According to data on S&P 500 corporations their CEO’s earnings range from a little over 100 to almost 800 times the average salaries of their employees. Corporations can pay these CEO salaries and still make billions in profits because of two factors. (1) For years they have manipulated the system to avoid paying taxes. At least 60 of the largest corporations have avoided paying even one dime. (2) Corporations have been the recipients of billions (yes, billions) of dollars in corporate welfare. Those dollars may be defined as tax incentives, subsidies or some other name but they all boil down to being CORPORATE WELFARE.
A subsidy tracking group Good Jobs First identified the top 100 recipients of corporate welfare in their 2014 report. Among the highest were Nike, Royal Dutch Shell, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Intel, Alcoa, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, General Electric and Walmart – just to name a few. Subsidies ranged in the multi-billions. Even the conservative Cato Institute has stated that in 2012 corporate welfare amounted to about 100 billion, while spending on social welfare was only $59 billion.
Many of these same corporations are on the list of those paying no federal taxes. These are some of the most profitable corporations in the world.
A news release in April, 2019, by the Institute On Taxation and Economic Policy stated that the lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% created a decline in tax revenue from corporations of 31%. So the gifts keep coming to corporations and the wealthy and impacting negatively the average American family. It is estimated that repealing corporate welfare would save every household an average of about $800 a year.
Don’t forget that these corporations get low wage employees who also receive public assistance, such as food stamps (snap) and aid for dependent children (adc).