Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(11,733 posts)
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 12:02 AM Mar 2014

NYT's Kristof: 5 wasteful public welfare programs that should be stopped

Source: New York Times

In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.”

First, welfare subsidies for private planes. The United States offers three kinds of subsidies to tycoons with private jets: accelerated tax write-offs, avoidance of personal taxes on the benefit by claiming that private aircraft are for security, and use of air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial.

... Second, welfare subsidies for yachts. The mortgage-interest deduction was meant to encourage a home-owning middle class. But it has been extended to provide subsidies for beach homes and even yachts.

... Third, welfare subsidies for hedge funds and private equity. The single most outrageous tax loophole in America is for “carried interest,” allowing people with the highest earnings to pay paltry taxes. They can magically reclassify their earned income as capital gains, because that carries a lower tax rate (a maximum of 23.8 percent this year, compared with a maximum of 39.6 percent for earned income).

... Fourth, welfare subsidies for America’s biggest banks. The too-big-to-fail banks in the United States borrow money unusually cheaply because of an implicit government promise to rescue them. Bloomberg View calculated last year that this amounts to a taxpayer subsidy of $83 billion to our 10 biggest banks annually.

... Fifth, large welfare subsidies for American corporations from cities, counties and states. A bit more than a year ago, Louise Story of The New York Times tallied more than $80 billion a year in subsidies to companies, mostly as incentives to operate locally.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/opinion/kristof-a-nation-of-takers.html

55 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
NYT's Kristof: 5 wasteful public welfare programs that should be stopped (Original Post) Newsjock Mar 2014 OP
sorry I can only rec once 2pooped2pop Mar 2014 #1
Me, too! calimary Mar 2014 #50
K/R. (nt) NYC_SKP Mar 2014 #2
KICK! Cha Mar 2014 #3
good points !! nt steve2470 Mar 2014 #4
kr....nt MindMover Mar 2014 #5
Gee...I've known about all of these... SoapBox Mar 2014 #6
These need to be named each and every time a Republican or DINO trots out that old phrase LuckyLib Mar 2014 #7
Yeah, just wait until the Democrats hear about this! And the liberal media! Whoooooooo!! Scuba Mar 2014 #21
K & R Iliyah Mar 2014 #8
Damn, that was REALLY unexpected mindwalker_i Mar 2014 #9
DC is a racket. blkmusclmachine Mar 2014 #10
be aware allinthegame Mar 2014 #11
Yep Aerows Mar 2014 #43
K&R stage left Mar 2014 #12
more than $12 billion annually in tax subsidies for corporate meals and entertainment. ErikJ Mar 2014 #13
And they "have" the money to pay for their own food. LakeVermilion Mar 2014 #49
How about the oil company subsidies to the tune of about $4 billion a year? world wide wally Mar 2014 #14
+1 sakabatou Mar 2014 #15
I'll be posting this on Facebook and a few other places. TexasTowelie Mar 2014 #16
Great idea! Post to FB and make this go viral! 2banon Mar 2014 #52
k n r cui bono Mar 2014 #17
K&R CFLDem Mar 2014 #18
They certainly Should, Sir The Magistrate Mar 2014 #19
Great photo fasttense Mar 2014 #40
But but, this would affect the job creators! Enthusiast Mar 2014 #20
Job creators get all that assistance, so where are the jobs? IronLionZion Mar 2014 #23
Yes. If we would just cut their taxes again maybe this time they wouldn't outsource Enthusiast Mar 2014 #24
As long as we keep doing the same things, we can expect a different outcome. nt IronLionZion Mar 2014 #25
Sounds like the best list ever nt MrScorpio Mar 2014 #22
Kristof - I'm in love with that guy. DebJ Mar 2014 #26
I saw "Kristol" in the post headline Ratty Mar 2014 #37
Yin and yang. n/t DebJ Mar 2014 #38
"TIF districts" (tax-incremented financing) are a GREAT example of #5 : bullwinkle428 Mar 2014 #27
TIFs from cities to corporations are damaging JimDandy Mar 2014 #28
Agreed! KansDem Mar 2014 #29
K & R a million times! mountain grammy Mar 2014 #30
k and r + a gazllion. niyad Mar 2014 #31
Yeah. That's gonna happen. Jakes Progress Mar 2014 #32
k&r SHRED Mar 2014 #33
We Deserve it BlueNAlabama Mar 2014 #34
The "yacht" subsidy is actually a "second home" deduction. Glassunion Mar 2014 #35
And some of us not in the 1% are using it. rwsanders Mar 2014 #46
would love to stick this in every Ayn Rand fan's face. n/t BlancheSplanchnik Mar 2014 #36
I just copied and pasted this article into my FB, I'm just sayin' drynberg Mar 2014 #39
But if welfare for private planes and yachts ended... dilby Mar 2014 #41
Kick Gin Mar 2014 #42
Huge K&R Blue Owl Mar 2014 #44
On air traffic control hootinholler Mar 2014 #45
Pic Of The Moment: It's Time To End Wasteful Welfare! allan01 Mar 2014 #47
I'm all for it! n/t RoccoR5955 Mar 2014 #48
Hey, look, something we can all agree upon! Blue_In_AK Mar 2014 #51
Yes! senseandsensibility Mar 2014 #53
knr alfredo Mar 2014 #54
K & R! Omaha Steve Apr 2014 #55


(18,791 posts)
6. Gee...I've known about all of these...
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 12:39 AM
Mar 2014

But...Pukes and DINOs alike, won't even talk about them.

The rich get richer!


(6,825 posts)
7. These need to be named each and every time a Republican or DINO trots out that old phrase
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 12:45 AM
Mar 2014

public welfare programs together with the word "reform". I want to see some real reform where breaks for the true "takers" are.


(25,111 posts)
8. K & R
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 12:46 AM
Mar 2014

But the well to do want to take away subsides for people who need help in healthcare coverage.


(132 posts)
11. be aware
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 01:06 AM
Mar 2014

the biggest backer of carried interest subsidies is Senator Schumer whose last name ends in (D). It's all well and good to blame the R's but attention must be paid to those in our own houses.



(6,335 posts)
13. more than $12 billion annually in tax subsidies for corporate meals and entertainment.
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 01:40 AM
Mar 2014

From article;
"We’re cutting one kind of subsidized food — food stamps — at a time when Gallup finds that almost one-fifth of American families struggled in 2013 to afford food. Meanwhile, we ignore more than $12 billion annually in tax subsidies for corporate meals and entertainment.
Sure, food stamps are occasionally misused, but anyone familiar with business knows that the abuse of food subsidies is far greater in the corporate suite. Every time an executive wines and dines a hot date on the corporate dime, the average taxpayer helps foot the bill.

So let’s get real. To stem abuses, the first target shouldn’t be those avaricious infants in nutrition programs but tycoons in their subsidized Gulfstreams."


(1,049 posts)
49. And they "have" the money to pay for their own food.
Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:14 AM
Mar 2014

I've always been amazed at golf tournaments. The 99%ers buy hamburgers @ $10.00 each, while the corporate types watch the event from their private boxes next to the greens with catered gourmet food. Tell me why the wealthy get freebies, while the workers have to spend their cash at this kind of event?


(50,983 posts)
20. But but, this would affect the job creators!
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 05:22 AM
Mar 2014

What if the job creators would pull up roots and leave the country? What would we do then? Woe is me, the poor abused corporations.


(50,983 posts)
24. Yes. If we would just cut their taxes again maybe this time they wouldn't outsource
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 07:42 AM
Mar 2014

our jobs.

They claimed if we cut capital gains taxes it would result in an explosion of domestic jobs. They lied.

How long are we going to allow them to dictate tax policy?


(2,100 posts)
37. I saw "Kristol" in the post headline
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 03:02 PM
Mar 2014

Kept reading and re-reading the list wondering what I was missing. Finally noticed it was an "f" not an "l". Whew. My world is no longer upside down.


(20,633 posts)
27. "TIF districts" (tax-incremented financing) are a GREAT example of #5 :
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 08:56 AM
Mar 2014

communities here in Iowa have used them for years and years to "bribe" Wal-Mart and other mega-stores to locate their businesses there, like they wouldn't have anyway.

Huge K&R.


(28,498 posts)
29. Agreed!
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 10:46 AM
Mar 2014

If the wealthy want more money to buy another private plane or yacht, they'll just have to get a second job! At least that's the way it's done here in the "heartland."

But no more welfare...

Jakes Progress

(11,126 posts)
32. Yeah. That's gonna happen.
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 11:03 AM
Mar 2014

I don't even see a single congressman suggesting any of these.

They've not only been bought. They want more. Democracy has nothing to do with what goes on in US government.



(27 posts)
34. We Deserve it
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 11:41 AM
Mar 2014

I cannot imagine anyone in either house of Congress or, for that matter, the White House having the nerve to suggest touching these subsidies. What do we expect when bribery (a.k.a. Lobbying, limitless corporate/PAC campaign contributions, etc...) is now the accepted practice.

Until we take the money out of politics, we have the "Government" we deserve.


(2,636 posts)
46. And some of us not in the 1% are using it.
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 05:53 PM
Mar 2014

We bought an american made boat, keep it in a marina in a rural area that hires local kids during the summers, and we support craftsmen who make parts and accessories. We even went green and insisted on an electric motor from a small start up that sadly went under.
I think those who are commenting negatively about this deduction don't realize that smaller boats qualify as long as they have area to sleep, cook and a bathroom. It isn't just megayachts.
Taking away this deduction would hurt a lot of small businesses.


(2,273 posts)
41. But if welfare for private planes and yachts ended...
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 03:51 PM
Mar 2014

How would the wealthy ever get to Washington to ask their political friends for welfare for their hedge funds, banks and corporations? Sucks that we live in country where he with the most money has the most political influence.


(26,449 posts)
45. On air traffic control
Thu Mar 27, 2014, 04:47 PM
Mar 2014

"air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial."

To be fair the entire NAS is designed around those chumps flying commercial, special attention is given to getting them from point A to B as efficiently as possible. General Aviation pays some via fuel taxes, but has no need for the hub-airway system.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»NYT's Kristof: 5 wasteful...