Anita Braden, 40, Camp Hill, Pa.
Where she works: Fire Mountain Restaurant
“I’m a cashier and bakery worker in a restaurant and a single mother. Four of my five children and one grandchild live with me. I get food stamps, and I’m trying to get more hours. My boyfriend has moved in to help me. I’m always stressed. I worry about everything, and that stress gets passed on to my kids. They want to work to try and help me.”
Kevin Meagher, 53, Austin, Tex.
Where he works: First Workers’ Day Labor Center and Labor Ready
“I have a college education and then some, and I can’t find a full-time job at present. Minimum wage is not enough to have a decent standard of living in Austin. I’m lucky because I rent a room from a friend for less than the market rate. I also take part in medical studies for extra money. I never thought I’d be doing that.”
Amin Arnold, 25, Manhattan
Where he works: Guitar Center
“I produce electronic dance music. My goal is to be a full-time musician, but for now I work as a salesperson. New York City is a good place for an artist, but it’s extremely difficult living here. One of my colleagues is sharing a bedroom. I’m living with a family member here, but it’s still tough after I pay rent and buy food. $316 billion dollars go out to hand outs for the rich. 2362 billionaires get $20,799,000 in benefits.
So hand outs and entitlements are good for the rich, but not for us.
“I was in college until I had to drop out because of finances. There’s no way I can save to return to school and find better work.”
works on the basis f a fair and equitable system. It is up to our government to take of its citizens. A system of dignity and elimination of poverty would allow people to live and be happy.
In a Democracy, the welfare of the people matter. People can’t be free and equal nor fulfill their dreams or aspiration. They remain atomized and fearful.
Many people mistakenly believe that you have to be destitute to receive government money and giveaways. However, the truth is that a larger percentage of rich people than poor people are eligible for government money — such as 100% fully paid “cultural exchange” trips to other countries.
Unfortunately, most people don’t even know about the thousands of government-giveaway programs available to them. That’s because most of these programs are funded by Washington but administered through either the states or little-known organizations — and 75% of the programs have no income thresholds.
Of the $1 trillion in free government money given away each year, only about $378 billion is distributed as grants. The rest is distributed as direct payments, venture capital, or special “loans” you do not have to pay back.
Thanks to a “performance pay” tax loophole, large corporations in the United States today are routinely deducting enormous executive payouts from their income taxes. In effect, these companies are exploiting the U.S. tax code to send taxpayers the bill for the huge rewards they’re doling out to their top executives.
•During the three-year period 2009-2011, the 90 publicly held corporate members of the austerity-focused “Fix the Debt” lobby group shoveled out $6.3 billion in pay to their CEOs and next three highest-paid executives.
•These 90 Fix the Debt member firms raked in at least $953 million — and as much as $1.6 billion — from the “performance pay” loophole between 2009-2011. The exact full value of corporate windfalls from this loophole will remain impossible to compute until we have more complete mandated disclosure for executive compensation.
•Top executives at these same Fix the Debt companies are aggressively advocating cuts to government programs that benefit the ordinary American taxpayers subsidizing their compensation. Many of these executives have also added to America’s debt and deficit by using tax havens and other accounting tricks to have their corporations avoid paying their fair tax share.
•Health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group enjoyed the biggest taxpayer subsidy for its CEO pay largesse. The nation’s largest HMO paid CEO Stephen Hemsley $199 million in total compensation between 2009 and 2011. Of this, at least $194 million went for fully deductible “performance pay.”[iii] That works out to a $68 million taxpayer subsidy to UnitedHealth Group – just for one individual CEO’s pay. A just-released proxy reveals that Hemsley pocketed another $28 million in “performance pay” in 2012, which computes into a tax break for UnitedHealth of nearly $10 million.
•Discovery Communications stood next in line for a government handout. Between 2009 and 2011, CEO David Zaslav pocketed $114 million, $105 million of this in exercised stock options and other fully deductible “performance pay.” That translates into a $37 million taxpayer subsidy for Discovery and its lavish executive pay policies. In 2012, Zaslav hauled in enough additional “performance pay” to generate a tax break worth $9 million.
Even big losers win with the “performance pay” loophole. Gambling titan Caesars Entertainment has hemorrhaged money in recent years, driving CEO Gary Loveman’s stock options underwater. Loveman managed, even so, to take home $9.6 million in cash bonuses between 2009-2011, a windfall that’s generating taxpayer subsidies the firm can cash in to lower its taxes over years to come.