Senator Releases Breathtaking Report On How The Government Showers The Rich With Free Money

Coburn Cover

Photo: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of Congress’ biggest deficit hawks, released a report on Monday showing that the federal government has paid over $9.5 billion in benefits to millionaires since 2003.The memo is titled “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous” and addressed to taxpayers, and states that millionaires (those with an adjusted gross income greater than $1 million per year) receive benefits worth more than $30 billion from the government each year including tax giveaways and federal grant programs. And almost 1,500 millionaires paid no income tax to the federal government in 2009.

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.

The populist tenor could hardly be topped by an Occupy Wall Street protester — and this is coming from one of Congress’ most conservative members.

$9.5 Billion in direct federal payments

And $113.7 billion in deductions and tax credits:

The wealthier you are, the more you get from Social Security:

While the rich pay higher health care premiums, they're still getting subsidized by the government:

Some are getting unemployment insurance — even though they report making more than $1 million:

In total, from 2005 to 2009, millionaires collected over $74 million in unemployment benefits:

Millionaires were overpaid by $49.4 million in farm payments — many of whom do not live anywhere near farmland:

What do Scottie Pippen, Ted Turner, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen have in common? They get farm subsidies and tax breaks:

From the report:

A review of the tax returns filed by these 2,702 individuals found 78 per cent listed a metropolitan area as their primary address, nowhere near land suitable for farming. Further, GAO identified several individuals receiving payments whose professions had nothing to do with farming or agricultural:

  • A founder and former executive of an insurance company improperly received more than $300,000 in farm program payments in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006; and
  • A part-owner of a professional sports franchise received total of more than $200,000 in farm program payments in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. In fact, the single biggest recipient of farm subsidies is a multi-millionaire that does own some farm land, but spends the majority of his time developing land by building homes and offices.

Other millionaires that have collected farm subsidies are a NBA star and a billionaire media titan.

These individuals include Scottie Pippen and Ted Turner, respectively. Millionaires also receive state tax breaks on farm land. For example, Jon Bon Jovi paid property taxes of only $100 last year on his extensive real estate holdings in New Jersey that he uses to raise bees. At the same time, Bruce Springsteen received farm subsidies because he leases his property to an organic farmer.

All told, millionaires have received $316 million in farm payments from 2003 to 2006.

Millionaires receive millions in taxpayer-subsidized student loans for their children:

They also can claim a tax credit for child care — for expenses like babysitting, and maids:

Second home? You can deduct your mortgage payment:

And if you rent that vacation home, you can deduct your cleaning and maintenance expenses:

If disaster strikes, millionaires get aid just like everyone else:

Really want that Tesla Roadster? The federal government will give you a tax break — you can even use it for a golf cart:

And here's how much taxpayers are subsiding the gambling habits of the 1 per cent:

Nightclubs, golfing, and Yankees tickets are all deductible too:

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