By Bill Maher
Okay, this is from an article by Stephen Moore - our friend from the Heritage Institute - but that doesn't mean you won't get something out of it: A budget watchdog group called Open the Books studied federal grants, loans, direct payments and insurance subsidies between 2000 and 2012 and found that Fortune 100 companies: "received $1.2 trillion in payments from the federal government."
According to Moore, that number does not include the bank and auto company bailouts, the troubled asset purchases or indirect subsidies like the ethanol mandate. What it does include are:
Military contracts: Lockheed Martin $392 billion, General Dynamics $170 billion, United Technologies $73 billion.
Grants: GE $380 million, GM $370 million, Boeing $264 million, ADM $174 million, United Technologies $160 million.
Taxpayer-subsidized loans: $8.5 billion worth to Exxon Mobil, Ford and Chevron "whose franchisees received Small Business Administration loans."
Federal insurance: $10 billion for Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Deere, American Express, Wal-Mart.
I'm not going to say some of that wasn't necessary for the economy to function. Government spending is swell. But when conservatives and grifters from Wasilla bitch about "wealth transfers" and "crony capitalism" and "government picking winners and losers," the winners getting picked tend to be Chevron and Citibank, and tend not to be deadbeats on food stamps.