Letter: How to fix the financial mess
To help fix this financial mess we are in, I suggest that our elected officials look at the $62.4 billion in tax subsidies given to major corporations. Twelve paid no federal taxes in 2008, 2009 or 2010, despite $171 billion in combined profit. American Electric Power, Boeing, Dupont, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric, Honeywell International, IBM United Technologies, Verizon Communications, Wells Fargo and Yahoo didn’t pay anything close to the 35 percent tax rate required by the tax code.
Federal subsidies started when the oil industry was young. But now the oil companies are all grown up and pocketing record profits. Consumers are paying higher prices. We are still supporting them in their golden years. Exxon Mobil paid $39 million on its $9.9 billion profits in 2009 and 2010, which is a tax rate of 0.4 percent. I paid taxes so Exxon Mobil doesn’t have to.
Welfare for farms is also a place to look. The original intent of farm subsidies was to provide economic stability to farmers during the Depression. That was almost 100 years ago. Twenty billion dollars in subsidies was given to farmers and owners of farmland. Seventy-four percent of that money goes to agri-business’s largest and wealthiest 10 percent. They receive drought aid when there is no drought. They receive the aid even in good years. About 62 percent of small farmers did not receive cash subsidies.
What about the billions of dollars we give to Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, Canada, Russia, China, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Jordan, Iraq, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, to name a few?
Shouldn’t our elected officials look at corporate welfare subsidies and foreign aid instead of making the middle class pay more? Maybe it is time for them to grow up and stop pointing fingers at each other like school-ground bullies.