Paul Bushheit, writing in today’s edition of Common Dreams, has uncovered the dirty secret Republican leaders in congress don’t want you to know. Bushheit is reporting that the average American family currently is paying $6,000 per year in subsidies to big business.
I’m pausing here to let that sink in: $6000 per family per year to pad the already insane profits of American corporations, $6000 per year at the same time we’re cutting food stamp benefits for veterans and needy kids, $6000 per year when thousands of government jobs at all levels have been lost to budget cuts designed to balance the budget — fewer teachers, fewer police, fewer healthcare workers available to support local economies, $6000 a year while draconian budget cuts are being forced upon us in the name of “easing the burden on the American people,” $6000 per family, per year.
Bushheit’s Common Dreams piece does a great job of identifying these subsidies and defining exactly what they include. Some of the biggest items on the list include $870 per year per family in direct subsidies and grants to companies, almost $700 per year for business incentives at the local, county and state levels, $722 to banks to subsidize interest, $870 per year for special tax provisions for corporates, $1231 per year to offset revenue lost to corporate tax havens, and amazingly, $1268 per year per family for pharmaceutical government granted patent monopolies that allow those same companies to drastically increase the price of medications to the consumer.
But some of you are asking, “Yeah, but how much are we spending on the freeloaders?” According to figures quoted in Thom Hartmann’s “By the Daily Take,” our national food stamp program costs each family $36 per year. Medicare and the rest of the government safety net programs combined? $6 per year.
With new warnings of impending financial doom coming out of the US Capitol every day, with more urgent pleas for cuts in food stamps, veteran’s benefits, social security benefits, and with constant calls for cuts in education, healthcare, police and firefighters, it seems we might be looking at the wrong people to sacrifice. Most of you know all too well what has happened to middle class families over the past thirty years, but have you wondered how the corporations are doing?
Maybe it’s time for common sense to prevail. Maybe it’s middle-class America’s turn at the buffet table. And maybe Americans need to realize what’s being done to them and start bitching.