Welfare for the Rich: Fortune 500 Companies Sweep up $63 Billion in Government Subsidies

Friday, February 28, 2014
(book by Mark Zepezauer)

Many of America’s most successful businesses have exploited state and local tax breaks and other government subsidies to further enrich their corporate earnings.


A new report (pdf) by Good Jobs First (GJF), a nonprofit research center in Washington, DC, says 75% of all economic development funding provided at the state and local level has gone to just 965 corporations, many of them Fortune 500 enterprises.


The Fortune 500 recipients of government welfare accounted for more than 16,000 subsidy awards worth $63 billion, GJF says.


Aircraft manufacturer Boeing enjoyed the most subsidy dollars: $13 billion. It was followed by Alcoa ($5.6 billion), Intel ($3.9 billion), General Motors ($3.5 billion) and Ford Motors ($2.5 billion).


GJF claims 17 companies took in subsidies worth more than $1 billion, while182 received awards of $100 million or more.


Another way of looking at the data was by the number of subsidies collected.


From this standpoint, Dow Chemical came out on top, with 416 awards.


Behind the chemical giant were Berkshire Hathaway (310), General Motors (307), Walmart (261), General Electric (255), Walgreens (225) and FedEx (222).


A total of 48 companies accepted more than 100 subsidies.


The average number of awards among the 965 companies examined by GJF was 26 and the average total dollar amount was $102 million.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Database Reveals Big-Business Dominance of Job Subsidies (Good Jobs First) (pdf)

Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent: Subsidy Tracker 2.0 Reveals Big-Business Dominance of State and Local Development Incentives (by Philip Mattera, Good Jobs First) (pdf)

10 Members of Congress who Receive Farm Subsidies Voted to Cut Food Stamps (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)           

Welfare for the Rich: U.S. Gives JPMorgan $14 Billion a Year in Subsidies (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)          

Oil Industry Gains Billions of Dollars in Government Subsidies (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)    


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