The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


May 14, 2014

In Your Opinion: The very rich get subsidized

In a letter to the editor, Hilda Holbrook wrote: “The Bible tells us in 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 3 verse 10: “That, if any will not work, neither should he eat.” 

Last year, Tennessee’s Republican Congressman Steven Fincher used that same biblical quote to argue for cutting food stamps. Although Fincher has repeatedly insisted that he hates socialism, both he and his family have been living off more than $3.5 million in agriculture subsidies dollars for generations.

Notwithstanding the fact that 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty, and 45 percent of the beneficiaries of food stamps are children, Delhi’s Congressman Gibson voted to cut food stamps by $40 billion.

Grazing cattle on private land would have cost Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy about $25 to graze a cow and calf per month. For 20 years, Bundy has been a government freeloader who put 500 head of cattle on federal land, and has repeatedly refused to pay the $1.35 per month fee.  It’s a subsidy that according to court decisions amounts to $1 million.

Many profitable corporations like Wal-Mart pay a subminimum wage, which is worth what the minimum wage was in 1968. The cost for taxpayers amounts to $7 billion in food stamps every year, because most Wal-Mart employees don’t earn enough money to stay out of poverty.

Subsidies for profitable oil corporations are costing taxpayers $21 billion a year. Oil subsides were meant to bolster an “emerging” industry 100 years ago. Cumulatively, oil companies have benefited from trillions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies over the last century.

Some Republicans want to repeal estate taxes; that only impacts the top three-tenths of 1 percent of the very wealthy. Inherited wealth isn’t earned, and serves to concentrate wealth at the very top.

Jim O’Leary 


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