Welfare for the rich

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Over on Reason magazine's website, John Stossel of ABC lists a number of ways middle and lower class taxpayers are funding welfare for the comfortable.

Ronald Reagan memorably complained about "welfare queens," but he never told us that the biggest welfare queens are the already wealthy. Their lobbyists fawn over politicians, giving them little bits of money -- campaign contributions, plane trips, dinners, golf outings -- in exchange for huge chunks of taxpayersí money. Millionaires who own your favorite sports teams get subsidies, as do millionaire farmers, corporations, and well-connected plutocrats of every variety. Even successful, wealthy TV journalists.

Thatís right, I got some of your money too.

In 1980 I built a wonderful beach house. Four bedrooms -- every room with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.

It was an absurd place to build, right on the edge of the ocean. All that stood between my house and ruin was a hundred feet of sand. My father told me: "Donít do it; itís too risky. No one should build so close to an ocean."

But I built anyway.

Why? As my eager-for-the-business architect said, "Why not? If the ocean destroys your house, the government will pay for a new one."

What? Why would the government do that? Why would it encourage people to build in such risky places? That would be insane.

Stossel goes on to cover farm subsidies and eminent domain abuse, including the famous case in Atlantic City involving a widow trying to keep her home against Donald Trump, who was trying to use city government to take it from her. It's worth reading. (Hat tip to Clayton Cramer for the link.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 2, 2004 1:20 AM.

Fame is making the paper, any old piece will do was the previous entry in this blog.

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