From a 2013 Baltimore Sun piece, “Cut tax breaks, not food stamps”, how U.S. executives can save more in taxes in a single dinner than poor families can receive in food stamp money in a month:
Imagine that the tab for dinner and drinks for 10 executives comes to $1,600. Current tax law allows companies to deduct half of the cost of business meals — in this case, $800. With a corporate tax rate of 35 percent, each dollar of deductions yields 35 cents of tax savings — so that $800 deduction saves $280 in taxes. This means one dinner for 10 people provides more public food assistance than the $279 an average household receives in food stamps for the whole month.
But somehow we can’t possibly afford such programs.
I suspect I’m going to have a lot more to say on this particular topic of tax savings that cost more than social program expenditures in future posts and episodes of the radio show. Particularly after I started reading through various Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) reports on tax subsidies to the wealthy, including their 2014 report “Redeploying $540 Billion in Federal Spending to Help All Americans Save, Invest, and Build Wealth” (PDF – updated link). Spoiler alert: Hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue is lost each year to Federal tax credit programs disproportionately (and needlessly) benefiting wealthy households.