(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new report “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous” illustrating how, under the current tax code, the federal government is giving billions of dollars to individuals with an Annual Gross Income (AGI) of at least $1 million, subsidizing their lavish lifestyles with the taxes of the less fortunate.
“All Americans are facing tough times, with many working two jobs just to make ends meet and more families turning to the government for financial assistance. From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multi-millionaires are even receiving government checks for not working.
“This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs,” Dr. Coburn said.
These billions of dollars for millionaires include the following:
• $74 million of unemployment checks;
• $316 million in farm subsidies;
• $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates;
• $9 billion of retirement checks;
• $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits; and
• $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured.
All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003.
Additionally, millionaires borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college. On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009.
Read the full report: here
Department of Labor; National Endowment for the Arts; Institute of Peace; Small Business Administration; Social Security Administration; State Department; Department of Transportation; Veterans Administration