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Corporate Welfare Cost Taxpayers $100 Billion in FY 2012

The Cato Institute recently put a dollar figure on the amount of money that the "Bank of Washington" spent on corporate welfare for Fiscal Year 2012. Corporate welfare cost taxpayers $100 billion this past year, according to Cato’s
report . This spending is spread throughout numerous federal agencies.

According to Cato, the most spending on “corporate welfare” programs in the federal budget -- more than $25 billion -- went to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A majority of the department’s farm subsidies go to the largest farms, the report noted.

The Department of Energy is responsible for nearly $18 billion in corporate welfare in FY 2012.

Other programs to make the list: the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Community Development Block Grant program ($285 million); the Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program ($2.2 billion); attempts by Transportation Department policymakers to develop a high-speed rail network ($1.2 billion) and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management ($1.4 billion) land-use programs.

The amount of money being spent on corporate welfare is disturbing. $100 billion of taxpayer dollars should never be spent on pet projects like Solyndra. Doing so in the middle of a debt crisis is simply irresponsible. Cutting corporate welfare would not be a silver bullet (there is no getting around the need for serious entitlement reform) but it needs to happen. The Keynesian philosophy behind this corporate welfare is a bigger problem than the $100 billion handed out to businesses in FY 2012. The Obama Administration sincerely believes that the government knows best when it comes to creating economic growth. The ‘you didn’t build that’ philosophy is evident in the way that the federal government has corrupted the free market through corporate welfare. Until the Executive Branch has a change of philosophy, we can expect many more reports on billions of taxpayer dollars being wasted.

This post was authored by editorial intern Kyle Bonnell.

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