cj#364> Nader letter on corporate welfare

1995-12-26

Richard Moore

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Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995
>From: Janice Shields <•••@••.•••>
To: Multiple recipients of list <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Gift Exchange


                      NEWS RELEASE

Embargoed until:                Contacts:       Ralph Nader or Janice Shields,
December 25, 1995                               202-387-8030 or 202-387-5190


        WASHINGTON'S HOLIDAY GIFT EXCHANGE


CORPORATE WELFARE FOR CORPORATE PAC CONTRIBUTIONS


        Ralph Nader today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bob
Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich that identified 10 corporate
welfare gifts and the PAC contributions of the major beneficiaries.

~--<snip>--~

Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole
House Speaker Newt Gingrich
U.S. Congress
Washington, DC

December 25, 1995

Dear Majority Leader Dole and Speaker Gingrich:

        The holiday season and budget negotiations have descended on
Washington simultaneously this year, creating the opportunity for the
ultimate gift exchange to flourish between politicians and wealthy
corporations.

        Included in the gift exchange are:

1.      $110 million for the Market Promotion Program (MPP) in FY96, $25
million more than FY95.  The MPP funds overseas advertising by U.S.
companies.  Sunkist Growers received almost $3 million in MPP subsidies
in FY94.  Sunkist's political action committee (PAC) made contributions
totalling $123,820 during the 1993-1994 election cycle.

2.      $1 billion authorized for the Export Enhancement Program (EEP) in
FY96.  The EEP provides bonuses for companies that arrange exports of
U.S. agricultural products.  Cargill, Inc. and Continental Grain
Company have received almost 34 percent of the more than $7 billion in
bonuses distributed since the EEP's inception in 1985.  The two
companies paid $105,497 in PAC contributions during the 1993-1994
election cycle.

3.      $40 million for the Advanced Light-Water Reactor (ALWR) in FY96.
General Electric and Westinghouse receive major funding from the ALWR
program.  The two companies paid $804,470 in PAC contributions during
the 1993-1994 election cycle.

4.      $742 million for the Export-Import Bank in FY96.  The Foreign
Operations conference report includes funding for the Ex-Im Bank, which
provides low-interest loans and loan guarantees for foreign purchasers
of U.S. products.  Indonesia obtained over $125 million in Ex-Im loans
in FY94 for purchases from Hughes Aircraft.  Hughes' PAC shelled out
$248,800 during the 1993-1994 election cycle.

5.      $68 million for subsidies to support credit programs of the Overseas
Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in FY96.  The Foreign Operations
conference report includes funding for OPIC, which provides
taxpayer-subsidized financing so U.S. companies can invest and produce
in newly-independent and in developing countries.  U.S. West, Inc.
received $170 million in OPIC financing in FY94 for projects in Hungary
and Russia.  The U.S. West PAC contributed $319,610 to federal
candidates during the 1993-1994 election cycle.

6.      Regulatory deforms that ease environmental rules for salvage logging
on federal lands; U.S. taxpayers incurred net losses in excess of $19
million in 1994 from salvage logging in just 63 national forests.
Louisiana-Pacific and Weyerhaeuser contributed $58,982 in PAC money
during the 1993-1994 election cycle, while the American Forest and
Paper Association and the National Forest Products Association PACs
contributed a total of $80,528.


7.      $5.5 billion in savings in 1996 on bank insurance premiums.  An 83
percent cut in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation deposit insurance
premiums paid by financial institutions to the federal government
shaved about $4.4 billion from the industry's annual expenses beginning
in 1995; a second drop will save nearly $1 billion more in 1996.  The
biggest winner will be Citibank of New York, with $142 billion in
deposits, more than any other U.S. bank.  Citicorp shelled out $333,168
in PAC contributions to federal candidates during the 1993-1994
election cycle, supplemented by almost $2 million from three banking
trade associations.

8.      $3.2 billion for the FY96 Foreign Military Financing Program.
Foreign military sales subsidies are included in the Foreign Operations
conference report.  The federal government negotiates arms exports for
companies, then provides subsidies to countries to purchase the
military products.  In FY94, General Dynamics Corp. and Lockheed Martin
benefited from a total of $1.9 billion in Foreign Military Sales
awards.  The two companies' PACs paid more than $1.5 million to federal
candidates during the 1993-1994 election cycle.

9.      $1.4 billion in higher prices annually for U.S. sugar suppliers.
The House and Senate extended for seven years the U.S. Sugar Program,
which controls supply by imposing import quotas and restricting U.S.
production, causing U.S. sugar prices to be twice the world price.
Flo-Sun, Inc., a major sugar grower, spent $35,038 in federal PAC
contributions during the 1993-1994 election cycle, supplementing
$485,410 from the American Sugar Cane League and the American Sugar
Beet Growers Association.

10.     $2.2 billion in annual tax benefits by cutting the alternative
minimum tax in half.  The alternative minimum tax, which had been
established to ensure that profitable corporations pay at least a
minimum amount of taxes, was reduced by 50 percent in the Balanced
Budget Act passed by the House and Senate.  Key beneficiaries of the
reduction in the alternative minimum tax are oil companies.  Exxon
Corporation, Amoco and Atlantic Richfield PACs alone spent almost $1.5
million during the 1993-1994 election cycle.


        Unfortunately, many members of Congress are unwilling to look beyond
social programs to the corporate welfare programs when evaluating
possible budget cuts.  I hope you will expand your horizons in this
holiday season and consider budget cuts for the not-so-needy
corporations.


Sincerely,
Ralph Nader


-----
Janice Shields Coordinator,
Corporate Welfare Project & TaxWatch
Center for Study of Responsive Law
P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC  20036
202-387-8030                    |   Internet:   •••@••.•••

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 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
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