The United States government is handing over taxpayer dollars to big pharmaceutical companies, oil and gas companies, banks and even Boeing, but these subsidies might disappear if Congress has it's way.
According to a Bloomberg report, the one thing both parties agree on is forking over federal dollars to subsidize multi-billion-dollar industries.
The government gives tax breaks to Americans who build greener homes or the "cash for clunkers" program was a subsidy for Americans. However, at least six corporations are scoring over $1 billion in cash from American taxpayers. But at a time when Republicans are struggling to remain deficit hawks while approving tax cuts to the rich, there are questions where cuts could come from. Democrats have long argued that the government has no business subsidizing billion-dollar industries.
"Congress has re-upped the temporary tax breaks in the past without much commotion, and many of the breaks still have wide support in both parties," Bloomberg recalled. "But this time, fallout from the 2017 tax overhaul, reluctance in the House at more temporary breaks and a dwindling calendar of working days in Congress could lessen the enthusiasm for another renewal."
After giving such huge tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations, why would they need further federal dollars?
However, Washington runs on these corporations paying lobbyists to give campaign donations to officials in exchange for continued support for their companies, including these subsidies. According to the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case, these significant contributions are allowed because the corporations "speech" can't be banned.
"Last month, Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, the senior Republican and Democrat on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, created five “task forces” to study what to do about 42 expired or expiring tax breaks that Congress has repeatedly resurrected, often long after they were allowed to lapse," Bloomberg reported.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) has an idea to simply revoke the GOP tax bill as a means of extending subsidies. It would likely be a "deal-breaker" for Republicans. Democrats are also seeking to enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit, which Republicans also oppose.