Category Archives: Corporate Welfare

Media Companies Lobby For Trans-Pacific Partnership

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By Lee Fang
Republic Report: March 24, 2014

Earlier this month, Media Matters for America published a short research note revealing that most major cable and broadcast news outlets have largely ignored the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Media Matters’ “transcript search of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelly, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams from August 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014 found no mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” Cable news outlets have not been much better. Fox News and CNN spent virtually no time on the issue.

[…]This reporter appeared on MSNBC yesterday to discuss our scoop on multimillion dollar bonuses paid from CitiGroup and Bank of America to officials tapped to lead TPP negotiations; as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) noted after our segment, MSNBC is one of the few corporate media outlets to cover the trade agreement.

Its worth noting that while these media companies have chosen to conceal the deal from their viewers, behind closed doors, they are spending a considerable sum ensuring that they emerge as beneficiaries of the TPP.

– Time Warner Inc., the parent company of CNN, has at least four lobbyists working to influence the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Disclosures show the TW lobbying team has attempted to influence both Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative office on the deal.

– Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, has a team of at least ten lobbyists seeking to influence the TPP on “International IP Protection.”

– Twenty-First Century Fox, a subsidiary of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, has a team of three lobbyists working to influence the TPP.

– Disney Corporation, parent company of ABC News and Fusion, is lobbying on the TPP regarding intellectual property enforcement.

(read the full article including source links at Republic Report)

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40% of 2014 California Measles Outbreak Had Been Vaccinated

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KCCP California Public Radio reports that “California public health officials say 19 of the 32 cases of measles they have confirmed so far this year are in people who had not been vaccinated.”

That means that 40% of the infected population was vaccinated against measles.

The article says “Ten of this year’s cases involve people who traveled to the Philippines, where there is a large outbreak, or to India or Vietnam, where measles is endemic, health officials say. They have not clarified whether any of those people were vaccinated.”

It’s likely safe to assume that if the majority of the ten people who visited an outbreak area were not vaccinated, we would be hearing about it. I’d guess that most people who are not vaccinated would avoid travel to an area with a large outbreak & it seems reasonable to assume that many of the ten people identified were vaccinated.

In a report regarding 2013’s outbreak Slayer Ji cites “a substantial body of literature, including peer-reviewed and published epidemiological and clinical studies, indicating that the recent measles outbreaks are just as likely caused by the failure of the vaccine as by presumably irrational and/or irresponsible parents exercising their legal right and responsibility to choose whether or not to vaccine their children.” driving home the point that “vaccine-induced synthetic immunity does not guarantee real world protection, and certainly not with anything near 100% effectiveness, despite what the CDC, vaccine manufacturers or mainstream news reports imply by blaming the non-vaccinated for vaccine-failure associated outbreaks.”

Public health officials and mainstream media pundits regularly declare that 95% vaccination is required for “herd immunity”, but Ji goes on to list numerous historical outbreaks within areas with extremely high (98-99%) vaccination rates. These examples include the New England Journal of Medicine in 1987 concluding “that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune.”

Written by Alternative Free Press
Creative Commons License
40% of 2014 California Measles Outbreak Had Been Vaccinated by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sources for this article:

1. 14 of California’s 32 measles cases this year were intentionally unvaccinated

2. The 2013 Measles Outbreak: A Failing Vaccine, Not A Failure To Vaccinate


Ohio & New York 2014 Mumps Outbreaks Only Infect Vaccinated Population

Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Patient

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Insurance Companies Will Receive $5.5 Billion in Bailouts in 2015

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Insurance companies such as WellPoint and Humana will receive $5.5 billion in bailouts in 2015 to help cover the losses they claim they will face because of Obamacare. The reason… Insurance companies claim that government must help to lessen the “risk” they take through Obamacare mandates.

(Watch more Truth In Media on Ben Swann)

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Why did Chrysler ask for $700M in taxpayer money? Because it’s there

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By Andrew Coyne
National Post: March 5, 2014

I think we should give the chairman of Chrysler the benefit of the doubt. I think he is entitled to the presumption that, when the company demanded $700-million in government grants and loans to retool its Windsor and Brampton, Ont., plants, it was acting in good faith; that when he warned without such assistance, the company might take its investments elsewhere — the periodic payment of such enormous subsidies to gigantic multinational auto manufacturers being essential to maintaining Canada as “a globally competitive jurisdiction” in the competition to subsidize gigantic multinational auto manufacturers — he was being perfectly sincere, in the sense he sincerely wanted the money.

That is, I think we should assume, when Chrysler asked for the $700-million in January, it had no plans to renounce it in March: or in other words, it was not just completely jerking us around.

But then if, as the company has now revealed, the money was never actually needed — if it will go ahead with the investment even without the government lolly or, as a company press release boldly announced, “fund out of its own resources whatever capital requirements the Canadian operations require” — then why did it ask for it in the first place?

Leave aside, for the moment, whether there is any economic rationale for taking from every other company and industry, the ones that can compete without subsidy, to give to a company that, by its own account, can’t. What Chrysler is now saying is there isn’t even a business case for it. The project is not, as claimed, dependent on it, either in an absolute (we can’t afford it) or even contingent (others will pay us more for it) sense. It was all a bluff.

Which being the case, we must reluctantly confront the possibility the only reason Chrysler asked for the money was … because it was there. To be fair, that’s more or less what Chrysler’s chairman was telling us, between the lines. In his celebrated op-ed piece for the Globe & Mail (“Why I’m asking taxpayers for money to invest”), Sergio Marchionne never actually came out and said “we can’t be bothered to raise the capital ourselves” or “this investment cannot be justified on its merits,” or even “nice assembly plants you got there, pity if anything should happen to them.”

Rather, all was coy ambiguity, heavily suggestive, yet free of anything the company could be held to account for. Chrysler was “committed” to Canada — and yet “our ability as a country to retain and attract manufacturing investments is severely challenged.” We “remain forever grateful” for the $2.9-billion bailout the company received from Canadian taxpayers not five years ago — and has not fully paid back — and yet not so grateful as to prevent us from coming back for more. But the key line was this: “in light of the federal government’s and the Ontario government’s past practices of providing support,” he wrote, “Chrysler Canada approached the governments to assess their level of interest in the investment.”

So: the reason we asked for the money now is because they gave us the money before. Or in other words, because it’s there. Whaddya expect us to do, he seemed to say, turn it down?

But if the money was not needed in this event, chances are it was not needed on all those previous occasions. If it will not accept this handout, perhaps it ought to give back the ones it accepted before — and its fellow automakers likewise. The company complains the issue has become a “political football” — Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak, among others, has urged rejection of its demand — but perhaps it should have become one long ago. For as inexplicable as the industry’s willingness to take money it does not need is the willingness of successive governments to press more upon it.

(Read the full article at: National Post)

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Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion

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Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion as Governments Binge, BIS Says

By John Glover
Bloomberg: March 9, 2014

The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

The $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.

Borrowing has soared as central banks suppress benchmark interest rates to spur growth after the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy sent the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Yields on all types of bonds, from governments to corporates and mortgages, average about 2 percent, down from more than 4.8 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.

“Given the significant expansion in government spending in recent years, governments (including central, state and local governments) have been the largest debt issuers,” according to Branimir Gruic, an analyst, and Andreas Schrimpf, an economist at the BIS. The organization is owned by 60 central banks and hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group of regulators and central bankers that sets global capital standards.

Austerity Measures

Marketable U.S. government debt outstanding has surged to a record $12 trillion, up from $4.5 trillion at the end of 2007, according to U.S. Treasury data compiled by Bloomberg. Corporate bond sales globally jumped during the period, with issuance totaling more than $21 trillion, Bloomberg data show.

Concerned that high debt loads would cause international investors to avoid their markets, many nations resorted to austerity measures of reduced spending and increased taxes, reining in their economies in the process as they tried to restore the fiscal order they abandoned to fight the worldwide recession.

(Read the full article at: Bloomberg)

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Canada’s growing corporate welfare shipbuilding problem

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Shipbuilding memo shows more delays, cost overruns

By Terry Milewski
CBC News: March 7, 2014

An internal government memo obtained by CBC News shows that all four parts of the government’s huge shipbuilding program are either over budget, behind schedule, or both.

Written Oct. 7 last year by the deputy minister of national defence, Richard Fadden, the memo shows that three of those four programs also face “major challenges” of a technical nature, as well as difficulties lining up skilled manpower to get the ships built at all.

The memo, released to the CBC following an Access to Information request, leaves little doubt that Canada’s crippled supply ship, HMCS Protecteur, won’t be replaced before the year 2020.

The spectacle of the 46-year-old Protecteur, Canada’s only supply ship in the Pacific, being towed into Honolulu after an engine-room fire has thrown the lack of a replacement into sharp focus. Although there’s a plan to build two new supply ships, there’s no sign the work will even begin until late 2016. That means a new one won’t enter service until the end of the decade.
Yellow alert

The Fadden memo was intended to assure Defence Minister Rob Nicholson that there are “many success stories” in the procurement saga that has dogged the government for years.

But the attached details show no major program without problems.

A chart summarizing the state of the shipbuilding effort uses green and yellow squares to indicate where those problems are — the green meaning, on track, and yellow meaning, trouble — and there’s a lot of yellow.

For the Joint Support Ships — that’s the pair of supply ships — the chart shows trouble with both the schedule and the price. The memo explains that this means the program is up to 20 per cent behind schedule and up to 10 per cent over budget.

For the Arctic Patrol Ships, the chart shows yellow for three measures: the cost, “HR” — meaning Human Resources, or skilled workers — and technical issues. The memo describes these as “major challenges in finding solutions; significant scope changes may be required.” That suggests the ships may need to be redesigned in order to fix the technical problems.

All of those same issues — cost, manpower and technical — also dog the plan to upgrade Canada’s Halifax-class frigates.

But for the biggest program of all — the $38-billion project to build 15 new warships known as “Surface Combatants” — there is trouble cited on four measures: the schedule, the technical and manpower issues and the procurement strategy itself. It doesn’t say how any of those can be fixed, but it does say they are fixable.

In response to a request for comment, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson’s office said in a statement the auditor general had concluded the acquisition of the ships was being managed “in a timely and affordable manner that will support the shipbuilding industry for years to come.”
$100B may not be enough

The cost of the government shipbuilding strategy was already known to be enormous: roughly $105 billion to build and operate all the ships over their expected lifetimes. The capital cost of the two supply ships is officially estimated at $2.6 billion for the pair — although the Parliamentary Budget Officer said a year ago that it would really be over $4 billion. The government also plans to spend $3.2 billion on an unknown number of Arctic Patrol Ships — but experts doubt it will get more than half of the “6-to-8″ ships that were promised.

Fadden’s memo, however, does not make any judgment on the amount of money budgeted — only whether the project is staying within it or not. That leaves unasked the question of whether the budget is too high or too low for the task at hand.

Take the supply ships. “Yellow” suggests they’re over budget, but doesn’t indicate what the budget should be. But comparisons with Canada’s allies could raise eyebrows even further.
Five times the price … for smaller ships

Britain, for example, opted to build its four new naval supply ships much more cheaply, at the Daewoo shipyard in South Korea. The contract is for roughly $1.1 billion Cdn. That’s for all four. By contrast, Canada plans to build just two ships, in Vancouver, for $1.3 billion each. So Canada’s ships will be roughly five times more costly than the British ones.

But there’s a twist. Canada’s supply ships will also carry less fuel and other supplies, because they’ll be smaller — about 20,000 tonnes. The U.K. ships are nearly twice as big — 37,000 tonnes. Canadians will lay out a lot more cash for a lot less ship.

(Read the full article at: CBC)

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Private for-profit prison violated contract, understaffed prison

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FBI investigates private prison company’s oversight of Idaho’s ‘Gladiator School’

RT: March 8, 2014

The FBI has begun an investigation of Corrections Corporation of America for the private prison company’s maintenance of Idaho’s largest prison. The company was found to have severely understaffed the violent prison dubbed “Gladiator School.”

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) acknowledged last year that it had violated its $29 million contract with the state by understaffing the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours. An external audit showed CCA fell short of full staffing at the prison by 26,000 hours in 2012 alone. CCA admitted after an AP investigation that employees falsified staffing reports, sometimes claiming guards worked for 48 straight hours.

Reversing his earlier position, Idaho Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter finally ordered last month that Idaho State Police investigate CCA, though Democratic lawmakers requested the FBI take the case.

Idaho Department of Corrections spokesman Jeff Ray confirmed to AP on Friday that the FBI informed department director Brent Reinke on Thursday that the federal agency was investigating CCA.

Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said state police were no longer involved in a CCA probe.

“They [the FBI] have other cases that are tied to this one so it worked out better for them to handle it from here,” Baker said.

(Read the full article at: RT)

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Corporate welfare study breaks down $110 billion in subsidies

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“Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent” breaks down $110 billion in corporate welfare and highlights how big business is being propped up and bailed out, while the middle class disappears. The study details several layers of holding companies, shell firms and ownership agreements.

Good Jobs First discovered that $110 billion — 75% of cumulative disclosed subsidy dollars — are going to just 965 large companies.

This report is detailed, but also highlights the inconsistent quality of state and local disclosure as the award numbers include some for which no dollar amount has been disclosed.

Dow Chemical was awarded 416 subsides. Following it are Berkshire Hathaway (310), General Motors (307), Wal-Mart Stores (261), General Electric (255), Walgreen (225) and FedEx (222). Cumulatively, Boeing, has received more than $13 billion.

These 965 corporate welfare bums averaged 26 subsidies each and the average total dollar amount (from awards for which this information is disclosed) is $102 million.

1 Boeing
2 Alcoa
3 Intel
4 General Motors
5 Ford Motor
6 Fiat
7 Royal Dutch Shell
8 Nike
9 Nissan
10 Cerner
11 Cheniere Energy
12 Dow Chemical
13 ArcelorMittal
14 Advanced Technology
15 Berkshire Hathaway
16 Toyota
17 IBM
18 Delta Air Lines
19 Texas Instruments
20 Pyramid Companies
21 Goldman Sachs
22 Volkswagen
23 JPMorgan Chase
24 Hyundai Motor
25 Google
26 Teck Resources
27 Mayo Clinic
28 Forest City Enterprises
29 Clean Coal Power Operations
30 Sematech
31 Scripps Research Institute
32 Daimler
33 Nucor
34 Sears
35 Silver Lake
36 FedEx
37 NRG Energy
38 Apple
39 Honda
40 McEagle Properties
41 Cornell University
42 Shin-Etsu Chemical
43 Severstal
44 General Electric
45 Onex
46 Walt Disney
47 Mitsubishi Group
48 Morgan Stanley
49 Triple Five Worldwide
50 Michelin
51Community Health Systems
52 Aker Philadelphia Shipyard
53 H&R Block
54 Exxon Mobil
55 United Continental
57 LG
58 Duke Energy
59 Revel AC
60 Samsung
61 Huntington Ingalls
62 Weyerhaeuser
63 Orca Bay Seafoods
64 Jackson Laboratory
65 Anschutz Company
66 Areva
67 Citigroup
68 Sasol
69 Peabody Energy
70 Electrolux
71 ConAgra Foods
72 Nestle
73 General Dynamics
74 Valero Energy
75 Yahoo
76 Eli Lilly
77 BMW
78 Orascom Group
79 UBS
80 Cabela’s
81 Wacker Chemie
82 Comcast
83 Sanford-Burnham Institute
84 Virdia
85 Prudential Financial
86 International Paper
87 Baxter International
88 Pfizer
89 Johnson Controls
90 Caterpillar
91 Blackstone
92 Convergys
93 Triumph Group
94 Max Planck Florida Institute
95 Goodyear Tire & Rubber
96 CME Group
97 Simon Property
98 Summit Power
99 CA Inc.
100 Bank of America

Sources for this article:
1. Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent: Subsidy Tracker 2.0 Reveals Big-Business Dominance of State and Local Development Incentives by Philip Mattera

Written by Alternative Free Press
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Corporate welfare study breaks down $110 billion in subsidies by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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