Jan 152015

Corporate welfare is a nickname that compares government subsidies to corporations with welfare payments to the poor. It is used to describe government subsidies of money, tax breaks or other favorable treatment for selected corporations. Studies show that about $100 billion was allocated in the federal government’s budget for all types of corporate welfare in 2012, not including tax loopholes or trade barriers. Two of the largest recipients of this aid are oil and agricultural corporations. During a time of record oil prices and record profits among oil companies, Congress gave subsidies to oil companies worth $30 billion over the past five years. These companies receive subsidies for oil exploration as well as for the exhaustion of oil and gas wells. Critics say that besides wasting billions in revenue for our Treasury, these subsidies have led to a reckless search for oil in fragile environments like the deep floor of the Gulf of Mexico. They claim the 2010 catastrophe at the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig can be directly linked to oil-friendly legislation over the last 20 years.

For many decades, agribusiness corporations have also been receiving corporate welfare. Our government provides unlimited crop insurance subsidies to many large and small farms, guaranteeing payment for damaged crops and low crop prices. Taxpayers pay two thirds of these insurance premiums as well as most of the claims resulting from a disaster. As a result, crop insurance is the most costly and least equitable component of the farm safety net, costing twice as much as direct payments and other subsidies. Some policyholders annually receive more than $1 million in premium support. More than 10,000 policyholders receive more than $100,000 in subsidies each year. Because there are no limits on these subsidies, the largest 1% of policyholders receives about $227,000 while the bottom 80% receives about $5,000 each year.

Pending Legislations:

H.R.601 – Permanent Repeal of Oil Subsidies Act

S.446 & H.R.943 – Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act

I oppose reforming corporate welfare policy and wish to defeat H.R.601 and S.446 & H.R.943

I support eliminating subsidies for oil companies and directing the Secretary of the Interior to issue regulations establishing a graduated annual production incentive fee governing federal onshore and offshore lands subject to an oil or natural gas production lease but for which such production is not occurring; prohibiting the Secretary from issuing new oil or natural gas production leases in the Gulf of Mexico under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to a person that does not renegotiate its existing leases in order to require royalty payments if oil and natural gas prices are greater than or equal to specified price thresholds; depositing the prescribed fee assessment into the general fund of the Treasury, and wish to pass H.R.601

I support amending the Federal Crop Insurance Act to immediately reduce crop insurance premium subsidy rates from the higher subsidies provided since the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000, and wish to pass S.446 & H.R.943

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

A financial transaction tax is a levy on specific financial transactions. Many people have suggested taxing the transactions carried out by our banks, brokerages and other financial institutions. This tax would apply to the sale or transfer of trillions of dollars of U.S. notes, bonds, securities, derivatives and debentures. Financial transaction taxes have been successful generating revenue elsewhere. In 2011, nearly $40 billion was generated in 40 other counties that taxed financial transactions. It is estimated a similar tax would generate at least $50 billion annually if enacted here. Consumer advocates say this small tax on Wall Street would be easy to implement and would reduce harmful market speculation, including speculation on essentials such as food and fuel. They also say that it will bring significant benefits to the U.S. economy by generating much-needed revenue. Critics claim Wall Street speculation has become a house of cards, a game of computer-driven bets on bets with robo-traders carrying out trades at blinding speed. They claim these types of transactions do not give value to our economy, only damage it. They say that a financial transaction tax could generate hundreds of billions of dollars that could be used for the needs of our communities and to help stabilize our economy.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1579: Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current financial transaction tax policy and wish to defeat H.R.1579

I support imposing an excise tax on the transfer of ownership in certain securities, including any share of stock in a corporation, any partnership or beneficial interest in a partnership or trust, any note, bond, debenture, or other evidence of indebtedness (excluding tax-exempt municipal bonds), or derivative financial instruments; imposing a penalty on taxpayers who fail to include a covered transaction on their tax return or information statement; and allowing an individual taxpayer whose modified adjusted gross income does not exceed $50,000 ($75,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns) a tax credit for the amount of tax paid on covered transactions, and wish to pass H.R.1579

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Private equity funds are private investment vehicles used to pool investment capital that is usually provided by a small group of limited partners. Critics claim the managers of these investment pools buy targeted companies, cut and offshore jobs, pile on debt and walk away with huge profits that are hardly taxed. Supporters claim these funds create jobs and value which benefit many pension funds, university endowments and other investment pools that serve ordinary people. They say that some equity funds make long-term investments in the firms they buy to produce better, more efficient companies. Equity funds are subject to favorable regulatory treatment in most jurisdictions from which they are managed and this allows them to minimize the tax burden on their investors and managers. The income from private equity funds is considered and taxed as a capital gain rather than as normal income. The maximum tax rate for capital gains is 20%, compared to the 39.6% marginal income tax rate that an average person must pay. Critics claim private equity managers are taking advantage of a tax loophole to avoid paying equitable taxes on what is actually a salary. They claim this is costing our Treasury many millions each year. Equity fund supporters say that altering the tax treatment of a single industry raises tax policy concerns, and that changing the way partnerships in general are taxed is something that should only be done after careful consideration of the potential impact.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming private equity fund taxation policy

I support private equity fund managers paying marginal income tax rates rather than capital gains tax rates and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce H.R.1935 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the treatment of partnership interests held by partners providing services. (111th Congress, 2009-2010)

 Posted by at 12:00 am