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Biggest Corporate Welfare Scam of All Time

A Commentary By Stephen Moore

   President Joe Biden keeps lecturing corporate America to "pay your fair share" of taxes. It turns out he's right that some companies really are getting away scot-free from paying taxes.

   But it isn't Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley or the Wall Street financial company "fat cats" or big banks or Walmart. They pay billions in taxes.

   The culprits here are the very companies that Biden is in bed with: green energy firms.

   It turns out that despite all the promises over the past decade about how renewable energy is the future of power production in America, by far the biggest tax dodgers in the country are the wind and solar power industries. Over the past several decades, the green energy lobby -- what I call the climate-change-industrial complex -- isn't paying its fair share. That's because the vast majority of these companies pay nearly ZERO income taxes.

   But they wade in rivers of federal direct and indirect subsidies that keep these zombie companies alive. Over the past two decades, the renewable energy lobby has collected more than one-quarter trillion dollars in subsidies -- payments that we've been assured over and over would be temporary. The argument for these grants, loans, tax abatements and other sweetheart kisses is that these were "infant industries" in need of a Head Start program for CEOs. Except these companies have never even reached puberty after all these years.

   What's worse is that Biden keeps spoiling the children with lavish gifts for bad performance. A new report by tax expert Adam Michel at the Cato Institute finds the green energy subsidies -- mostly created by Biden policies like the so-called Inflation Reduction Act -- will drain the Treasury of as much as $1.8 trillion over 10 years.

   The Cato report finds that since its passage, "the estimated cost of the IRA's new and expanded energy tax credits increased dramatically."

   These tax shelters are just a form of Aid to Dependent Corporations. They never seem to want to cut the umbilical cord.

   What have we gotten for this mountain of taxpayer-funded green energy largesse? Nothing, really. Today, we still get 80% of our energy in America from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Wind and solar are stuck at less than 10%. This is some investment we're making.

   Meanwhile, Biden keeps railing against companies that pay no income tax. He's advocated a mandatory 15% minimum corporate tax. But guess what industry is explicitly exempt from the minimum? The green energy lobby.

   It's just a reminder that a lot of people are getting really, really rich off climate change hysteria.

   The "green" in green energy doesn't stand for a cleaner environment. It stands for the color of money. Yours and mine.
   Stephen Moore is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a senior economic advisor to Donald Trump. His latest book is: "Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy."


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See Other Commentaries by Stephen Moore.

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