Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 14, 2011, 6:01 p.m. EST by progmarx
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Your Tax Dollars Subsidizing Scottie Pippen, Ted Turner, and Jon Bon Jovi? By Trish Turner, Fox News Created 2011-11-14 14:32
If ever there was a populist blueprint for deficit reduction, this has got to be it.
Each year, millionaires are soaking the government, not illegally, for some $30 billion in benefits from tax giveaways and loan programs, according to a report by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
The Republican senator, a staunch fiscal hawk and equal opportunity scourge of government waste and abuse, released "Subsidies of the Rich and Famous" Monday to little fanfare, saying in an e-mailed statement, "This welfare for the well-off - costing billions of dollars a year - is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations."
The eye-popping findings in the 36-page report include some eye-catching names, like former NBA star Scottie Pippen and billionaire media mogul Ted Turner, both of whom received farm subsidies courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Singer Jon Bon Jovi  "paid property taxes of only $100 last year on a plot of land he used to raise bees. Iconic crooner Bruce Springsteen also got in on the farm subsidy action, for property he leases to an organic farmer. And Millionaire composer-producer Quincy Jones is even singled out for receiving a $25,000 award from the federally-funded National Endowment for the Arts.
Coburn's investigation found that from 2003 to 2009, millionaires received over $316 million in farm program payments. In one four-year period alone, the senator's staff, reviewing tax returns found that fully 78 percent of recipients listed a city as their primary address, not exactly a location for a farm.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture regularly pays millionaires, the report found, to conserve land and protect endangered species, waving income caps for government subsidies in current law. In the past two years, Coburn's staff counted more than $89 million paid out, as a result of this waiver authority.
The report lists two examples: "A founder and former executive of an insurance company improperly received more than $300,000 in farm program payments in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006; and a part-owner of a professional sports franchise received total of more than $200,000 in farm program payments in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006."