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Take the Rich Off Welfare Paperback – 1 Aug 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896087069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896087064
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,033,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Just in time to add fuel to the 2004 elections comes an all-new edition of this widely popular expose of those who feed on the public trough. In the eight years since Take the Rich Off Welfare was first published, the total amount of taxpayers' money going to subsidize corporations and rich individuals has grown from about USD448 billion to over USD800 billion - and the tax payments coming from those flush companies and individuals continues to shrink. In this greatly expanded and updated version, Mark Zepezauer explains how programs once intended to profit the public now benefit only the corporate bottom line. A prolific writer of humorous but cutting analyses of government policy, Zepezauer provides us with tools to expose the political chicanery of current and past administrations.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
This wonderfully readable, concise volume documents clearly the specific ways in which our government hands subsidies to the very wealthiest Americans while penalizing everyone else. All of the issues are very clearly defined and thoroughly researched. Even more impressively, despite the staggering amount of Wealthfare that the authors document, they are quite reasonable in their assessments of Wealthfare. They don't make outrageous claims or use the numbers of only their friends and allies to bolster their case. My relying on independent sources for their statistics they bolster their overall case, without overstating it. The first book on politics I've ever read that I truly wish I could give to every American Voter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the most comprehensive summary of tax write-offs, subsidies and other welfare schemes favoring the affluent and powerful that I have ever encountered. Well documented! Should enrage the average tax payer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
The reader below has missed the point. This is a marvelous book that would be beneficial for every American to read.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
If you look at the PHA in Philadelphia, you will find that most who receive welfare in various forms, ie. subsidized housing are working under the table.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Enraging and revealing study of subsidies,etc. to the rich. 5 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the most comprehensive summary of tax write-offs, subsidies and other welfare schemes favoring the affluent and powerful that I have ever encountered. Well documented! Should enrage the average tax payer.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Short and to the point! 27 Sept. 2000
By Chad Bagley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The next time some smug nabob starts muttering under his/her breath about the drain on our economy caused by the proverbial `welfare mother' (you know, the one that's driving the Cadillac), you can put em' in their place armed with the wealth of info contained in this short but well written little book.
As `Take the Rich Off Welfare' aptly points out, welfare really does suck a lot of money from our treasury, but it's not the poor and needy in this country that benefits from this bonanza. As a matter of fact the word `wealthfare' is more applicable, because that's who's really benefiting- the wealthy.
Very brief, but meticulously researched and with sources to back up every fact, `Take the Rich off Welfare' is a great introduction to the big wide world of graft in America. If you've ever been curious about who has their foot in the back door of the treasury- check out this fine book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Really Exiisting Capitalism 22 April 2012
By Tracy McLellan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I can't tell which is worse. The endeavors the US government is involved in or its citizens silent acquiescence and apparent ignorance of them. Nor to figure out if is worse they don't know, or that they don't want to know. As troubling is the magnitude of the distractions, and the consequent ignoring of vital issues.

With every paragraph Zepezauer reveals massive corruption and graft on the scale of billions and trillions of dollars. He calculates the national debt at $6.96 trillion and adding $1.91 billion a day. The corruption is made all the more ignominious in that it is bought with paltry scores of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Zepezauer shows the many ways corporations grease political campaigns with contributions and reap huge benefits in favorable - corrupt - legislation.

The heart of this book, a 2004 update originally published in 1996, is in its opening pages. Zepezauer's sobriquet for corporate welfare is "wealthfare." Zepezauer compares large numbers of ratios, levels and percentage increases in wealthfare versus welfare. He does so in a simple, straightforward, compelling and easy to understand manner. His method of presenting complicated quantitative and proportional economic equations exposes the magnitude of the graft and makes plain its meaning: the richest clobbering the poorest and the middle class.

Zepezauer documents growing economic disparities that haven't been as severe since 1929. He compares income taxes and payroll taxes for rich and poor. In the majority of cases the rich pay a smaller percentage of their salary than the poor. Many very wealthy corporations pay nothing, and they are disproportionately the beneficiary of what Zepezauer says are the five basic types of wealthfare: tax breaks; subsidies; firesales; cost overruns; and lax enforcement of white collar crime.

Social Security taxes for example are capped for incomes over $87,000. Concommitantly these and other kinds of similar taxes, the sales taxes for example, have been those that over the last quarter to half a century have seen the sharpest increases. These are regressive taxes in that they hit the poorest more than the wealthiest. Thusly the rich are paying smaller and smaller percentages of the tax burden. In the 1950s corporations paid half of federal revenues. Today they pay just 7.4%.

"The taxes corporations avoid paying have to be raised from individuals," says Zepezauer. "Not all individuals, of course - that would be un-American. Thanks to a series of tax `reforms' that began in 1977, the rate paid by the richest Americans has been cut nearly in half, while Social Security taxes - which are paid overwhelmingly by ordinary wage earners, and not paid at all on income over $87,000 - have steadily risen."

Wealthfare rose from $448 billion a year in 1996 to $815 billion in 2003, an 82% increase, as Zepezauer's calculations show. Welfare rose from $130 billion to $193 billion, a 41% increase, says Zepezauer. Only vastly higher costs for Medicaide figure for any increase at all.

"In 1994," writes Zepezauer, "the murderous government of Indonesia got over $125 million in Export-Import loans to buy equipment from Hughs Aircraft. Ex-Im insured a $3 million loan to General Electric to build a factory in Mexico that cost 1,500 jobs in Indiana. The Chinese government used an $18 million loan to modernize a steel plant - even though that company was accused of illegally dumping steel onto US markets below cost." The government provides $7 billion a year in grants to foreign governments, which often come back to US arms manufacturers in the form of sales.

Often the incomes just above the most destitute, notes Zepezauer, are hit hardest because they are neither qualified for the benefits that the lowest are such as Medicaid and food stamps, but neither are their incomes large enough to take advantage of the corporate welfare of the rich; first because it is not to their benefit to itemize their deductions, and also because the proportions of deductions available to them are essentially insignificant. The already rich elite on the other hand reap criminal, in some cases, literally, windfalls. Moreover, writes Zepezauer, because the rich escape their fair tax burden, the lower and middle class incomes have to make up for the revenue shortfalls in higher taxes or cuts in services. Indeed, the corporations play what Zepezauer refers to as shell games like the "Bermuda Shuffle" in which they incorporate in Caymun Islands or Bermuda while still enjoying the superior infrastructure - roads, law, military, police, as well as the more convenient commute as Zepezauer tells it - of the United States, where they do the bulk of their business.

Take the Rich Off Welfare is flawed with tacit acceptance of the underlying premises of the necessity of a strong military. It thusly locates specific egregious, if not criminal, anomalies in the military budget, which it identifies as corruption. Certainly Zeperzauer's voluminous listing of these outrages is valuable. Zepezauer doesn't, however, fully deconstruct the fact that military spending has by the very nature of its size engendered such corruption for generations. He clearly enunciates that trait today however. He points out that in the debates of 2000 Al Gore was planning on raising Pentagon spending by $10 billion annually, while Bush called for the need for only $5 billion. Nor did I like Z favoring Dems over Reps.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
AN EFFECTIVE COUNTERVAILING FORCE TO CONSERVATIVE ARGUMENTS 10 April 2012
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark Zepezauer has also written Boomerang!: : How Our Covert Wars Have Created Enemies Across the Middle East and Brought Terror to America and The CIA's Greatest Hits.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 2004 book, "Wealthfare---the money government gives away to corporations and wealthy individuals---costs us more than $815 billion a year... the Table of Contents ... lists the estimated annual cost of the various subsidies, handouts, tax breaks, loopholes, ripoffs, and scams this book describes... All (this book) says is that it's not fair for people to get rich---and stay rich---by defrauding people who are poorer than them." He also notes that a "wealth tax" of just 4% on the 200 richest people on earth would guarantee everyone enough to eat. (Pg. 3)

He cites a report from the Congressional Budget Office showing that a billion dollars spent on arms exports creates 25,000 jobs, "but if that same billion is spent on mass transit, it creates 30,000 jobs; on housing, 36,000 jobs; on education, 41,000 jobs; or on health care, 47,000 jobs." (Pg. 64) He later notes that while agribusiness consolidation created 36,000 jobs between 1975-1996, "farm employment dropped 667,000 jobs." (Pg. 85)

He disparages subsidies of tobacco, "a drug that kills 48 Americans every hour." (Pg. 87) He observes that "there'd be no market for ethanol without the subsidy." (Pg. 95) He notes that "the Forest Service... continues to shamelessly undervalue our trees... it came up with a value of $2.85... for 1,000 board-feet of lumber (about 1% of the commercial rate)." (Pg. 122)

Obviously geared to the progressive point of view, this book is an excellent resource to help discount various contentions made by conservatives.
updated edition! 26 May 2014
By Phil S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
no, Welfare is not a monster of Leftist politics - is found not on one rung of the econmoic ladder but two: the very top, that 1% and their corporate pals and gals, who thrive on subsidies, tax relief, and whatever other amenity, courtesy of the "man in the middle". that working his/her brains out blue collar..who sometimes gets to fight in the manufactured wars of the "job creator class".

buy this book, now. wave it in the face of your pain in the *ss neighbor who has never heard of Welfare Reform...OR Corporate Welfare. (don't be antagonistic, though. smile).
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