Sunday, February 07, 2010

It's Called "Corporate Welfare." Drop It, Obama

Let's look at reducing SPENDING, stupid.

The Advanced Technology Program's status as a corporate welfare program is beyond dispute:

Five companies--IBM, General Electric, General Motors, 3M, and Motorola--have received a combined total of $376 million in ATP grants, or 21 percent of the program's total expenditures, since 1990;
  • More than 40 percent of ATP funding has been distributed to a group of 40 Fortune 500 companies;3 and
  • Those 40 Fortune 500 companies had combined revenues of $1 trillion and profits of $11 billion in 2002
I'ts a 2003 research piece, so the names and numbers may have changed...

The ATP does not fund basic research. It commercializes research so that businesses can profit from it. The market failures that make the NSF necessary do not apply to the ATP, as companies have every incentive to fund this profitable research on their own. Not surprisingly, businesses and investors already spend $150 billion annually on commercial research and development. Since these businesses and stockholders profit from the research, they should be the ones to fund it.

Instead, the ATP shifts those business expenses to the taxpayers.

Might be interesting to update that, but my bet is that not many of the names have changed.

HT: Doctor Zero

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