Senator Coburn Presents "Subsidies Of The Rich And Famous"

Tyler Durden's picture

As the super-committee seems more and more likely to hit a brick-wall, we present with no comment, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma's 'helpful' prose:

Dear Taxpayer,

Americans are facing tough times. Millions are still out of work. Wages remain stagnant, while health care costs, tuition, and other household cost continue to rise. Many homeowners owe more for their houses than they are worth.


With families across the country struggling to make ends meet during these economically trying times, many are left with few options so they are turning to the government – some very reluctantly – for assistance. The government safety net has been cast far and wide, with almost half of all American households now receiving some form of government assistance. But most taxpayers will be asking why when they learn who is receiving what.


From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multimillionaires are even receiving government checks for not working. This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations.


This is not an accidental loophole in the law. To the contrary, this reverse Robin Hood style of wealth redistribution is an intentional effort to get all Americans bought into a system where everyone appears to benefit.


“Everybody can have a free lunch,” explains Howard Leikert, supervisor of school nutrition programs for the Michigan Department of Education, where a new federal program is providing all students, regardless of their families’ incomes, free school meals in select areas.


But not everyone can have a free lunch. Ultimately someone must pay for each of the lunches being given away. Furthermore, not everyone needs a free lunch. The real result of serving everyone a piece of the pie is less is leftover for those truly in need.


Some economists argue “if we think that the rich are getting too much of the economic pie, then they should be taxed more.” This is no different than taking a dollar from one pocket and putting it into another in the same pair of pants. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs.


Even in these difficult times, the United States remains a land of opportunity and not everyone is in need of government hand outs. The income of the wealthiest one percent of Americans hasrisen dramatically over the last decade. Yet, the federal government lavishes these millionaires with billions of dollars in giveaways and tax breaks.


The government’s social safety net, which has long existed to catch those who are down and help them get back up, is now being used as a hammock by some millionaires, some who are paying less taxes than average middle class families. Comprehensive information on the full range of government benefits enjoyed by millionaires has never been collected previously. This report provides the first such compilation. What it reveals is sheer Washington stupidity with government policies pampering the wealthy costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year.


These billions of dollars for millionaires include $74 million of unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion of retirement checks, $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits, and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003. Millionaires also borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college.


On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009. Fleecing the taxpayer while contributing nothing is not the American way.


Americans are generous and do not want to see their fellow citizens go without basic necessities. Likewise, we expect everyone to contribute and to demonstrate personal responsibility. Government policies intended to mainstream wealth redistribution are undermining these principles. The tragic irony is the wealth in these cases is trickling up rather than down the economic ladder. The cost of this largess will thus be shared by those struggling today and the next generation who will inherit $15 trillion of debt that threatens the future of the American Dream. These consequences are the results of shortsighted spending and tax policies like those outlined in this report that should be eliminated.


Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
U.S. Senator


Coburn Taxes

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GenX Investor's picture

Gonna be a lot more than $15T passed on.  Our kids are going to be earning a living with new zimbabwe congressional duckets.

wanklord's picture

What’s all the uproar?
It seems that most of Americans never bothered themselves to learn living within their means, save some money, plan for the future, get a decent education and avoid credit at all.

The blame must be placed specifically on the so-called Baby Boomers, a failed generation who really enjoyed the prosperity of the 50s and 60s; instead, they focused all of their deprived intellect in experimenting with all types of drugs and having very promiscuous sexual lives. These people have done nothing for this country and now they are so scared of potentially not being able to collect their government entitlements (paradoxically, they are the majority).

Therefore, America as a broken society is now paying the consequences of its own greed, lack of common sense and stupidity.

Someone said that Americans are just a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue. The sooner the US economy collapses the better, so the ignorant populace will finally learn NOT to live beyond their means – and stop blaming the government, since they don’t give a crap about people’s grievances.

NotApplicable's picture

Could you at least type something original once in a while? Your copypasta is getting very stale.

Of course, the funniest thing about your rants is that they fail to serve your interests, instead causing people to react against your ideas, rather than accepting them.

Keep up the good work! Boomers are counting on you.

AldousHuxley's picture

Rich capitalists pay 15% capital gains tax

99.9% labor pay 20-50% federal+state+FICA tax


The roads are subsidies to truck companies

The public schools are subsidies to any company that hires brains

The wars are subsidies to war profiteers


The elites have gotten you to pay the most taxes (in terms of percentage) so that you can't grow wealth while they profit the most form you buying junk.

Cole Younger's picture

Business's collect taxes, they don't pay them. Get rid of bussiness taxes and you will see the cost of goods and services go down. Your personal tax however, will go through the roof....something politicians really don't want you to look at...

GMadScientist's picture

It's cute to think businesses can pass on any and all costs to the customer, but the market demonstrates otherwise with the exception of products with inflexible demand like healthcare and gasoline.

Get rid of business taxes...and costs of goods and services will remain the same while bonuses go up.

You probably believe that businesses spend extra cash "creating jobs" (instead of by demand for product making more work to be done) too.


glenn17's picture

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Tater Salad's picture


Shit man, check your facts!  "99.9% labor pay 20-50% federal+state+FICA tax"

Over 50% of the U.S. pay zero taxes (that's 0) at all!  So, I must be reading the wrong shit or something...?

You're on here a lot, I mean everywhere I look.  I'm thinking maybe you'd be paying the taxes that the top 20% (maybe even 1/32nd of what I pay) of the country does if you would apply the same energy to getting a job.  Something to consider my fellow "bloke".


jeff montanye's picture

wanklord: the boomers are a failed generation because they took advantage of the prosperity of the fifties and sixties and "experimented" (my quotes) with drugs and promiscuous sex?  and your definition of a successful generation is ...?

Alasdair's picture

Check YOUR facts, please.  No one pays zero taxes.  There are some people who are so damn "lucky" to make such little income that they pay no INCOME tax, but even those sorry bastards pay FICA tax.

Clinteastwood's picture

OK numbskull, for the umpteenth time FICA is not a tax.  It is not an entitlement.  It is your money for retirement.  If you so easily give it up to the government as a "tax" or an "entitlement," you better believe the assholes in Washington will just take your money and you'll never see it again.  A deal is a deal.  That FICA money is still ours. If a poor person pays FICA, it's not the government's's still that person's money.  If you wanna just give up yours as a "tax" or an "entitlement," you dumb.

Cugel's picture

I agree with Tater's general point, but you're wrong here. The money you paid in to Social Security has already been spent. It's just gone. And when you demand it back, the only way they can make you whole is to reach out and take the money!

Clinteastwood's picture

Nonsense.  Unless we demand that the government live up to its obligations, we deserve to get hosed.  The first step in that demand is to figure out, with accuracy, what's rightfully owed.  If you so easily give up what is right, you deserve to have what is wrong.......or.......nothing.  If you can't figure out the difference between a tax and FICA, you're likely a Democrat or a "compassionate Conservative" who wants higher taxes and more government spending (all in the name of "helping the poor" and "the children"......barf)   

AldousHuxley's picture

What is a tax? it is money in government's control.

FICA is a flat tax. It is money to US government who promises to give it back.

You can argue that even income tax is not a real tax because people get it back....except instead of a check, you get it back in terms of government services.

But in the end all taxes are money to your government's control.

Also, correctly as others have put it, EVERYONE pays taxes. 50% pays no income because their income is shit. but if they own a house they are paying real estate taxes that in republican Texas can even exceed the income.


Government gets your monye one way or another: no state income tax? then high real estate tax and/or sales tax. No sales tax, high income tax. Low taxes, but tons of required "fees". No taxes of any kind, well to get ahead in life, government forces you to borrow for your college degree from private institutions (non-profit hedge funds) whereas even shithole 3rd world countries provide job training for free.


The question is not how come 50% doesn't pay INCOME taxes, but whether the tax system is fair or not. But the elites have pitted high wage earners against low income folks as a proof that taxes are bad:

(1) bottom 50% no income tax and bunch of government welfare. (democrats love 'em)

(2) )college educated globally competitive white collar corporate slaves 25-35% income tax + 5-10% state income tax + student loan debt "tax" ($500~1000 for 10~30 years), real estate tax  in places with good schools where they pay the state to raise highly educated next corporate slave.

But the real assholes are the capitalists...

(3) $100,000,000+ in assets but pay only 15% capital gains tax, 0% state income tax by establishing residency in Texas, Wyoming, Florida, etc. while owning businesses that operate  in high tax states, no student loan tax as most of them simply inherited wealth,  low real estate taxes since they dont' care about schools and can live anywhere. (republicans love 'em)


Republicans want to cut government services by lowering capital gains taxes (exactly what Bush did) by quoting people in group (2), while democrats want to raise taxes on group (2) by quoting people in group (1).


When you get $2000/year tax cut when your school system becomes shit and you have to shell out $20,000/year for private school WHILE paying high taxes. You didn't get ahead as a middle class in group (2). While Paris Hilton just saved $20,000,000 in one year.


TimmyB's picture

Do the poor people who pay zero Federal Income taxes also get a pass from paying sales tax, excise tax, property taxes and every other tax in this country?  Don't think so.  And it's also bullshit to claim FICA isn't a tax when the government makes you pay it. 

jfree's picture

FICA is a TAX. The Supreme Court said so in 1960 in Flemming v Nestor. The original SS legislation said so. There is NOTHING about Social Security that is a legal entitlement or a payment for some future benefit. Social Security is not insurance  (see the Amish legal battle against that government propaganda). It is not a legal right or entitlement. Legally, there is NO - ZERO - connection between the money that comes into the program - and money that goes out. Which means that the money that comes in is a TAX.

earleflorida's picture

* 'living beyond your means',... and the winner is, "Traffic, featuring Winwood" 

AldousHuxley's picture

debt = living beyond your means


what most American consumers don't realize is that home mortgages are living beyond your means


this goes for governments as well.


debt = power to keep the status quo


middle class got fucked long time ago but kept their status through debt. No more debt and middle class are finding out the their true status  as slaves


dark pools of soros's picture

they'll never save the dollar, so why do all you fools say that you have to live within your means??  if you do not hold debt during ZIRP, you are a dope.  Just diversify your income/investments with sources that follow the rise in inflation.   

Chump's picture

Why not just write this once and then link to it, since it seems to be your opus?  Junked this weak sauce.

dwdollar's picture

Not to mention they were suppose to teach the younger generations. Some of the ignorance of the younger generations can be attributed to the Boomers.

Chingalay's picture

Try using the left hand for a while. It will help balance things out.

Ying-Yang's picture

Wanklord.... your words inspired me to login to say " You are a Pud!"


lotsoffun's picture

dear mr. wanklord. - well you do admit to being the lord of the wankers.  wonder exactly what wonderful culture it is that you come from?

i'm a baby boomer.  and i'm as promiscuous as i can possibly be.  if there are any females in your family not resembling the royals - please have them contact me.  an evening of moderate amounts of cocaine, champagne and sex can be quite enjoyable.

:) - even if you did marry for the coverup




Tater Salad's picture


You sound just like the little dicked dudes in Highschool I used to beat the crap out of.  You really don't get laid, you just beat off a lot, I guess no one's counting though.

Besides, if you were the f'n crem-de-la crem, you wouldn't be on here bragging about it now would you?!



chindit13's picture

The first of those Boomers graduated from college and hit the workforce around 1968.  As is so abundantly clear, there has been absolutely no technological innovation, no discovery of new knowledge, no advances in medicine, and nothing whatsoever that bettered the human condition since 1968.  Thus, there is your "proof" of the dissolute nature of the Boomers.

Also, the current levels of debt and meager job prospects in the US and other long-time OECD countries have nothing whatsoever to do with the emergence of 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians who are trying to climb out of the poverty that has surrounded them for the last few millennia.  That occurence, which would never have been allowed by wiser subsequent non-Boomers, should have been seemless to the point of being invisible.

Every single problem and challenge facing the world today stems from the promiscuous nature of those lazy Boomers, and American Boomers at that.  Would that we could all be like that new Greatest Generation, the British Football Hooligans, most of whom "prefer a pint to a pussy".  Isn't that right, wanklord?

blunderdog's picture

there has been absolutely no technological innovation, no discovery of new knowledge, no advances in medicine, and nothing whatsoever that bettered the human condition since 1968

Good point, but someone deserves credit for figuring out how to put cheese into spray-cans.  Truly life hasn't been the same anywhere since EZCheez.

RockyRacoon's picture

You are so right!  I graduated high school in 1967, saw a little college, 4 years of Air Force, then more college.   The world is just the same old garbage pit it was back then.   I sure do miss my Princess Phone.   My first calculator could perform all 4 mathematical functions and only cost $50 or so.   My first "transistor radio", made by Zenith, even had a full AM band and cost about $60.  It was made in Japan.   Those are 1960s dollars.

Corn1945's picture

The proper solution is to end subsidies for everyone. However, I doubt Senator Coburn will agree to that.

Mark701's picture

No that's not the solution. Ending tax breaks for people who don't need them as well as for corporations that pay ZERO taxes is the solution.

Corn1945's picture

Corporations don't pay taxes as it is. They simply pass the costs on to the customers.

All corporate taxes should be zero for business of all sizes. The US is desparate for jobs yet wants to attract capital with ZIRP, zero growth, and one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

Either respect genuine capital and genuine capital holders, or enjoy the foodstamps. Because the US is getting poorer and poorer with it's large government that caters soley to the non-producers on Wall Street.

Eventually, global capital will flee towards economies that are actually functioning instead of buying toilet paper Treasuries.

j d esh's picture

Corporate tax is the price of limited liabilty. If you don't want a company you invest in to pay taxes, simply put it up for vote whether the shareholders would like to reincorporate as a partnership.  Simple as that.

Azannoth's picture

"$15 trillion of debt that threatens the future of the American Dream. " The American Deam was just that a Dream it's time to wake up and smell the Ashes

Hohum's picture


You're right, the dream is over.  If any piece of writing mentions holding on to the "American Dream," it's time to read another article.


kito's picture

friday humor.....great stuff

junkyardjack's picture

I thought this was Stephen Colbert

traderjoe's picture

Default on the odious debts. Sovereign countries do not have to borrow currency - at interest - from a private banking cabal that creates that currency for free, out of thin air. 

Bring back the United States Note. Cancel the income tax. Eliminate legal tender laws. Liberty!

toady's picture

Words, words, more words...

How can there be so many words in one group that say nothing?

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Simple. The belief that saying the right things will prevent what is coming. It won't because it can't. Sounds nice though, won't help. Atonement indeed, I salute you Kyle Bass.


The American dream is debt slavery for my neighbor's kids and grandkids. I think the dream is well and truly alive.  And soooo looking forward to the shitty committee's impasse the day before Thansgiving.  Giving thanks bitchez!!!

tickhound's picture

We are all forced to give at the proverbial "office"

topcallingtroll's picture

It is immoral and illegal to sell yourself and your descendents into slavery.

Intergenerational debt was always abhorrent to our principles prior to the gold thief Roosevelt.

Our children and their descendents will justifiably repudiate this debt they have been left. They had no say in the matter, but they are expected to pay it?


I'm sorry, I didn't know we still lived in a society with morals and laws.  Sad but true. 

Marco's picture

How exactly is FDR to blame? His taking gold is the complete opposite of debt funding, it's redistribution across income classes ... not across time.

He truly taxed the wealthy, like no American president before or since ...

centerline's picture

My daugher had to go the ER ther other day for a kidney stone.  She was there for several hours - got little attention.  The only thing that was done was a CAT scan.  The bill to my insurance company was over $7,000.

My wife was shocked.  I was not.  I said, "you just paid for every illegal immigrant that went into the ER that day... every person without insurance who wasn't turned away."

It is not that I wish for something bad to happen to the less fortunate.  But, the system is so screwed up now that something that should have cost a few hundred dollars has ballooned into many thousand.

The end is pretty damn close folks.  We have stepped into a place I can only call insanity.

LeBalance's picture

welcome! its a vastly big place, enjoy your stay.

topcallingtroll's picture

As a doctor I hate it too that only suckerz and rubes pay the official rate, while we are forced to give free service to people who could pay something, but just make a habit of never paying bills.

However that "free care" is pretty shitty for the most part. When doctors see "self pay" on the face sheet they do the bare minimum that will avoid an immediate death that could be blamed on inaction. Self pay does not get as good a care, if that helps you feel better which it probably wont.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

How does being forced into the insurance system make us "suckers and rubes"? Is there an alternative? Seems like being a rube requires an alternative.