The following are some corporate welfare programs that are long overdue
for repeal. Where provided, spending totals are for fiscal year 2008.
● Agriculture Department: Market Access Program. This program hands out more than $200 million annually to exporters of agricultural products to pay for their overseas advertising. Some of the recipients include the Brewers Association, the Pet Food Institute, Sunkist Growers, Welch’s Food, and the Wine Institute.
● Commerce Department: Advanced Technology Program. This $198 million program gives research grants to high-tech companies.
● Foreign Military Financing. U.S. taxpayers fund weapons purchases by foreign governments through this $4.7 billion program.
● Amtrak. The federal passenger rail company receives about $1.4 billion in subsidies annually. But Amtrak would be better off privatized so it could cut inefficient routes, maximize profits, and
● Export-Import Bank. This agency uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize the financing of foreign purchases of U.S. goods. It makes billions of dollars of preferential loans to foreigners, guarantees the loans of private institutions, and provides export credit insurance. In 2007, a Dallas television station (WFAA) discovered that the agency provided $243 million in loans to bogus Mexican companies, including drug cartels.
● Maritime Administration. This $591 million agency provides subsidies to the commercial shipping and shipbuilding industries. For example, the agency provides loan guarantees for purchases of ships
from U.S. shipyards. But the best way to ensure a vigorous U.S.-owned ship industry is to reduce domestic taxes and regulations, which have encouraged the industry to move offshore.
● Energy Department: Energy Supply Research. This $894 million program aims to develop new and improved energy technologies. But the energy industry itself should fund such work, since it will
earn profits when breakthroughs are made.
● Small Business Administration. This $530 million agency provides subsidized loans and loan guarantees to small businesses. It has a poor record of selecting businesses to support, as its loans have high rates of delinquency.