A One Sided Discussion
We have a one-sided discussion demanding cuts only in public assistance to the poor, while ignoring public assistance to the rich, writes syndicated columnist Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times. In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.
Welfare Subsidies for Private Planes
First, welfare subsidies for private planes. The United States offers three kinds of subsidies to tycoons with private jets: accelerated tax write-offs, avoidance of personal taxes on the benefit by claiming that private aircraft are for security, and use of air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial. As the leftists in the George W. Bush administration put it when they tried unsuccessfully to end this last boondoggle: “The family of four taking a budget vacation is subsidizing the CEOs flying on a corporate jet.” I worry about those tycoons sponging off government. Won’t our pampering damage their character? Won’t they become addicted to the entitlement culture, demanding subsidies even for their yachts? Oh, wait …
Welfare Subsidies for Yachts
Second, welfare subsidies for yachts. The mortgage-interest deduction was meant to encourage a home-owning middle class. But it has been extended to provide subsidies for beach homes and even yachts. In the meantime, money was slashed last year from the public housing program for America’s neediest. Hmm. How about if we house the homeless in these publicly supported yachts?
Welfare Subsidies for Hedge Funds
Third, welfare subsidies for hedge funds and private equity. The single most outrageous tax loophole in the United States is for “carried interest,” allowing people with the highest earnings to pay paltry taxes
To link to the full article go to the New York Times for the Kristof column.