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Trump’s 'Made In America Week' Inadvertently Highlights Corporate Welfare

Companies invited to the White House collected nearly $600 million in subsidies, loans, and tax breaks.

KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/NewscomKEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/NewscomEven as a centerpiece of his policy agenda—the repeal and replace of Obamacare—was going down in flames in the Senate, President Donald Trump appeared to be having fun.

He donned a white Stetson hat. He climbed into the cab of a bright red fire truck parked on the White House lawn. He swung a golf club and admired a baseball bat.

It was a made-for-TV moment—"Made In America Week," the White House's celebration of domestic manufacturing—but it wasn't all for show. Trump was promising to implement policies, like a new tax on foreign-made goods and a restructuring of the North American Free Trade Agreement, that will help some companies based in America even as they hurt other businesses and consumers.

Trump, surrounded by props large and small, promised he was fighting for a "level playing field" for American-made products. "But," he said, "if the playing field were slanted a little bit towards us, I'd accept that also."

As it turns out, some of the businesses invited to the White House this week already have the playing field slanted—in some cases quite dramatically—in their direction.

A Reason review of the 50 businesses invited to Trump's "Made in America" event reveals that 21 of them have received some form of government grant, subsidy, loan guarantee, or other economic incentive since 1997, according to records aggregated by Good Jobs First, a union-funded nonprofit that opposes corporate welfare.

Running the names of the 50 businesses through the "subsidy tracker" database maintained by Good Jobs First revealed more than 870 records of individual handouts totaling more than $598 million in spending at the local, state, and federal level.

Those subsides take several forms. More than 300 of them are direct grants, totaling more than $325 million in pure subsidies that shift tax dollars from government coffers to businesses' bottom lines.

Another 144 are loans, in which the federal or state government take on the role of banks and dole out investment cash with taxpayers as the ultimate backstop on defaulted payments. Most of the rest are various kinds of tax breaks, a hidden form of subsidy that doesn't show up on government budgets but rewards certain businesses at the expense of everyone else—and serves as a subtle acknowledgement that taxes are too high.

"There are virtually no credits in federal or state tax law that are sensible tax policy," says Chris Edwards, director of tax policy for the libertarian Cato Institute. "The fact that states 'need' special breaks to those taxes is an admission by the politicians that the general tax rates are too high and are scaring away businesses. But then the solution is cutting overall rates, not just cutting for a narrow group of favored businesses."

While 21 of the 50 invitees have benefitted from government assistance in one form or another, most have only dipped into public coffers a few times. The Montana-based Simms Fishing Products, for example, has collected more than $400,000 from federal and state subsidy programs since 2011. Ames Tru Temper, a Pennsylvania-based maker of wheelbarrows and other small-scale farming equipment, collected more than $3.3 million in grants and tax breaks since 2003.

But the White House also invited some of the biggest players in the corporate welfare game.

Take Caterpillar, the Illinois-based manufacturer of earth movers and other heavy trucks. Over the past 20 years the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and various other federal and state agencies have given Caterpillar 200 grants valued at more than $155 million in direct taxpayer assistance.

All this to a company that generated $38 billion in revenue last year. A majority of those grants have funded Caterpillar's research and development of new technologies.

Caterpillar also received more than $17 million in government grants for a subsidiary company, Solar Turbines Inc., records show, again mostly for research and development.

According to Good Jobs First's database, Caterpillar has also received dozens of tax breaks from state and local governments. That includes a $77 million incentive package from Georgia (as part of a 2012 deal that included Caterpillar agreeing to build a new manufacturing facility in the state), and a $45 million tax credit from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in 2006.

Caterpillar is one of the largest recipients of government largesse to be invited to the White House this week, but it is hardly alone.

If not for Caterpillar, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation might have been the posterchild for corporate welfare on display Tuesday. The Connecticut-based helicopter manufacturer is a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which pulled in more than $36 billion from U.S. government defense contracts in 2015.

Sikorsky isn't exactly struggling. It has received more than $146 million in direct government grants since 1997, according to the Good Jobs First database, including a $12 million grant in 2015 and a $9 million grant in 2016 for research and development.

"Ridiculous," says Edwards. "American companies should be doing their own research and development."

Those grant programs create a circular relationship between the federal government and the companies lucky enough to get the hand-outs. Caterpillar and Sikorsky pocket millions in research and development grants, offsetting costs that competitors must fund on their own, given them a marked advantage selling that same tech back to the government.

Caterpillar and Sikorsky easily lapped the field at this week's Made In America event, but other invitees have done quite well for themselves on the government dole.

Campbell's, the iconic soup brand based in New Jersey, has received more than $44 million in grants and loans from state and federal sources over the past 20 years. The largest was a $31 million tax break through New Jersey's Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program in 2011.

Steinway and Sons, the maker of handcrafted pianos, has tapped the New York City Industrial Development Agency for more than $21 million since 1999.

"Too often 'Made in America' is a cover for subsidized with socialism," says Adam Andrzejewski, founder and CEO of Open The Books, a pro-transparency, anti-cronyism nonprofit. "Supporting American businesses that expand opportunity is laudable, but lavishing high-end companies with federal funds comes at a high cost to taxpayers."

So many iconic American brands supported by the government begs an almost accidental question: What does it mean to be "Made In America"?

--

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," President Barack Obama said in July 2012 during a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia. "Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Played repeatedly on Fox News and viral on conservative news outlets, the clip was taken by his critics as irrefutable evidence that Obama was completely out-of-touch with the American working class, that he had no idea what he was talking about because he'd never held a private sector job, or that he was, simply, a socialist.

Reaction to those comments explains, at least in part, why many conservative Republicans backed Trump's candidacy. Here was a man who outwardly embodied a free market ethos that repudiated Obama's remarks. Trump presented himself as man who achieved great things without much help from the government.

That Trump was nominally a builder only made the metaphor more complete.

Now in the White House, Trump doesn't say American businesses can't have success without help from the government as Obama once did. But in what he does he is saying the same thing.

It's not just inviting companies that have made millions off of taxpayers to a free promotional event on the White House lawn. It's the talk of tariffs, of walls, of threatening manufacturers that consider moving to another country, and of rewarding those who say they will stay.

"Cronyism is one of the biggest threats, I think, to capitalism," Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, said in an interview Wednesday.

Businesses that drink from the government tap begin to "arrange their business activities based on what the government will give them, and that's not the best way to run a business," she said.

Once they do that, they become invested in keeping the subsidies flowing. Government assistance becomes part of the business model.

And governments have been happy to play along.

"Every state seems to have an 'Economic Development Administration' or similar agency which are corporate welfare machines," Edwards said Wednesday. "The fact that states 'need' special breaks to those taxes is an admission by the politicians that the general tax rates are too high and are scaring away businesses. But then the solution is cutting overall rates, not just cutting for a narrow group of favored businesses."

A landmark investigative report by the New York Times in 2012 found state governments were giving away $80 billion every year through 1,874 different economic development programs. A 2014 review of state expenditures by the American Legislative Exchange Council found $228 billion in tax breaks for individuals and businesses. Neither of those reports count federal subsidies, like the grants that result in so much taxpayer money flowing to the likes of Caterpillar and Sikorsky.

Caterpillar made the Times' list of 48 companies that tallied over $100 million in state-level grants since 2007.

A full accounting, as the Times reported, is nearly impossible "because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials." The number of jobs created are rarely tracked and impossible to prove, and officials "acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid."

Indeed, there are so many incentive programs that one wonders whether the White House could find any set of 50 successful American businesses that have not been on the dole at one time or another.

In light of the companies he chose to promote and the policies he pushes, Trump's event may as well have been billed "Made With a Whole Lotta Help From the Government In America".

"Being pro-business rarely means making an effort to get all the barriers out of the way," says de Rugy. "What it usually means is we're going to put up barriers and hand-out special incentives."

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  • ||

    What makes you think it was "inadvertent" ?
    Trump's philosophy is all about shoveling the government pork towards American businesses.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I wondered the same thing. Trump has never been shy in politics or business about getting some of that sweet, sweet candy from Uncle Sugar.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Tax breaks are not 'subsidies. Being able to keep more of what YOU earn is not a subsidy.

    Loans are not a subsidy--unless they're not paid back.

    Why not just abandon the 'libertarian' label and be done with it?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Tax breaks targeted to one company over its competitors is a subsidy. Low-interest loans given out as gifts by the government rather than private lenders who take factors like risk and cashflow into account are subsidies. And why is the government in the business of lending anyone money in the first place?

    But at least we can both agree that you should stop using the libertarian label, since you're so obviously enamored of sweetheart deals for politically connected businesses.

  • paranoid android||

    Listen Hugh, I don't know how they do things in whatever backwater Commie-stan you come from, but this is America. If you don't want businesses kow-towing before the President in hopes he'll dole ole special privileges for them like a medieval king, you can't call yourself a believer in liberty.

  • Homple||

    Lots of businessess pretty much anywhere on earth benefit from cronying with the governments at any level. Especially China, the libertarian dream source of cheap consumer goods.

  • Zeb||

    China, the libertarian dream source of cheap consumer goods

    Is there some kind of contest going on for most ridiculous way to miss the point?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think I have a song you need to listen to. It will teach you some things:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o6xrSyhVhc

  • CE||

    Any true libertarian would celebrate whenever any person or company gets to keep more of their own money and the government steals less of it, even if the tax break is "targeted".

  • ||

    "There are virtually no credits in federal or state tax law that are sensible tax policy," says Chris Edwards, director of tax policy for the libertarian Cato Institute. "The fact that states 'need' special breaks to those taxes is an admission by the politicians that the general tax rates are too high and are scaring away businesses. But then the solution is cutting overall rates, not just cutting for a narrow group of favored businesses."
  • Sevo||

    "Why not just abandon the 'libertarian' label and be done with it?"

    Sarc or stupidity?

  • Zeb||

    Nothing more libertarian than government picking winners and losers.

  • MSimon||

    AZA1

  • ||

    It doesn't seem to me that anything about "Made in America Week" implies a commitment to free markets - quite the opposite, really. The very notion assumes a role for the Fed Gov in restricting the economy.

  • geo1113||

    True, but the fed gov has been playing that roles for years and years and years.

  • ||

    No doubt. I'm just saying there really isn't anything about an event called "Made in America Week" that should generate any expectations that the even has something to do with "free markets."

  • dchang0||

    I agree, and I find it good that in this particular case, the gov't isn't trying to reframe (lie) about its intentions, such as telling us a trade deal is "free trade" when there's over 5000 pages of restrictions on trade, etc.

    Of course, they could be more honest and call it "Made Americans Pay to Have This Made in America Week," but hey, it's gov't. They'll never be that honest.

  • CE||

    "Screw American Consumers Week" wouldn't sound as patriotic.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He donned a white Stetson hat. He climbed into the cab of a bright red fire truck parked on the White House lawn. He swung a golf club and admired a baseball bat.

    I would have been stoked to do all those things too... when i was eight years old.

  • ||

    He also fired a cap gun that looked like six-shooter.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "Pew! Pew!" he said. Later, he ate two whole bowls of Lucky Charms and made a fort out of the couch cushions.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm not even being sarcastic when I say, our country would be much better if this is what politicians spent their time doing.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Oh, necessarily.

  • Zeb||

    I want an oversized couch now, so I can make a fort out of the cushions.

  • ||

    Here was a man who outwardly embodied a free market ethos that repudiated Obama's remarks. Trump presented himself as man who achieved great things without much help from the government.

    In fairness, I don't know anyone who supported Trump because they thought he had a "free market ethos." I don't think he ever claimed to have such tendencies. He's always been a pretty naked cronyist.

    What I heard supporters say is that he might bring to the office the experience of a businessman who's aware that his decisions have consequences and that it matters whether the people you appoint can do the job you're appointing them to.

    Whether that's really turning out as expected is certainly open to debate, but those are the terms on which I heard people argue in his favor - rather than that there was any expectation he was going to be some free-market libertarian guy.

  • CE||

    So who is more pro-business, Trump or Clinton? Wall Street is saying Trump, but you do have to think about it a bit.

    Trump or Obama is a much easier question.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You know, I'm sitting here remembering all the different political factions and what they've preached over the years. I'm guessing political scientists, such as they are, will be studying this phenomenon in the decades to come.

    I'm taken back to the WTO protests where left/progressives were railing against globalization. At the 1999 WTO protests, right alongside environmentalists dancing in turtle costumes, people wielding 'free Mumia' signs were Teamster and SEIU union reps handing out literature.

    I also remember the featurettes on the Children of Men DVD, in which a bunch of activists warned against the ravages of globalization.

    Can trump be considered one of them? If not, why not?

  • ||

    Hell - just looking at the TPP is telling.

    As of October 2016, a lot of my friends were railing against the TPP, and Sanders' commitment to ending it was one of his big selling points over HRC, who everyone knew was lying when she said she would get rid of it. I know this because I pointed out to them that she was lying, and they agreed that if she won she would put on a sad face and say "I tried and tried, but just couldn't stop it."

    When Trump scrapped it day one of his term? Crickets. Protectionism is bad, again, I guess.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The rise of progressivism in the last ten years has been grotesquely fascinating. It's closed in on itself and we've ended up with a much more European political spectrum. The right has embraced the anti-globalization rhetoric of the left, but are applying aggressively to not only trade protectionism, but immigration.

    Real live-and-let-live liberalism seems to be dead.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think there is a strange schism in that I think it is increasingly a live-and-let-live mindset in peoples day to day life (Maybe not in big cities, I can't speak of them. Though I guess I live in Seattle now so fuck me). But it isn't applied to politics.

    For some reason there is a strange transition from how people think of individuals to how they think of groups. I started writing this thinking I had a point, but I realize now I didn't say anything at all. Still gonna click submit though.

  • ||

    It seems to be fundamental to the human condition to need to believe that somewhere there is an Enemy who stands against your will to live in Peace and Harmony, and this Enemy must be destroyed.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I think you're speaking philosphically-- on a broad scale. Specifically, what I think has happened is the crash of 2008 changed things fundamentally. The left had been griping about globalization, but from what I could tell, it was mostly based on the fact that from their eyes, it was 'disrupting native and traditionally oppressed' groups. Globalization was leading to destruction of the rain forests, poor indigenous tribes were no longer 'pure' but were wearing Nike tee-shirts etc. The early indicator that there was going to be a left-right alliance was when the labor unions latched onto the movement, opposing free trade deals (Nafta at the time) because they see free trade deals as a threat to their jobs.

    After 2008, everything went full retard. Honestly, I'm not even sure why progressives hate Trump. I'm guessing it's because of his immigration policies which seem mean. It may also because he's a republican and that sets of an automatic distrust.

    Trump may actually be more progressive than Obama.

  • ||

    I think that's accurate. Prior to 2008 the political left was still internationalist. It seems like it was about that time that "internationalism" stopped being a socialist program and became "global capitalism."

    Most everyone I know would describe themselves as progressive, and they all vote Democrat.

    People who two years ago literally cursed the names of Karl Rove, David Frum, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan now sing their praises as the "good that the Republicans have to offer."

    Pointing out that Trump is more closely aligned with Progressivism than any of these people falls on deaf ears.

    It has been an exercise in pure tribalism. Trump is the Hated Other, and everyone else is Good by comparison. If Trump expresses, or seems to express, an idea, then the opposite is What's True.

    Witness Tony praising gay-bashing congressional Republicans because they criticize Trump, who has always stood in favor of LGBT rights.

  • BYODB||

    It makes sense when you think about it, though.

    Mankind as a species has virtually no morphological features that are particularly good at either defense or offense so until we developed that whole 'smart' thing we were probably more or less food for everything that wasn't a herbivore. Hell, even a cow has better offense/defense features than a human when it comes down to it.

    Thus for the majority of humanities time on Earth, I suspect we've been hunted by one thing or another. Tribes were necessary as a straight-up defense mechanism since nature failed to give us anything particularly good.

  • ||

    The right has embraced the anti-globalization rhetoric of the left, but are applying aggressively to not only trade protectionism, but immigration.

    This is what gives me hope that Team Blue's knees may actually start jerking towards free markets, just out of spite.

  • Zeb||

    Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    No, I think you're right. Suddenly NPR has been sounding a lot like Adam Smith lately.

  • ||

    Suddenly NPR has been sounding a lot like Adam Smith lately.

    This is a lot of what I've found encouraging. Suddenly they're doing lots of explainers about the importance of free markets, the pacifying effects of international trade, and why protectionism tends to backfire.

    Although some of my more rabidly far left friends see NPR as a false flag operation of the Koch Brothers, so you never know.

  • BYODB||

    The inherent problem with all of that is that we assume that what the politician says is what they believe and/or what they will act upon when decades, if not hundreds of years, of proof says this is not the case.

    In fact, your own example illustrates this perfectly. The left, and the right, are both driven by opposition but if roles were reversed what could possibly make you think it would be any more effective at reaching the stated goal when the other 'tribe' never got there either?

    Divide and conquer seems a much more likely scenario.

  • ||

    This is all too true, and NPR's angle does tend to be that government is central in securing free trade. But it would mean one of the two major parties at least paying lip service to the idea that markets aren't evil

  • BYODB||

    The other problem that would need to be addressed is that the left can not align itself with capitalism or free markets when they are almost exclusively comprised of socialists, Marxists, communists, and Progressives.

    There are very, very, VERY few classical liberals left in the populace, and in office I can't think of one. I can't think of anyone around my own age that qualifies. Every 'true' classical liberal I know is in at least their 50's if not 60's and 70's.

    So while they might pay lip service to those things, much like how they cite the constitution when it fits their agenda, I'd say that it's entirely a lie meant to mislead rather than any real motion to the right.

  • dchang0||

    Re: "The inherent problem with all of that is that we assume that what the politician says is what they believe and/or what they will act upon when decades, if not hundreds of years, of proof says this is not the case."

    Very true. You should hear (leftist) Sam Harris practically flipping out on Scott Adams in his podcast over Trump saying one thing but doing another. Harris, as highly intelligent as he is, doesn't seem to get what Adams keeps saying: politics involves publicly lying and then doing something entirely different (subterfuge).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReKIJvOJDrs

  • BYODB||

    If they could replace the progressive members of the party with classical liberals there would be hope, but I lost that hope a long time ago. =/

  • dchang0||

    Check out Dave Rubin's interviews on YouTube. He's a former member of the left turned classical liberal, red-pilling people on the left who find out they are actually classical liberals.
    It's refreshing to watch.

  • ||

    This. If everyone's going to go full tribal, maybe the Democrats will decide they love free trade, just to be the opposite of what the enemy tribe stands for.

    And then will conveniently forget how they used to be anti-globalization.

    We've always been at war with Oceania. Nothing to see here. Pay not attention to the man behind the curtain.

    Works for me.

  • CE||

    Only in the case of artisanal mayonnaise craftspeople in Vermont.

  • 1allen23||

    This globalization has been going on for at least 60 years. Through Democrat and Republican leadership. The congress passed laws to make it lucrative for a business to move overseas. They were given taxbreaks for setting up shop in 3rd world countries. And then the biggest boon for businesses was the passage of NAFTA, then GATT where products made in other countries did not have to pay import duties, or tariffs. Yet the Chinese have a 40% tariff on all goods going into their country from the US. Little by little most of our manufacturing went to 3rd world countries for cheap labor and then brought back into the US with the same prices as the goods that used to be made here., only now the corporations tripled their profits. The globalists are bound and determined to bring the US down economically and financially. Trump is a wealthy man, he can not be bought and he is well on the way to destroying everything these globalists have been working on for the last 100 years or so. These globalists are ultra wealthy and own almost all of the central banks in the industrialized nations, including the federal reserve. They hate Trump and they are using everything at their disposal to try and bring him down. These globalists own all of the major media also, so now you can put 2 and 2 together.

  • dchang0||

    Re: "Can trump be considered one of them? If not, why not?"

    That is a fascinatingly difficult question.
    I was going to say "progressives claim they are for the (downtrodden) people," but Trump did that. I was going to say "progressives tend to be rich and using gov't for their own interests while pretending to be for the little guy," but Trump did that too. Or "progressives want to use gov't to control businesses," but that's Trump too.

    I guess the primary difference is that Trump is overtly nationalist/patriotic, but most American progressives seem deeply ashamed to be American.

    Also, most American leftists seem to truly believe that around half of Americans are "deplorable," while Trump seems to think of the deplorables as fellow Americans, worthy of at least talking to.

  • Jerryskids||

    Even as a centerpiece of his policy agenda—the repeal and replace of Obamacare—was going down in flames in the Senate, President Donald Trump appeared to be having fun.

    Shoring up Obamacare was the centerpiece of the GOP's agenda, not Trump's. Trump's policy centerpiece is building walls. Walls to keep out cheap labor, cheap goods, cheap drugs and cheap hookers mail-order brides from Eastern Europe. Walls are infrastructure spending and jobs for campaign-donating union members and crony capitalists. Walls are big beautiful symbols of counter-productive government spending, a giant "FYTW" to the peons to remind them just who are the wardens and who are the inmates.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Trump's 'Made In America Week' Inadvertently Highlights Corporate Welfare


    And it highlights the president's interest in unleashing America's version of Juche.

    Making America Grating Again

  • Juice||

    According to Good Jobs First's database, Caterpillar has also received dozens of tax breaks from state and local governments.

    WELFARE!!

  • Juice||

    Here was a man who outwardly embodied a free market ethos

    boggle boggle

    lolwut?!

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Alt-text: "Woo-woo! I'm-a drivin' muh choo-choo! Wee-oo-wee-oo-wee-oo!"

  • HST Fan||

    $77 million incentive package from Georgia - While closing it's plant in Prentice WI. good deal for Georiga Sucks for Wisconsin

  • CE||

    "Subsidies, loans, and tax breaks"

    One of these things is not like the others.

  • ElDuderino||

    Libertarian does not mean voting libertarian, it simply means that I prefer to have much less government(almost anarchy) and therefore more individual liberty. You cant get from what we have as government today to what I want without a little destruction and political upheaval. Trump is a perfect wreaking ball. He is politically incorrect and is therefore destroying decades of liberal cultural conditioning. He is politically destructive in that he is destroying the image of POTUS as KING and replacing POTUS with an extremely HUMAN (flaws and all) image so we don't all just vote for POTUS to elect a new fucking king every 4–8 years. He is also doing a lot to destroy regulations and repeal laws. By the way, the establishment bureaucracy hates him and with any luck, he will dismantle much of that aperatus or at least build a stronger willingness to do so while also showing that its not as difficult as we thought to do so.
    In short, Trump is the first wave of anarchy that we desperately need to reverse course on the ever-growing State whether he intends to be that or not. I WANT the wrecking ball to kick out as many supporting pillars as possible. And I seriously doubt he will "press the big red button" that is an absurd fear only retarded fear mongers will subscribe to.
    And if you think anarchy is simply violence and destruction for the sake of violence and destruction, then you really have no idea what anarchy truely means. No government means self government.

  • ElDuderino||

    This was copied from a response I gave to a prog in a different forum so some context is missing, but I'm too fucking lazy to fill in the context so... The gist here is that although I don't agree with his policies, I agree with some and i agree with the direction of some if not the implementation. And although he probably doesn't intend it, he is the WREAKING-BALL POTUS.

  • Red Twilight||

    Not just context, it lacks coherence. Beyond the usual platitude, you are just another garden variety bigotry supporting Republican.

    Drumpf is not doing shit to counter "establishment bureaucracy," he is simply funnelling all of it to serve himself.

    No government means self government.
    See? Incoherent. Toldya.

  • Amogin||

    Interesting that corporate welfare never arouses the same ire against takers that most in the GOP display against people forced to rely on the social safety net to get by. They, too, usually do not stay long on government assistance but what is given grudignly to them is lavished upon corporations which use some of their generous payments for lobbyists and political donations. Is this the swamp that the minority president promised to drain?

  • Red Twilight||

    That is modern libertarianism. Republicans feeding at the trough filled by donors who then are handed more of the loot back.

    A struggling unemployed family using SNAP are moochers.
    A corporation getting subsidies? Smart capitalist merely recovering what is his, or a clever businessman exploiting loopholes legally.

    He just needs a bigger swamp

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