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Want to Talk About Moochers Vs. Makers? 10 Welfare-Case Companies Revisited


Lost in the current debate about who is accepting hand-outs and expecting tax-breaks is one monster of a costly habit both Democratic and Republican politicians have supported.

His supporters cheered, but critics from the other camp gleefully reminded America that Obama's promise came on the one-year anniversary of the day Solyndra declared bankruptcy. Solyndra, as if anyone could forget, is the solar energy company that had received $535 million in taxpayer money before collapsing.

In practice, both Democratic and Republican politicians have made the most of corporate welfare initiatives. Looking at Virginia alone, A. Barton-Hinkle, a writer for Richmond Times-Dispatch and columnist for Reason magazine, recently found his conservative Republican governor guilty of multiple hand-outs:

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, for instance, has doled out cash and assistance to a host of businesses big and small:, an online retailer, received $300,000 last year. General Electric got the same amount to recruit and train workers for an IT center in Henrico. Virginia spent millions to bring a Microsoft data center to Mecklenberg, and doled out millions more to help billionaire filmmaker Steven Spielberg film a Lincoln biopic.

Two years ago, Minyanville produced the following series on corporate welfare. In light of recent events and the supposed outrage over the country's "moochers," we thought it was a topic worth revisiting. Click on a headline below to start reading.

Soft Drinks
  • Photo by SMC
Coke, Pepsi, and the Soda Industry
One argument says that allowing people to buy sugary soda with food stamps creates an industry subsidy.
By Matthew Mallon
Ocean Drill
  • Photo by Match Zimmerman
BP and Big Oil
Oil production is one of America's most heavily subsidized industries, and even this spring's disastrous spill may not change that.
By Diane Bullock
  • © Tesla Motors Inc.
Tesla and Electric Car Makers
Before holding its high-profile IPO, the electric car maker received a jolt of government funding.
By Diane Bullock
  • Photo by Fletcher6
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Big Banks
Have the big banks become addicted to the taxpayer-backed funding known as TLGP?
By Minyanville Staff
Home Products International
  • © Home Products International
HPI, America's Last Ironing Board Maker
Without tariffs on its Chinese competition, America's last ironing board manufacturer wouldn't survive.
By Diane Bullock
Coal Mining
  • © PRNewsFoto
Peabody, Rio Tinto, and Big Coal
Providing tax breaks for "clean coal" -- an oxymoronic concept -- is just another way to subsidize a dirty industry.
By Matthew Mallon
Nuclear Power
  • © PRNewsFoto/IBM
Southern Power Company and Nuclear Energy
Think nuclear power is risky? That point is indisputable -- if you're talking about the economics.
By Justin Rohrlich
  • © The Boeing Company
Boeing and Airplane Manufacturers
The airplane maker dares to complain about the competition's use of government handouts.
By Lisa LaMotta
  • © Archer Daniels Midland
ADM and Big Agriculture
More than 40% of the company's annual profits come from products that are either heavily subsidized or protected through trade tariffs.
By Justin Rohrlich
IBM Corporation
The company makes $100 billion in annual revenues, but it's not above accepting millions in taxpayer-funded incentives when cities bid to win Big Blue business.
By Diane Bullock


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