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What a Load of Crap! Corporate Welfare

March 21st, 2014 11:00:00 am

What a Load of Crap! Corporate Welfare

            Boeing reaped a profit of 3.9 billion (or so), dropped its effective tax rate from 34% to 26% (though profits were up), and received a 20% increase in pay out per shares[1]. In 2013, Boeing Co. CEO James McNerney received a 20% pay raise and made $27.5 million, according to the company's proxy statement. McNerney's base salary was unchanged at $1.9 million, but his performance-based bonus rose nearly a quarter to $10.8 million[2].



            Boeing spent over $15 million in lobbyist dollars in 2013[3].  And paid out almost $1.5 billion in dividends[4], which is great if you're a stockholder. Yet Boeing received around $13 billion dollars in corporate welfare in the same year[5].



            In one form or another, the tax paying people of the United States contributed to the 27.5 million dollar salary of one CEO—15 million to have sway in Washington and 1.4 billion to those who own stock. The drop in the tax rate I mentioned earlier looks like this:


The company's income tax expense was $201 million in the quarter, compared to $557 million in the same period of the prior year, due to a $212 million benefit recorded in fourth-quarter 2013 for a tax regulation change[6].



            I wonder, did that $15 million in lobbyist dollars have anything to do with the tax change rate? Or is it a coincidence that $15 million was poured into the pockets of Washington and the same year Boeing benefitted from a “tax regulation change”? If I'm doing the math correctly, what they paid in taxes was well below the corporate welfare.



            What is corporate welfare, exactly? Subsidies for corporations brought on by lobbyists that are unnecessary, inefficient, wasteful, and excessive. Why does a multimillion dollar corporation like Boeing need government subsidies? To pay their CEO a multimillion dollar contract?



            The Institute for Policy Studies says companies (including AT&T, Boeing, and Citigroup) paid CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year, while paying little to no federal tax on ample profits, according to regulatory filings. Among the “kingpins” criticized is CEO James Mcnerney Jr. of Boeing. He received $18.4 million in pay in 2012, while his company received a tax refund of $605 million[7].



            Who owns Washington? The same people who profit from it. And what's the message the rest of us without million dollar salaries are hearing? That our vote doesn't matter—not unless you live in a swing state or you're head of a multimillion dollar corporation pouring money into the pockets of Washington.



            It's high time for lobbying to be made illegal. 100%. Period. It's high time for the electoral college to be eradicated. It's time for the United States to be a true democracy, instead of a laughable two party system that shows signs of corruption on both sides of the aisle.


[1]                . http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2014-01-29-Boeing-Reports-Record-2013- Revenue-EPS-and-Backlog-and-Provides-2014-Guidance

[2]                . http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130315/NEWS05/130319824/boein g-ceo-gets-20-pay-raise

[3]                . http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000100

[4]                . http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2014-01-29-Boeing-Reports-Record-2013- Revenue-EPS-and-Backlog-and-Provides-2014-Guidance

[5]                . http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/09/1283390/-Koch-Brothers-Takes- 88-Million-in-Corporate-Welfare?detail=facebook#

[6]                . http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2014-01-29-Boeing-Reports-Record-2013- Revenue-EPS-and-Backlog-and-Provides-2014-Guidance

[7]                . http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/08/companies_paid_more_to_ ceos_th.html



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