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Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR

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Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. You can follow him at http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller.

Throughout the months of November and December, a steady stream of corporate CEOs flowed in and out of the White House to discuss the impending fiscal cliff. Many of them, such as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, would then publicly come out and talk about how modest increases of tax rates on the wealthy were reasonable in order to deal with the deficit problem. What wasn’t mentioned is what these leaders wanted, which is what’s known as “tax extenders”, or roughly $205B of tax breaks for corporations. With such a banal name, and boring and difficult to read line items in the bill, few political operatives have bothered to pay attention to this part of the bill. But it is critical to understanding what is going on.

The negotiations over the fiscal cliff involve more than the Democrats, Republicans, the middle class and the wealthy. The corporate sector is here in force as well. One of the core shifts in the Reagan era was the convergence of wealthy individuals who wanted to pay less in taxes – many from the growing South – with corporations that wanted tax breaks. Previously, these groups fought over the pie, because the idea of endless deficits did not make sense. Once Reagan figured out how to finance yawning deficits, the GOP was able to wield the corporate sector and the new sun state wealthy into one force, epitomized today by Grover Norquist. What Obama is (sort of) trying to do is split this coalition, and the extenders are the carrot he’s dangling in front of the corporate sector to do it.

Most tax credits drop straight to the bottom line – it’s why companies like Enron considered its tax compliance section a “profit center”. A few hundred billion dollars of tax expenditures is a major carrot to offer. Surely, a modest hike in income taxes for people who make more than $400k in income and stupid enough not to take that money in capital gain would be worth trading off for the few hundred billion dollars in corporate pork. This is what the fiscal cliff is about – who gets the money. And by leaving out the corporate sector, nearly anyone who talks about this debate is leaving out a key negotiating partner.

So without further ado, here are eight corporate subsidies in the fiscal cliff bill that you haven’t heard of.

1) Help out NASCAR - Sec 312 extends the “seven year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complex property”, which is to say it allows anyone who builds a racetrack and associated facilities to get tax breaks on it. This one was projected to cost $43 million over two years.

2) A hundred million or so for Railroads - Sec. 306 provides tax credits to certain railroads for maintaining their tracks. It’s unclear why private businesses should be compensated for their costs of doing business. This is worth roughly $165 million a year.

3) Disney’s Gotta Eat - Sec. 317 is “Extension of special expensing rules for certain film and television productions”. It’s a relatively straightforward subsidy to Hollywood studios, and according to the Joint Tax Committee, was projected to cost $150m for 2010 and 2011.

4) Help a brother mining company out – Sec. 307 and Sec. 316 offer tax incentives for miners to buy safety equipment and train their employees on mine safety. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to bribe mining companies to not kill their workers.

5) Subsidies for Goldman Sachs Headquarters – Sec. 328 extends “tax exempt financing for  York Liberty Zone,” which was a program to provide post-9/11 recovery funds. Rather than going to small businesses affected, however, this was, according to Bloomberg, “little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp.” Michael Bloomberg himself actually thought the program was excessive, so that’s saying something. According to David Cay Johnston’s The Fine Print, Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds.

6) $9B Off-shore financing loophole for banks – Sec. 322 is an “Extension of the Active Financing Exception to Subpart F.” Very few tax loopholes have a trade association, but this one does. This strangely worded provision basically allows American corporations such as banks and manufactures to engage in certain lending practices and not pay taxes on income earned from it. According to this Washington Post piece, supporters of the bill include GE, Caterpillar, and JP Morgan. Steve Elmendorf, super-lobbyist, has been paid $80,000 in 2012 alone to lobby on the “Active Financing Working Group.” 

7) Tax credits for foreign subsidiaries –  Sec. 323 is an extension of the “Look-through treatment of payments between related CFCs under foreign personal holding company income rules.” This gibberish sounding provision cost $1.5 billion from 2010 and 2011, and the US Chamber loves it. It’s a provision that allows US multinationals to not pay taxes on income earned by companies they own abroad.

8) Bonus Depreciation, R&D Tax Credit – These are well-known corporate boondoggles. The research tax credit was projected to cost $8B for 2010 and 2011, and the depreciation provisions were projected to cost about $110B for those two years, with some of that made up in later years.

Conveniently, the Joint Committee on Taxation in 2010 did an analysis of what many of these extenders cost. You can find that report here.

Enjoy!

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74 comments

    1. Claudius

      tawal says “Sick Bastids…”.

      Noooo! Patriots, I say!

      The great patriot, Mayor Bloomberg (and George Pataki), chose the companies that would receive the government guaranteed, triple tax-exempt (No federal, state or local tax) bonds. Not so much to defray the cost of One World Trade Center and its other rebuilding commitments (only $3.8 billion [59%] going to the WTC – Silverstein Properties) but to show taxpaying patriots how patriotism is articulated in the Big Apple; as Goldman Sachs got: $1.7 billion for its “downtown” tower; the Durst family: $650 million for the Bank of America building – in Midtown. Developer Forest City: $90.8 million for the Bank of New York Mellon building – in Brooklyn (for non-Americans, Midtown and Brooklyn are not any part of WTC or its environs). The remainder went toward smaller projects -most having nothing to do with 9/11 rebuilding.

      So, as often is the case, it’s patriotism for the plebs and bonds for the rich. But, at least we plebs, firefighters, policemen, other first responders can feel morally superior in our patriotism. How hollow and shamed Goldman, BoA and other banking executives must feel; securely ensconced behind anonymous, reflective panels of bright, smart engineered, steel, glass and concrete provided at the taxpayers patriotic munificence. Looking up from the frigid Manhattan streets, we can sense them; all embarrassed and self conscious; sitting there in their nice shiny tax-payer subsidized housing. And, good for us; that we would rather use our patriotic street-smarts to protest their patriotic ‘Street-smarts’ in their private, “publicly gifted” parks below.

      With patriotism being rewarded like this in America, is it hardly surprising that the zeitgeist for most patriotic Americans is fear and self loathing?

      1. Fred Tourette

        “How hollow and shamed Goldman, BoA and other banking executives must feel…”

        Sociopaths feel neither hollowness nor shame.

        1. Marta

          Exactly. Sociopaths feel no shame or guilt. Only “Did I get what I want?” And if they did get what they want, that’s enough for them. It’s a sick system.

  1. mike fox

    I think most of this corporate welfare should be done away. But look through on payments between CFCs is fair. If we do not tax active foreign earnings of FCs then I do not see why they should be taxes if they are moved around to its parent or brother sister. Yes it can be abused to create high taxed pools etc. However, in general it is proper. Why should active income be currently taxable if it is paid up as a dividend to a foreign parent?

    1. Nathanael

      Why should active income be taxable if it is paid from a corporation to an individual? Why should it be taxable if it is paid from an individual to a corporation? Why should it be taxable if it is paid from a parent to a child?

      All of our income taxes are transfer taxes. It’s very convenient that giant multinational corporations suddenly get a big honking exemption from transfer tax.

      1. jpe

        As a general rule, we *don’t* tax transfers from one foreign person to another. This fix merely retains that general rule rather than permitting an exception from swallowing something that should properly be governed by the rule.

        1. GBC1

          These are complicated issues and it is rare to see a fair presentation on any of them.

          Take CFCs for example. Most countries do not tax active business income earned by controlled foreign affiliates until it is repatriated to the home country, and then the income is exept from tax in the home coutry to the extent that it has been taxed in the foreign jurisdiction. The question is whether funds transferred between foreign affiliates in differnt jurisdictions are repatriated as an intermedate step – if you say they are, then they are taxed in the US – if you say they are not, they are not taxed in the US. You can toughen up the rules if you want, but then you make the US a less favorable jurisdiction for head offices for international companies than miost other decveloped countries in the world.

          Railroads must be maintained by the railway operator; governments pay the costs of maintaining highways. If you want to give the railroads a few tax breaks because they have this cost, you lelvel the [playiong field a bit, if you sdopn’t do this, you give an advantage to trucking over rail.

          1. RC

            Government doesn’t pay for highways. The users do through gasoline taxes and, in the case of truckers, weight based road use taxes. Why shouldn’t railroads pay for their own track?

    1. dan

      Lambert –

      Do you think Heritage Foundation has purposely not given these corporate entities bootstraps and a beating heart to avoid accusations of welfare and personal responsibility in the non-existent world-class mainstream media?

  2. 11-dimensional heel-n-toe

    The Dem dupes at Digby are disappearing up their assholes in D/R positional analysis like it’s Casablanca v. Tal but it’s not, you dumb shits, it’s the pass in the grass and NASCAR wins!! *rebel yell truncated by phlegmmy cough*

    1. charles leseau

      Dig, but two corrections:

      It’s Capablanca, not Casablanca. :)

      And they wouldn’t have played each other considering their respective death/birth dates and, uh, global situation when the former died. Fischer or Botvinnik vs Tal would be more appropriate. (Sorry, hopeless chess geek here!)

      1. 11-dimensional heel-n-toe

        I was talking about Rufus Casablanca’s #8 Chevy and Tal Higginbottom’s Skoal Avenjer Ford, what was you talking about?

  3. Thorstein

    Poor, sad BO :-(

    No doubt he thinks these tokens of gratitude bestowed upon his corporate keepers will secure him their gratitude in return. But just wait for the 113th Congress. Po’ boy, he’ll have to kowtow all over again…

    1. indices

      “…secure him their gratitude…”
      He’s a family man, only thinking of his children and life after being POTUS.

          1. Nathanael

            Clinton was a white Southerner. He was “one of their tribe”. Therefore the videos accusing him of murder were only put out by a small fraction of the group….

    1. blah

      A tool. Just a lover of Obama. If it were Bush passing the same crap, he’d have been calling for frog marching. Martin Longman has had a interesting career, where he has went from being outright irrational in his hatred of Bush to being outright irrational in his love of Obama. At least he’s consistent.

  4. tony

    i dont remember benefits for the rich being any part of the argument over the fiscal cliff. all i heard was from democrats “the rich need to pay thier fair share” and from republicans “we need to cut entitlements to the poor”. now we find out that both parties just agreed without apparently any debate to help thier donors pay even less of a fair share. this should, but wont be a call to action against both parties. corporations are being made even richer at the expense of the middle class and smaller buisnesses. this is why warren buffet says the rich need to pay more. sure he pays a few more bucks in taxes as an individual, but boy oh boy what he gets back in return from his corporations! both sides are dirty. tax breaks for corporations should have been shut down. instead the rich will now get richer. dont blame me, i didnt vote for either of those fools. and im not a diehard anything. i like some republicans and some democrats. ron wyden, ron paul. both decent imo. not exact matches, but both have things i like. but the majority of both parties, including the potus are owned lock , stock, and barrel, by thier donors.

    1. citalopram

      And the only thing getting us out of this mess is a whole lot of class consciousness and massive political protest on the part of the people.

    2. triplanetary

      Ron Paul is a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic piece of shit who has absolutely nothing going for him. His libertarian views may not be mainstream, but his “privatize everything!” enthusiasm is a large part of what got America into this mess.

      Dumbass.

      1. Stepdaddy82

        Ron Paul is THE MAN!!! You could figure that out just by listening to WHO is dissing, ignoring or discrediting him. It doesn’t take a genius. If the filthy rich are scared of him, he’s gotta be on to something. We are supposed to be a REPUBLIC. MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY if you want other people to be OBLIGATED to take care of you instead of VOLUNTEERING to do so. I love how people think that every belief that Ron Paul has would be IMMEDIATELY made into law the day after being elected and all the people who have depended on the gov’t to survive would be doomed. If people would only LEARN how to listen instead of listening to what they were BEING TOLD. Besides, if I disagreed with 99% of his policies, I WOULD STILL vote for a guy like that because he’s not bound to anyone but the people.

        1. James

          “We are supposed to be a REPUBLIC. MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY if you want other people to be OBLIGATED to take care of you instead of VOLUNTEERING to do so.”

          I wish people who use the word “REPUBLIC” like this, would look up what the word means, because I don’t think they really have a clue. (Sorry for the off topic comment.)

          Dictionary:
          re·pub·lic [ri-puhb-lik] Show IPA
          noun
          1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
          2.any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.
          3. a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.
          4. ( initial capital letter ) any of the five periods of republican government in France. Compare First Republic, Second Republic, Third Republic, Fourth Republic, Fifth Repub.
          5.( initial capital letter, italics ) a philosophical dialogue (4th century b.c.) by Plato dealing with the composition and structure of the ideal state.

  5. tony

    one other thing…did we …or did we not…just raise taxes on individual citizens to pay for more tax breaks for corporations? and who will benefit most from those tax breaks for corporations?

    1. Helen

      Bravo Matt — and Great comment Tony ! And how many pages was this little piece of trickery passed at the eleventh hour?
      Why in the world are we worrying about giving subsidies to
      Build race Tracks! OMGoodness. And of course Goldman
      Sachs got their piece of the pie — look at how many ex-Goldman
      People are at the forefront of running not just the US but the
      Global economy.

      And this plot sickens…..just a big slap in the face to remind us that the banks and Investment bankers truly rule the world and our government. Not
      A new discovery, by the way. This is a fact of life since we became the USA.

  6. larry d.

    Of course I see and dislike the corruption here, but the answer you seem to be promoting is to force U.S. citizens and businesses to hand over even more money to these corrupt politicians who are making such decisions. And of course, not seizing someone’s money isn’t a “cost” or subsidization. I think the first step toward a rational and just critique, and ultimately toward rational and just governance, would be to can the Orwellian language.

  7. Nathanael

    The railroad subsidies are needed because….
    …drumroll…
    …the government repeatedly refuses to nationalize the railroads. The railroads are public services just like the roads, and shouldn’t be owned by private entities.

    Railroad nationalization has been the right thing to do for a VERY long time. Every other country in the world except Mexico and Canada has nationalized railroads, last I checked. (Canada and Mexico used to have nationalized railroads, but were pressured into privatization by various American administrations and Wall Street scammers.) Keynes recommended nationalization of the railroads back in the 1930s. Woodrow Wilson knew that the railroads needed to be nationalized back in 1914.

    But the privateers have had control of the railroads for a very, very long time. They managed to destroy the railroad system and drive almost all the railroad companies into bankruptcy in the 60s, and STILL we haven’t nationalized the railroads.

    The US is so broken.

    1. mouse

      No, no, no. If they can’t survive without forcing people who don’t use them to pay for them regardless, then they need to go belly-up.

      1. DiamondJammies

        Assuming mouse is not being snarky…

        I’m consistently stunned by just how myopic the adherents of the petty bourgeois ideology of libertarianism/propertarianism are. It’s almost as if they’re literally unable to see the social order from any vantage point but their own immediate experience. This is a prime example.

        How is it possible to not understand that railroads play an enormous role in transporting the commodities that we all use everyday in this country? How is it possible to believe that something that is such an integral part of your life plays no role in your life?

        For the propertarian there exists only the atomistic individual buying and selling in the marketplace. This sums up the entirety of human existence from the propertarian perspective. Under this extreme form of commodity fetishism (a species of philosophical idealism) the social structures that make possible this mode of being are naturalized, exchange is hypostatized and the reality of the mode of production is rendered invisible.

        Propertarianism/libertarianism is the unreal truth of bourgeois society, the most refined mode of expression of a social order built on the founding contradiction of socialized production and privatized appropriation.

        1. DiamondJammies

          On further reflection, it’s probably more accurate to say that commodity fetishism is the real material foundation for the philosophical idealism of all variants of bourgeois ideology, from propertarianism at the nearer end of unreality to left-liberal/Keynesianism at the farther end. (Both misunderstand the totality of capital in its historical movement, but propertarianism fails to even understand that there is historical movement.)

          With respect to propertarianism what is needed is an understanding of the interrelation between the top-down, propagandistic elemement of propertarianism (number one patrons, the Koch bros.), i.e. the deliberate, class-concious inculcation of false consciousness (even many workers espouse this gibberish!), and the diffuse reality of commodity fetishism, i.e. the way in which the commodity form provides fertile ground for this propaganda to take root.

          1. DiamondJammies

            In case anybody’s wondering (probably not, but here it goes anyway), one of my big problems with Keynesianism is that it substitutes an ersatz dialectic of class struggle for the real thing. Thus instead of the real movement of capital and its subsumption of politics due to its real needs, i.e. the necessity the profit system has of overcoming all barriers, including progressive policy reforms, and the concomitant necessary recognition of this by labor if it is to prevent barbarism, most of Keynesiasm would have us believe that capital can be reconciled with labor, that through the parliamentary road of electing progressive personalities to enact Roosevelt’s Second New Deal we can return to the glory days of embedded liberalism. Part of the failure here is not to recognize that without a Soviet Union to compete against, there never would have been a New Deal in the first place, that without Lenin, that person that anti-communist liberals hate so much, there is no Social Security (something that Tea Party Granny living on her fixed income and yelling about Big Gubmint, who hates them-there “commies,” can’t even fathom.) But the more fundamental problem lies in a failure to understand why neoliberalism came about in the first place. Hint: it’s material basis wasn’t in Lewis Powell’s memo but in the crisis that began in the late 60s due to the falling rate of profit.

    2. JEHR

      Yes, Nathanael, we are being broken too. Pershing Square hedge fund just bought our CP Rail which used to be government owned and was built by Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. MacDonald. Instead of finding good leadership, CP was sold down the river to a group of people who do not care about our national railway system that promised to unite our country and is an important part of our national heritage. The new (hedge fund) CP is now going to get rid of 4500 jobs and sell off the property of the railroad for more money. It is all about the money!

      Broken, broken and more broken all the time.

      1. Nathanael

        Canada actually has a long and nasty history of having the government build railways; selling them off to privateers; and then having to nationalize them again (bailing out the privateers).

        Look up “Grand Trunk”, “Interprovincial Railway”, “Canadian Government Railway”, and “Canadian National”….

        …and “BC Rail” if you want a recent case which really stinks.

      2. Vincent Clement

        Canadian Pacific Railway was ‘owned’ by the Government for a short period of about 5 or so years – back in the 1870s. It was incorporated in 1881 and has been a corporation ever since.

        You must be confusing CN Rail with CP Rail.

    3. Quaker

      You are out of your mind and have no idea what you are talking about. Railroads make plenty of money and get smaller subsidies than every other form of transportation (not that I think any of them should get it). The US has one of the only rail systems in the world that actually makes money. I believe this money is used to maintain tracks that don’t serve significant markets, and is a drop in the bucket to the actual money they spend every year on maintenance.

      1. triplanetary

        Yeah except that profit margins aren’t how I measure success. I’d rather have a rail system that runs a deficit but provides quality service. Passenger rail is almost dead in the US becauseits not sufficiently profitable, but it would be a great public good, so fuck profit.

      2. Nathanael

        I know more about railroads than you will ever know. It’s an area of fandom.

        Railroads are seriously capital-intensive. An amount of money which looks like a lot of maintenance in another industry is a severe underinvestment in the railroad industry.

  8. Nathanael

    The one credit on this list which I approve of in concept is the R&D credit.

    If corporations are good for anything, it is for R&D — we want to tax bad things (like accumulating profits), not good things (like doing R&D). Obviously, the R&D tax credit should exclude socially and environmentally destructive R&D (no R&D without an approved environmental impact statement, perhaps?)

    1. Michael

      I may be in error but to my best knowledge most corporations,Big Pharma,Big Oil,etc. have a very small R&D fund- from 4 to 6% average. If so, R&D is hardly justification. The minimal R & D is prob. also why we don’t have alt. energy sources & other innovations. “They” are too busy making max profit & laughing at the rest of us.

  9. Schofield

    This is all pure sociobiology. How the “Rich Tribe” corrupted democracy to diss the “Poor Tribe.”

  10. JEHR

    We are now in the process of watching just how the military/corporate/financial complex is going to complete its goal of taking over the economy for its own purposes. I see all of Michael Hudson’s prognostications coming true. Woe is We!

    (Industrial has already left the building.)

    1. Nathanael

      The problem is that it does not have any purposes other than stealing and looting.

      If we were being taken over by an Emperor Augustus, life would be OK.

      We’re not; we’re being “taken over” by short-term-thinking psychopath looters, who don’t know what to do with power once they have it.

      This is, to use the technical term, “unsustainable”. The kleptocrats are writing their own death warrants by “taking over” and then mismanaging things. The question is who will replace them — a Lenin? Stalin? Mussolini? Hitler?

      We are *trying* for Clement Atlee. I’m not sure how to get there.

  11. Lady Liberty

    Yea right I’m sure that’s what obama is trying to do lol as opposed to obama is a paid off pig. Hollywood, the bailed out Warren Buffoon’s paying him off has nothing to do with these gifts right?

    Tax Break Included in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill Will Benefit Warren Buffett

    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/01/tax-break-included-in-fiscal-cliff-bill.html

    Buffett’s Betrayal

    http://blogs.reuters.com/rolfe-winkler/2009/08/04/buffetts-betrayal/

    Warren Buffett Is A Punk

    Meanwhile, Buffett has given each of his kids a charitable foundation with billions each to manage. If a foundation has $3bb in it, then something like $90mm can go to salaries.

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/12/warren-buffett-is-a-punk/

    How Buffett Saves Billions On His Tax Return

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/08/17/how-buffett-saves-billions-on-his-tax-return/

    2012
    JPMorgan Employees Join Goldman Sachs Among Top Obama Donors

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-20/jpmorgan-employees-join-goldman-sachs-among-top-obama-donors.html

    2008

    http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/4939/baracks-wall-street-problem-is-now-americas/

  12. Eric

    Just a quick thought on #7. This makes perfect sense and I don’t see why it is “conspiracy theory” here. A company should not pay double taxes (taxes in the US and foreign countries), because those foreign entities are already paying taxes in those countries they do business.

    Think of all of the foreign companies that conduct business in the US (Honda, Toyota, BMW, and many more), are all being taxed by the US to operate here. They pay taxes too. It makes sense. I fail to see why this is a problem? Also, most foreign countries tax rates are higher than the US.

    As far as the other items you pointed out: Bravo! Thank you for providing this information and making it easily understood and known. Unfortunately, this kind of information and coverage is not being conveyed on any news channel :( Therefore, the normal “people” of the world will not see it unless they look for it like I did. Good website and article altoghter!

    1. Synopticist

      “A company should not pay double taxes (taxes in the US and foreign countries), because those foreign entities are already paying taxes in those countries they do business.”

      Here’s the rub. When you actually look into those companies tax affairs in detail, you find they’re NOT paying taxes in the countries they do business. They use cunning, but at least quasi-legal means, to avoid them. Hence the trouble Starbucks, Amazon , e-bay and Google have had in the UK recently.

      1. Jds

        Oooh, “cunning” means? Do you know anything about IT? It’s just deferral, genius. It will be taxed in the U S eventually.

  13. commenter8

    How To Cut Spending: End Corporate Welfare!!!    
       
    As Rex Nutting of Marketwatch noted in his 12/18/2012 article “Why isn’t Obama demanding corporate welfare cuts?”, “$2.6 trillion could be saved [...] It’s possible to achieve all the budget savings we need for the next 10 years simply by cutting the fat out of discretionary spending programs and tax expenditures [i.e., cutting the corporate welfare] without raising tax rates on the wealthy or cutting the safety net at all.”    
        
    Oil and gas companies, which are raking in record profits, certainly don’t need $4 billion a year in subsidies, and even the oil company CEOs admit they don’t need it!    
        
    Why are cuts to Social Security and Medicare even being discussed while literally billions in corporate welfare are constantly spilling out of the Treasury?
       
    White House petition here: http://wh.gov/Qa6f

  14. Conscience of a Conservative

    Exactly, we let the payroll tax deduction expire so we could fund algae research and promote NASCAR.

  15. Steve

    I don’t know about the rest but railroads are what you call “infrastructure” and their maintainence benefits us all. They haul freight and passengers, often more efficiently and with fewer environmental impacts than, say, trucks and autos.

    Why do we subsidize private businesses hauling freight by building public roads which are free for all to use? Yes, yes, I know about gas taxes, etc., etc., but still there’s a subsidy.

  16. Greg Retro

    For #2, Sec. 306 is purely infrastructure investment, benefiting short-line railroads. The “Big-5″ (“Big 7″ if you count Canada’s two) railroads do not benefit from this, other than reassurances that many minor traffic sources will be more stable.

  17. connie

    The extensions of corporate subsidies is the only way that the Repugs would vote for the middle class to keep getting their Bush tax cuts. It is always give and take. You give up something here and you get something there. With sequestration looming, it remains to be seen how the middle class will fare in order to avoid some of the military spending cuts.

  18. Jennewinn

    Chris Christie is walloping Boehner and with good reason. Boehner is the conscienceless, inhumane twerp who just walked out on thousands of homeless people. He didn’t even bother to smear vaseline in his eyes for the obligatory tears.

    But when Christie blames Boehner for “reading from the staffer’s script” he ignores the powers pulling both the staffers’ strings and Boehner’s.

    The real villains of this piece are the same vampires who funded Rove and the teaparty for their own greedy ends.

    And who will undoubtedly keep Boehner, Scott Walker and a few other acolytes in clover for the rest of their days.

    The US has absolutely got to get all that money out of the voting system.

    Mandate a maximum of three weeks’ actual campaigning before elections and let the people whom you hope will vote for you watch you actually getting some work done in the other 23 months of your term in the house.

    We are having Landeswahlen on January 20th. That would be equivalent to one of your States electing party, governor etc to lead for the next four years. All 6 parties agreed not to put up posters before Christmas, and when two stepped out of line early in December they were fined and made to take their posters down again.

    This week and next week the statewide radio, government-funded but independent thinkers, are devoting one morning each to the leaders of the six parties, they are running a three-hour phone-in action and having the leader of the party talk about his aims if (re-) elected.

    NO DISSING OTHER PARTIES OR PERSONS IS ALLOWED!
    Imagine that.

    I won’t say life is perfect here, but at least the politicians work for the voters and not for the filthy-rich Koch and Cronies.

    Thanks for listening and please accept my good wishes to all those who stand up to help the disaster victims get back on their feet.

  19. StuffandMoreStuff

    We want to know the senator’s names that were contacted for the $205 billion pork, and who put it in the bill.

  20. timebuilder

    Gr8 article, Matt!

    Can you tell me and my fellow readers who inserted these loopholes into the Fiscal Cliff Bill?

    Thanks in advance!

Comments are closed.