Robert Reich: How Corporate Welfare Hurts You

Robert Reich: How Corporate Welfare Hurts You


You often hear Trump and Republicans in Congress
railing against so-called “welfare programs” — by which they mean programs that provide
health care or safety nets to ordinary Americans. But you almost never hear them complaining
about another form of welfare that lines the pockets of wealthy corporations. We must end corporate welfare. Now. There are several ways corporations get rich
on the taxpayer’s dime. The most obvious comes through subsidies or tax breaks for
certain businesses or industries. Consider the fossil fuel industry, one of
the most profitable and privileged sectors of the economy. Every year, oil companies
get to deduct millions of dollars from their tax bills for the cost of new wells, oil exploration,
and other drilling and mining expenses. It’s been estimated that repealing these
special tax breaks would save taxpayers $39 billion over 10 years. Other examples of corporate welfare include
billions in government subsidies for agricultural conglomerates, pharmaceutical makers, tech
giants and defense contractors. Other industries don’t get these benefits. Meanwhile, most
families don’t even benefit from tax credits and deductions for childcare. State and local governments are also handing out corporate welfare, often with no strings attached. In 2013, for example, the state
of Washington approved a record $8.7 billion handout to Boeing in order “to maintain
and grow its workforce within the state.” What did Boeing do? In the following years,
it laid off more than 12,000 workers in the state. State and local tax breaks for corporations
are estimated to cost local schools almost $2 billion a year in lost tax revenue.
It’s argued they create jobs, yet nationwide, not a single new job is created. At most,
the jobs are merely moved from state to state. Now, how do corporations get this corporate
welfare? Well, follow the money. They spend hundreds of millions on lobbying and campaign contributions. Here’s an even more insidious example of
corporate welfare. When corporations don’t pay their workers a living wage, those workers
have to rely on programs like Medicaid, public housing, food stamps and other safety nets
— which means you and I and other taxpayers end up subsidizing these low wages so those
corporations can enjoy even higher profits for their executives and wealthy investors. For example, every year, Americans spend an
estimated $153 billion in taxes and on programs to subsidize McDonald’s and Walmart’s
low-wage workers. Here’s the bottom-line: When corporations
get special handouts from the government, it costs the rest of us. We have to pay more
in taxes to make up for these hidden tax breaks, subsidies, and loopholes. In turn, we have
less money for good schools and roads, Medicare and national defense, and everything else
we need. So the next time you hear conservatives railing
against welfare handouts for the poor, remind them that we should really be cutting corporate
welfare — unnecessary and unwarranted aid for dependent corporations. What do you think? Should corporations get
special breaks and subsidies? Let us know in the comments. If you liked this video, make sure to also
watch our video on the myth of privatization. As always, thanks for tuning in and please
subscribe to this channel for more videos like this one.

100 thoughts on “Robert Reich: How Corporate Welfare Hurts You

  1. Thanks for watching! If you found this video informative, be sure to watch our video on the myth of privatization: https://youtu.be/0wYHRWo2Ins

  2. Oh no… but then those corporations have to cut into their mega million/billion profits and give their execs and shareholders “less money”. Can’t have that! But those lazy poor folks…. they don’t need better schools or affordable medical care!

  3. Thank you Prof. Reich for sharing your experience and knowledge. I fully agree with your argument but have one question which could be in the mind of many. Let's say the only unchanged parameter in this equation is the shareholders' return and executives' salary per year. Would eliminating corporate welfare direct them towards raising the price of their products, hence we as customers will end up paying more? I am sure this is a question that has been addressed and I may be too naive to even ask this. Just something that came to my mind when watching your video. Thank you so much for these informative videos and I hope you don't get tired of this, I learn from every one of them.

  4. Change the language and framing of the way it is. That is exactly how we got to where we are.
    I believe this began in the 1970's with a book I don't remember the title though.

  5. Yea america loves to work untill they die. We are lucky said the republicans to work 2 or 3 jobs but then they take bail outs and handouts. Bernie2020 come and shut all of that down. We need a pos for the 99% not the 1% taking from us.

  6. It always amazes me how most people are against helping their fellow man, derisively calling it welfare, but they have no problem with corporate looting–welfare.
    America loves those who screw over everyone else, yet Bernie Madoff is serving a life sentence?

  7. at least when the poor gets welfare they're just trying to feed themselves and make it through life the rich is just trying to get more money bigger bonuses and fancy cars and houses

  8. why do corporations get tax breaks when they don't pay their employees very well you don't even keep up with the cost of living every year wtf!

  9. The problem is that we never set limits on what money can and can’t buy. Everything in life requires limits.

  10. This has been a big thorn for me for YRS !!! As u state NOT ONE JOB is produced Frm this corporate welfare!!! How to end it has me banging my head !!!! Thank you for making a case for ending this!!

  11. Corporations don't usually repay loyalty in the longest run, don't be blind.
    How can we never be a socialism when we have always been one, does not compoot.
    Only makes sense in terms of a confidence trick…

  12. Helping the citizens with their own taxes is waste.

    Helping corporations with our taxes is investment…?

    But if the market determines they should fail, shouldn’t they? Isn’t that the entire point of capitalism?

  13. Hey!!!!! Lay off our farmers. You guys were just fine with it when obuma was handing all our money to the banks.

  14. In my opinion I feel people who are outraged with welfare recipients ought to be consistent with their outrage to these "corporate wellfare" programs.

  15. Just by making McDonalds and Walmart pay their employees a living wage for today's cost, would not only save us tax payers $153 BILLION, it would also stimulate the economy because people would have some money, and give a lot of hard working people the dignity they deserve!

  16. Business start-up is one thing, but once established a corporation should be cut off! And not allowed to ripe off their employees!

  17. Part of the reason Boeing moved the jobs from Washington state and Kansas to Charleston, SC was to bust the Union.

  18. While I am against excessive Corporate Welfare, as a Progressive I support support for new technologies, and for suppliers of products and services that are needed for National Security & the wellfare of our Citizens (farming, infrastructure, transportation,…,).

  19. Former Canadian Prime Minister, the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau, referred to these type of companies as "Corporate Welfare Bums".

  20. “We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  21. Corporate welfare HAS to end. Unfortunately under the current administration they strongly believe in the trickle down effect. That's all trickle. While billions are pouring into their hands only thousands trickle out. When we speak out against this we're considered unpatriotic. How is that

  22. This guy is right, but is both Republicans and democrats as well…remember obama given billions to GM and banks…so don't be a hypocrite and tell the anbias truth…

  23. I am in complete agreement with you, Mr. Reich. I have verbally complained about Corporate welfare every since Reagan used the words "welfare queen".

  24. Corporate welfare.. so saving GM, Ford or Chrysler wasn't worth it either. Bailing out Freddie and Fannie or continuous support to Farmers, Tyson, and other corps who receive assistance for solar and then go bankrupt after paying their company founders and executives then go screw the tax payers.. yes stop government corporate welfare and stop giving welfare to illegals. Stop giving housing and assistance to those who come here and kill our Citizens, we have enough Citizens doing that as it is. Why don't you do a segment on the year of jubilee and what that means and how it it would benefit every American and corporation! Every one would be debt free and begin to change how we operate. This would be truly a great way to start fresh.

  25. You forgot one of the biggest corporate welfare queens of all time organized religion. That’s right they get over 75 BILLION a year in tax breaks. So that means we all pay more to subsidize these con men.

  26. It's so fucked up that everyone knows about this and it somehow can just keep going on. Especially subsidizing fossil fuels during the climate crisis. Despicable.

  27. Even though what you have laid out is a LOT of money, it pales in comparison to the cost of our Military making it safe and secure for the Fossil fuel conglomerates to do business over in the Middle East. The cost in Dollars and human life.

  28. Sir, thank you for the information you are sharing with us. I am looking for clarity with regards to 401K plans, retirement benefits (if we'll have it by the time of retirement)—what's happening "behind" that my naked eyes are not seeing? Is this really benefiting us in the long run?

  29. Corporations live by the golden rule…no, not that one…it is not what you know it is who you know…no, not that one either…It has always been a David versus Goliath world…What makes America different is everyone is due fair opportunity…It might take more than a couple of gyroscopes to get back on track but…Remember mom and pop??? they could not get the mates price down at the bank…Walmart is said to be operated solely on provincial credit (not putting down Walmart here, just using it as an example of the system)…Give me 10 billions dollars, and I will make you rich (believe me)$$$ Or I might vanish, or even buy the world famous bridge in Brooklyn and rename it after my Uncle Cheech (read the fine print). I got off subject but …too late now…sorry… No, you can't have a holiday bonus…Is there a war on the holidays??? no but there sure is on the bonuses…Again…many apologies…

  30. Yes, I agree! Corporations should fend for themselves!! Remember Solyndra?!? Shrink the Federal Government to smallest it can be and it will function so much better. Stop the money shuffle. The States and local Governments need to handle their own money. Shut down the Federal Department of Education and the Economic Development Administration and the Rural Housing Department and Planned Parenthood and so many, many more. Stop wasting tax dollars!!!

  31. The Corp. criminals have a FREE piggy bank of OUR FED tax coffers. How do WE, Americans, turn this around with out bloodshed, that is how the world of THE HUNGER GAMES got started, so we need a good plan.

  32. I agree with you, Robert. Also, corporations have been given more protection and power. Look at bankruptcy and murder committed by corporations. Corporations are not being held accountable for their illegal activities. I would like to incorporate my self so I am given those same protections. The balance of power between individual workers and the corporation is missing. More Unions are necessary to balance the power.

  33. I'm a conservative independent, and personally, I think both welfare programs should have some cuts, but unlike individual programs for citizens, corporate welfare should be completely removed as it has no reason to exist at all.

  34. Poor are to proud for handouts right?? At least that's what the rich tell you so you don't want it PRIDE. As the rich get it 25/7. Kinda funny when equality means not starving for the poor, while equality for the rich means oppression.

  35. And yet you maga morons voted for trumpty who gave unbelievable tax breaks to the top 10 %!!! Do not vote for pumpkin head again!!! 🎃💩🤪

  36. This is a good/obvious idea, but completely undoable until we are 1st able to remove Big Money from our politics. EVERY single idea brought up by politicians, consultants, advisors, etc. should be sandwiched between the #GetMoneyOut of politics mantra. We should reject all politicians who are not 100% small dollar donor recipients, & pushing for 100% publicly funded elections regardless of their party or how progressive they claim to be (Warren).

  37. I hear you Robert but when will BOTH CONGRESS & OUR PRESIDENT EVEN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?? Who is truly on the publics side?? We need a revolution to take on the special interests & corporate lobbyists!

  38. Writing off costs of doing business (oil wells etc.) is not corporate welfare, every single business is allowed to write off expenses. You pay taxes on profit, not revenue! Imagine a store not being able to write off the products it buys! Robert Reich is an economist, he knows this fact about business, he is not just making an error when he claims expenses are corporate welfare, he is knowingly lying to you.

  39. There needs to be a division between "Small Business" in the Country which includes any business with under 50,000 employees and Mom and Pop business that commonly hires 5, 10, 15 employees. This Country needs to ease regulations for M&P business to entice regular folks to become self-employed. Unfortunately, the Dems dislike business in general and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  40. This will never happen because the average republican voter isn't concerned with the truth. The truth requires them to use their brain rather than their "feelings". They would prefer a soundbite. Something that fits on a hat or bumper sticker.

  41. Corporations should definitely get breaks. Er, I'm sorry, I meant they should get broken up and reduced to politically powerless, worker-controlled local microbusinesses.

  42. Bring the complete Trump dynasty to trial and jail. Then confiscate all their accumulated assets and with the money bring back democracy and humanity

  43. Thank you Professor Reich! I look forward to watching your videos every week. it's time to turn the tables on these crooked corporations with their millions of dollars of "liberal" "handouts" for themselves! Despicable and un-American. Our poor communities are suffering because of their selfish greed. And you know, these communities have people (human beings btw republicans) especially our elderly, elderly veterans, and children who need adequate financial assistance to keep up with the cost of living expenses. Not enough money in the budget? Bull. . .  The money is there but the rich don't care to share the wealth here at home. What gratitude for a country that made them rich, too! Unbelievable. It's all about giving back to our communities when one has achieved high, wealth status in life and it tells your community that you are a proud American who is serving your country well following the infamous quote of our 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" (And may I add to make it better than ever) Thank you.

  44. A very informative and eye-opening program!
    I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican- just someone who tries to make decisions based upon the evidence and REASON. Can fiscal irresponsibility continue, without all of us eventually having to " pay the piper?" I think not.
    Partisan politics seems to have stifled so many possible solutions to the threats facing our country.
    Our founding fathers worried that an uninformed electorate would endanger the very existence of our country.

  45. Corporations are not people and should not allowed to donate money in any form to political campaigns. Lobbyist fees are not tax deductible. Personal donations are limited to $1000 max. Total campaine spending is severely limited according to the posielected office. Churches donations (unless directed to charitable causes) are taxed like any other form of income. Charities must donate the bulk of their collections (80% plus) to the end users. Election season is limited to 90 days.

  46. Thank you for presenting this video, Mr. Reich. Corporate welfare and special interest are the root cause of what's wrong in this country and with our current situation. Without an informed public, how can we know what the real issues are?

  47. Ok, but you what they'll say… That if you cut corporate well fair (subsidies et al) then our foreign competitors will get an advantage and push us out of the markets in which we dominate? So what do we tell em?

  48. Surely the issue has to be with tax avoidence? For example, it makes sense to allow deductions for operating expenses such as drilling new oil wells. New wells are probably good for the american economy (ignoring environmental costs…) but the profits those wells make end up in overseas tax havens. If the profits were taxed as expected, the cost of those 'subsidies' would become neglible.

  49. Time to eat the rich.

    Except you Robert. If we're really pushed, you might be dessert, but we'll try not to eat you until last.

  50. David Cay Johnston is the expert on this topic. Free Lunch and The Fine Print show you all the corporate welfare you need to know.

  51. These videos are brilliant … all of my like- minded friends need to SHARE them on their FB pages…
    i plan to watch EVERY video [and hit the 'like' button],
    post at least one each day on my FB page
    and i've sent a $500 donation … we to circulate these videos far and wide  🙂

  52. HerzogforUSsenate.com You gotta love Robert Reich! I met him in person and had him sign his book during my economics program when I was studying at Iowa State. He and other great economists like Jeffery Sachs were a couple of the rock stars who inspired me to join the field. Check out my healthcare reform proposal on my campaign website highlighting the next essential step for the U.S. health care and health insurance industries to finally get us moving forward! No matter what eventual health care system combination you advocate (no country uses a pure, single market model) for our nation and culture- I am certain I am focusing on the most urgently needed next move to support and protect the most people in the least amount of time.

  53. I hear this all the time, that min wage jobs are suppose to be for teens and not meant to support yourself on. So jobs at Walmart and McDonald's are suppose to have all teen workers? How many teens work graveyard and morning shift on weekdays? This is a complete washout of an excuse, plus there isn't enough teens to fill these jobs. This is why we need a livable min wage so people don't have to get on social programs to survive.

  54. Holy crap! $153,000,000,000 a year in wage subsidies to employees of Walmart and McDonald's alone!?
    That's 20% of the entire defence budget!

  55. Interestingly, one of the most egregious forms of "corporate welfare", the issuance of work visas such as the H-1B, which allow corporations to import millions of foreign workers to steal American jobs, isn't mentioned.

  56. And yet we don't hear about enough in our news media shows. Thank goodness we Mr. Reich, Mr. Hartmann, etc… We need to search them out to get info. Could ask you Mr. Reich could someday put a list of informative people that the general public could check on and vice versa with each of the names provided. So there be a complete list I Thank you

  57. Considering the lack of outrage over tax payer $$ used for Trump's vacations, this may take some time for the general tax paying population to make a change. How can I pitch a disaster relief idea to you? I don't do social media, is there an email I can use? Thank you

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