Letters to the Editor

Company is enjoying ‘corporate welfare’ | Letters


This letter is in response to Scott Vanderlinden’s letter to the editor, posted Jan. 2, entitled “Viewing government as a threat.”

In his letter, Mr. Vanderlinden contends that the Boeing Co. lost a $4 billion contract to Brazil based on spying by the National Security Agency.

No source was provided.

Apparently, Mr. Vanderlinden forgot or is unaware that governments at the state and federal levels have provided Boeing with tax breaks and rebates in excess of $10.5 billion.

In fact, though Boeing earned profits of more than $35 billion over the past decade, it saw a negative income tax liability rate over the same time frame, thanks to taxpayer-sponsored corporate welfare.

However, he then states that the United States Senate’s approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, surrenders legislative power over trade to multi-national corporations, thereby ostensibly allowing the market to self-regulate, and thereupon bases his claim that, “it’s little wonder that 72 percent (no source provided) of the American people view the federal government as a bigger threat to the future of the country than big business or big labor.”

Mr. Vanderlinden initially contends that government involvement is costing big business — and by extension, the country — work.

In the same breath, he derides the government’s surrender of control to big business via the TPP, thereby ostensibly placing the country at risk due to unfettered capitalism.

It is for those reasons that he claims the majority of Americans feel government poses the biggest risk to our country.

Problem is, that makes his argument self-contradicting in nature.

He cannot have it both ways.

In his Boeing example, government involvement in the market is derided. In his TPP example, government allowing the market to self-regulate, i.e. smaller government, is derided.

Perhaps the biggest threat to this country isn’t the government or unregulated markets, but the untenable nature of ambivalence.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a civil servant.

That said, I would cry all the way to the bank if the government took $4 billion from one of my hands while placing $10.5 billion in the other.

I would then buy the bank.

Oops. Time for my 15-minute break.

Richard Johnston

Douglas, Ariz.


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