Calling an End to Corporate Welfare Queens!

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool announced today that it’s cutting 5,000 jobs. These job losses are on top of the 28,300 lost in Michigan during September 2008, and the 77,900 jobs cut over the past year, according to CNN Money.

Meanwhile, Comerica (notorious with Detroit local customers) announced it’s taking a $2.25 billion share of the $700 billion bailout from the feds. Not ones to miss out on their share of “corporate welfare,” GM and Chrysler are trying to negotiate a Bush-aided bailout (upwards of $10 billion) that will pay for their merger scheme resulting in more job cuts!

But get this: The politicians who voted for this bailout, along with the companies who lobbied for the bailout, who have job-worried employees praying for a bailout…are the same ones who insisted upon welfare reform for low-income people! They argued and ranted that social welfare programs created government dependency and cost tax payers billions of dollars.

They were wrong but their rhetoric and venomous political climate allowed for attacks on poor people. Today, the government is doling out billions in “corporate welfare” for the very same people who called for welfare reform. But you’ll hear no cries for “corporate welfare reform” or inflammatory complaints about “corporate welfare queens.” Apparently, socialism for corporations is different than socialism for people.

The Corporate Welfare Information Center keeps a large database of U.S. government “corporate welfare” and other tax payer subsidies. They list eight “corporate welfare recipients” who between 1990-1994 received corporate welfare while laying off workers:

“The more corporate welfare received, the more layoffs…

______Welfare received__Employment
GM……….$110,600,000……….-104,000
IBM…………58,000,000……….-100,000
AT&T………..35,000,000…………-1,077 * #
GE……………25,400,000………..-80,000
Amoco………23,600,000…………-8,300 *
DuPont……..15,200,000………..-29,961
Motorola……15,100,000…………+9,600 *
Citicorp………9,600,000………..-15,700
* exceptions to the trend
# AT&T layed off 40,000 people shortly after this accounting

Ralph Nader has long-called for stopping corporate welfare, and he’s been working to call attention to the latest national scandal. No one wants a lifetime of welfare! It’s a terrible way to live but we do need to find ways for everyone to have a guaranteed annual income. Government welfare is a safety-net for all people in times of need–especially when “corporate welfare queens” are squelching basic human needs and rights.

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