The BriefGet Up To Speed
The auto industry, agriculture, the energy sector. What do they have in common? These industries benefit from government subsidies in the form of loans, tax breaks, regulation, and other preferences. Critics from the left and right say that not only do these subsidies transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations, they distort the markets and our economy. Proponents say that government has an important role to play in launching innovation via strategic investment, and its support helps American companies thrive. Do we need subsidies, or is this corporate welfare?View Debate Page
- Former Lobbyist & Author, Capitol Punishment
Abramoff talks with Lessig about lobbying.
Abramoff discusses Washington lobbying, corruption, and his quest to help reform politics after his prison sentence for conspiracy to bribe politicians, tax fraud, and more.
Congressmen accept donations and solemnly recite their oath of office: My vote is not for sale for a mere contribution. They are wrong.
- Assoc. Professor, Fordham Law & Fmr. National Dir., Sunlight Foundation
Her argument goes like this: Right now, the American economy is controlled by a fairly small number of mega-corporations. Those with great economic power hold corresponding amounts of political power.
Politics has become dominated by policy priorities that serve certain business interests.
The models suggest significant economies of scale in the production of political power, and therefore greater incentives for larger companies to spend money seeking wealth through changes in laws and regulations instead of innovation and development.
Billion dollar companies that don’t pay taxes shouldn’t be able to have such a huge influence how our country is run.
Our candidates dont have to be beggars at the feet of oligarchs.
Teachout and Youn discuss the effects of Citizen United.
The Supreme Court's campaign finance rulings have made Congress responsive to rich funders, not the public.
How we get from candidates raising all their money from one-percenters to candidates raising all their money from $50 donations.
- Vice Chair of Climate & Sustainable Urbanization, Paulson Institute
Just as with any other major economic transition—the Industrial Revolution, the Marshall Plan, the fall of Communism—there is a role for government policy, finance and investment in speeding the adoption the new, while easing the phase out of the old.
The tax credits, block grants, and infrastructure funds generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, building on a foundation of strong state incentives for renewable energy and efficiency that had been developed in the years leading up to the national stimulus bill, vaulted the United States to the number one position on the Pew Charitable Trust’s ranking of global clean energy investors in 2011.
The government can and should be involved in investment for clean energy, which will play a crucial role in future prosperity and health.
There’s a reason the oil and gas industry got subsidies 100 years ago, and it’s the same reason the renewable energy industry gets them today: when a country is in the midst of transforming its energy sector, it needs to support its new and emerging companies.
No one is arguing that wind and solar should have permanent subsidies.
- Co-Founder, New America Foundation
We face a triple crisis in foreign policy, economics, and democracy. Here's how it all went to hell.
Many of the policies that Jeffersonian populists attack as “crony capitalism” and “corporate welfare” strike Hamiltonians of left, right and center as legitimate and necessary.
America’s commercial and military competitors are nations that have far fewer qualms about using government to promote their goals and that view government and the market as partners in a common project of national development.
Why Germany’s solar miracle failed.
To understand Americas regional politics, we need to look beyond the cable news explanations of race and gender.
Liberal enclaves face an economic crisis, but federally subsidized conservative areas are just as unsustainable.
A century and a half later, we've come full circle: The red-blue state divide falls along Confederate-Union lines.
Americas own recent history makes it clear that the most solvent, efficient, and equitable social contract is one based on a few simple, universal programs of social insurance.
The disempowerment of the broad majority of Americans, not a lack of economic progress, is the greatest threat to the future of the U.S. as a middle-class nation. The institutions that used to represent middle-class Americans - unions, farmers' organizations, local party machines - have crumbled as Americans have moved into the service sector and the suburbs.
Michael Lind discusses partisan political differences.
Conservative billionaire Charles Koch told his ultra-rich friends that they face a “life and death” decision whether to keep lobbying for tax breaks and government subsidies.
It’s that time of year again, when Republicans and Democrats put aside their differences to dole out gifts of corporate welfare to a lucky few.
Corporate welfare in the federal budget costs taxpayers almost $100 billion a year.
Corporate welfare or crony capitalism is a destructive force that undermines public trust in the institutions of the free market and in government itself.
Year after year, Congress has renewed a package of temporary tax provisions known as the “tax extenders.” Nearly all of them should be substantially curtailed or allowed to remain expired.
The case for solar isn’t limited to prices and jobs. Consumers want choice. Unfortunately, in most markets around the country, electricity is still one of the few areas where we have virtually no choice over our supplier.
Taxpayer support for shale fracking went far beyond research.
If we are to have a productive discussion of fossil fuel subsidies, it is important that participants understand what they are, their intended purpose, and the projected impact of removing them.
Government efforts are the source of new technological visions for the future.
Subsidy Tracker 3.0 is the first national search engine for economic development subsidies and other forms of government financial assistance to business.
Over the past 15 years, the federal government has provided $68 billion in grants and special tax credits to business, with two-thirds of the total going to large corporations.
Fork over taxpayer cash, or the jobs go elsewhere. That’s the threat behind the bidding wars among corporations, states and cities for factories, offices and other investments.
A searchable database of incentive spending.
Congress let the Export-Import Bank’s lending authority expire after June 30, 2015, but some House Republicans joined Democrats to force a vote in October to bring back the lender.
The Ex-Im bank subsidizes politically connected firms by providing them with below market loans. This can boost exports, but the bank also subsidizes imports, leaving its direct impact on the trade balance uncertain.
For the better part of two years, a group of influential business interests spent hundreds of thousands of dollars pressuring lawmakers to renew the credit export agency that, until recently, was a relatively obscure and uncontroversial provider of loans to foreign buyers purchasing U.S.-made goods.
Vincent H. Smith says farmers should stand on their own. W. Robert Goodman says subsidies are important for food security.
Like so many government programs — what subsidies need is not the ax, but reform that moves them forward.
The database tracks $322 billion in farm subsidies from commodity, crop insurance, disaster programs and conservation payments paid between 1995 and 2014.
Farm subsidies provided by the federal government are supposed to help agricultural producers manage the variations in agricultural production and profitability from year to year - due to variations in weather, market prices, and other factors - while ensuring a stable food supply. In reality, this support is highly skewed toward the five major \"program\" commodities of corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice.
The Federal Crop Insurance Program is administered by USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA). The program provides producers with two basic options. They can elect to secure an insurance policy that compensates them if they experience a loss in crop yields or if they experience a decline in revenue.
Michigan’s corporate-tax incentives helped jump-start the state’s lagging economy, officials say, but now those same curative measures are hurting the state’s budget.
A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies.
While most Americans may say oil, gas, and coal companies shouldn’t get taxpayer dollars to help run their business, they are willing to make an exception for alternative energy companies.