap labor country and get it from them. If they decide they don't like it get out. It's a capitalist society not capitalize society.

James Schiffman
James Schiffman

Oh, and if a company or corportation or bank or other entity fails, their competitors pick up the slack, or they find other products/services to make their profits. The ONLY regulations that should stay valid are those dealing with safety, fraud and monopolies... You don't put your employees or consumers at risk, you don't steal from them, and you don't intentionally cripple your competition. This should also help with company pensions. The government is not supposed to be the teat that every retiree suckles from.

James Schiffman
James Schiffman

Yes, I understand your concerns. I don't have all the answers, as I am not an economist or a corporation board member, or even an investor of any major corporations. There are a few things that will help the corporation, jobs, the consumer and the government. The biggest of these is a flat tax. Flat tax for consumers puts more expendable income in their wallets, and closed loopholes where individuals are able to evade paying taxes at all. Flat tax for corporations puts money back in their coffers to use for paying employees a living wage, pay dividends to the investors, and money to reinvest in company or corporate expansion via research and developement, or adjusting to market fluctuations. Flat tax to the government means they have a handle on who is paying taxes (which should be every working individual) eliminates the need (eventually) for tax enforcement, does away with tons (and I mean literally tons) of antiquated regulations. No loopholes means they are collecting taxes from every individual, company and corporation. The better the people do, the more the government collects in taxes. The better a company does, the more the government collects in taxes. The more a corporation, well you can see a trend here. My two cents...

Carole Morain
Carole Morain

Yes. If you need a tax break to be in business those doing the work that keeps you in business should not be paying it.

Tania Malven
Tania Malven

Except renewables still need some help for now!!!!!

Tonda Young
Tonda Young

Yes they do time to pay up or move the rest of your business to another country!

Kevin Dowey
Kevin Dowey

Stop crying about the corporations and deal with the damn politicians. They make it happen.

Debbie Myers
Debbie Myers

So true - too many coporate handouts, but we have a welfare problem when it comes to illegal aliens, refugees, and fraudulant people. We also have a huge welfare problem called "foreign aid" - we need to get out of ALL of the welfare business.

James Morton
James Morton

End all subsidies and tax breaks and switch to a flat tax system where everybody pays the same. Let the dust settle and adjust as needed.

Stephen DeHart
Stephen DeHart

There should be, "No Tax Breaks" for anyone! And, I do mean any one. Not, married. Not, churches. Not, for the non-profit. Not, business.

Ed Seymore
Ed Seymore

It's the corrupt government that use the tax code to give breaks to there cronies or use it to punish there enimies that's the. Problem less government is the solution.

Sage Haas
Sage Haas

Let the free market rein, If they can't compete, let them fail

Maurice Lynn DeArmon
Maurice Lynn DeArmon

I wish that all the welfare I had to pay was just what the AFDC recipients and other poor people are actually getting ...

Tracy Tobin
Tracy Tobin

YES! Corporate Farmers who foist Ethanol fuel on us every year with the collaboration of Congress.

Tim Murray
Tim Murray

A-GREED...this is destroying the American way of life.

Lolo Sauceda
Lolo Sauceda

I agree, then they complain there too many folks on public assistance, the CEO's rake in millions $$ for doing nothing

Mike Payne
Mike Payne

He'll no , let them use they're own money!!!!!

Glenn Henault
Glenn Henault

please read my reply and maybe you can clear it up for me, as just saying things without looking at the probable ramifications isn't helping those of us seriously on the fence of this issue. Same for Robert Osborne, if you can come up with solutions that make sense, I would appreciate it

Glenn Henault
Glenn Henault

and while you're right, how aren't they, and more so the jobs they provide not valuable? Playing devils advocate here. Please read my long rant. Maybe you can help answer my questions?

Glenn Henault
Glenn Henault

I am extremely independent. And while I like the premise of this article, I will raise the same questions I always have, that to this point, no one has been able to answer with anything that is factual or makes any sense. Ater NAFTA and the deals to increase our trade deficits with asian countries, there was a mass exodus of corporations that left with their jobs for cheap labor, little to no environmental restrictions and cheap materials. This is when the "freebies" really increased to corporations in an attempt to keep them and their jobs here. The large loss in jobs also is what made Clinton to decide to change the grade at which the true unemployment is tracked, to try to cover up for the large loss in jobs which was an obvious side effect of his dealings. Of course Bush Jr did nothing to correct these things. One could say the damage was done. The corporations weren't coming back with now record profits in Mexico and in the far east. Bush Jr started many of these tax loopholes on the federal level to try to keep many other corporations here.These are all facts. So this is where we are as a country right now. Is there a way to straddle this line without pushing more corporations, and their much-needed jobs away? We desperately need the jobs now more than ever. Especially since a good portion of these are good paying quality jobs I wish I had one of. How can we take another exodus of corporations? YES, many are almost criminal in how much they make in profits. Yet sadly, Worldwide, this is what corporations do and strive for. It is their primary goal. Is there a way to change this "greed mentality" mindset? Would repealing NAFTA , reducing the trade deficits from asian countries help again? Would taxes the outside products coming in this country (and services .... calls centers, etc) be able to offset enough to make the corporations stay?

Leave a Comment
  1. Dave Morreale Example of capitalism out of control! The robber banisters a have returned like before the Great Depression. The deregulation of banks and wall street, rich individuals billionaires and the Increased pay and stock options to CEO subsidies of the corporations they control. Also, foreign aid, inside trading of the congress individuals. I wonder how this legal criminal action are allowed. While the American public took there eye off the ball shady underhanded deals were done. A fabricated war, deregulation of the rules to protect the middle class and the environment. The focus is on almost everything else. Drug war, war on the poor. Teachers, police, firefighters pentions. Now the objective is to demonize Medicare and Social Security. Privatize public schools and absorb the the taxes that support the education system. Into the coffers of corporate reach. My opinion is the change to a global economy has left most of the infrastructure for the middle class in shambles. Not only roads and bridges but, the guarantees to working people and the people struggling to make ends meet. A restructured tax system is needed; I don't know if a flat tax is the answer. How is a corrupt congress going to work for the good of the people?
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  3. Ron Clark Spot on Francis Moeller! Taxation in the U.S. is a shell game, which mostly keeps "we the people" confused and broke.
  4. Mike Mittleberger Phyllis I was raised in the street. I personally know girls who are 2nd nd 3rd generation welfare babies having babies. If your on welfare nd foodies you should not be having more children. Atleast 40 maybe even 50 women with 3-5 kids. They beat the age by having more kids. Believe me or not I dont care. But thats a fact. You want to doubt me thats your business. Hell I have nieces who do the same. So please dont tell me im wrong. Here's an incentive, dont allow families on welfare to have more kids until they can afford to pay for them. Otherwise they just keep having them. So your mistaken if you think im wrong I speak from knowledge & from working with those kinds of families.. G'Day! .
  5. Herschel Huff Yep, The tax paying folks are the ones who work for a living, so why should they pay for a business refuge through government to support a business that can't make it on its own. That is total BS. OH Yeah Baby.
  6. Phyllis Lloyd In some cases people are completely taken off food stamps and cash assistance if they fail to cooperate with work programs. So you are wrong about your last statement about no incentives to work toward getting off programs. They are required to seek employment and training. Only the elderly, disabled, or those with one parent and children under the age of 6 are exempt from work requirements.
  7. Josh Leonard Bernie is the only candidate willing to regulate the MNCs that are offshoring jobs, profits and taxes. Instead he advocates giving the low rate loans that the big banksters gets to small businesses instead: http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-corporate-regulation/
  8. Josh Leonard What the USA suffers from is Socialism: Socialization of Corporate Costs (I see you Walmart, McDonalds etc) and Privatization of Corporate Profits. Corporate Welfare in the country is double the size of all our social welfare programs (SNAP, AFDC, etc) put together. This does not even include the rampant off-shoring of profits and taxes, the corporate inversions and other tax dodges that only the .1% can take advantage of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_welfare
  9. Josh Leonard Yea Teresa that was awesome. It's the sort of thing he has done his whole career like asking Bernanke who exactly the economy is working for and why mainstreet still cant get loans when all the money if FREE. Yeah its ok to give corporations and banks all the tax breaks and offshore accounts. So the lobbyists can buy lawmakers. But GOD FORBID any candidate wants to help the middle class. Trickle down hasn't worked. http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-the-economy-and-jobs/bernie-sanders-on-job-creation/
  10. Robert Poole Just stop the welfare checks and those that float and survive will make it into the corporate world..or move back in with mommy who told them how special they are...