NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Corporate Welfare Still Growing

August 17, 1999

Despite the fact that few Americans approve of the government throwing billions of dollars at wealthy corporations, business subsidies continue to grow.

  • Depending on how "corporate welfare" is defined, the federal government funnels between $65 billion and $165 billion each year to influential business operations.
  • Cato Institute economist Stephen Moore estimates that those business subsidies have actually expanded an average of almost 10 percent over the past four years.
  • Moore says that President Clinton has recommended a gigantic 10 percent hike in those funds for fiscal year 2000.
  • If corporate welfare grows only half as fast for each of the next 10 years, taxpayers will bestow more than $850 billion on corporations over the next decade -- based on the conservative assumption that such spending will amount to only $65 billion this year.

If Congress were to eliminate corporate welfare, the savings could easily fund a prescription-drug benefit for Medicare recipients, provide $250 billion for education and national defense, and finance nearly $500 billion in tax relief and debt reduction over the next decade, economists point out.

Source: James Carter (U.S. Senate economist), "What to Cut? Corporate Welfare," Investor's Business Daily, August 17, 1999.


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