Just about everyone in America understands welfare to be a benefit to the needy. Welfare is kind of a fail safe for those without the means to survive without our government's help. This help usually comes in the form of food stamps and cash to women with children who have no other means of support. What the good and trusting citizens of our country don't realize is that the lion’s share of welfare in the US goes to the greedy, not the needy. Corporate welfare in the form of "loopholes" allows huge chunks of corporate revenue to be ignored for tax purposes, and yet every worker on a payroll in America sees every dime of his or her income taxed. In fact, hundred cent dollars are something the American payroll earner never sees except as a line item in a box.
So are tax benefits to corporate America welfare? Untaxed income to corporations for things like a depletion allowance (this is the oil company welfare program and amounts to billions of dollars annually) and for crop subsidies to our agribusinesses (which amounts to more billions annually) add up to many times what the government spends on food stamps and welfare for women with dependent families. The difference between what is welfare and what is not appears to be that the money given to a “person” is welfare and money generated but untaxed on corporate income is good for business and a job creator.
Another form of federal welfare which goes under the radar is the tax exemption federal workers enjoy. If you get a federal paycheck no federal income taxes are deducted from those earnings. Most people in America earning $50,000 or more annually are obligated to pay federal income taxes of at least $10,000. In addition to that they have to pay all or most of their own health care costs. Free healthcare is another privilege provided to federal employees. If these perks are available to some citizens they should be available to all citizens and considered welfare payments. Everybody should have free healthcare as long as every federal employee does, but for some reason our congressmen don't see it that way.
Clearly what is welfare and who is receiving it is a matter of opinion, but if we look at corporations and federal worker tax subsidies as free income, or at least extraordinary benefits, and are willing to call a spade a spade, that would make our federal employees and corporations the largest welfare recipients in the country. If we look at free healthcare for life for federal employees and look at what the rest of America's expected to live with we begin to realize just what exalted status our federal employees enjoy.
We have created a sector of our society which believes they are entitled to more than the rest. We have put some real low riders on high pedestals and allowed them to dictate policy to us, the peasants, as if they are distributing alms to the poor. What is amazing to me is just how many people in this country, those who are on the low-end of the totem pole, support the policies which keep them firmly in place at the bottom of the barrel.
(Sorry about the mixed metaphor.)