It’s so ironic that President Obama goes out on the stump day in and day out bashing the wealthy while providing them with subsidies that add up to hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Stephen Moore and Walter Williams propose The Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act. They’re intention isn’t to bash millionaires, and they aren’t calling for higher taxes – only an end to the transfer of wealth to those who don’t need it. Unfortunately, it’s a bipartisan problem.
The much bigger fiscal drain from the wealthy is on the federal expenditure side of the budget ledger: tens of billions each year in grants, loans, subsidies, guarantees and benefits pocketed each year by wealthy Americans as individuals and firms. Any campaign to downsize big government will only succeed if the needed deep cuts in spending are deemed by voters as equitable. In an era of $1 trillion-plus deficits and a $15 trillion national debt, we would like to think that a national consensus could be reached to eliminate handouts to individuals and companies with net incomes above $1 million.
We’ve long argued that the GOP should lead the charge. Republicans should fight harder to eliminate taxpayer funds for the Export-Import Bank, which makes loans to major Fortune 500 companies like Boeing and General Electric, to solar- and wind-energy companies like Solyndra, and for Department of Commerce subsidy programs to manufacturers and high tech companies.
The left-leaning Environmental Working Group found that among the beneficiaries of various farm programs from 1995-2005 were David Rockefeller and Ted Turner, and companies that own farms such as John Hancock Life Insurance. Last month Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) put out a report, “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous,” that identified tens of billions of dollars of handouts to the wealthy. His report included farm payments under government programs to rock stars like Bruce Springsteen and former professional athletes like Scottie Pippen.
Rather than stand up against all this, Republicans recently allowed the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee home mortgages of up to $750,000. Not many in the bottom 99% can afford such homes.
Read the whole thing, this is something both sides should be able to agree on.