GAO Reports Many Workers At Large Corporations Are On Public Assistance

Alex Lloyd Gross File Photo Delaware Valley The US Capitol Building

by Alex Lloyd Gross

It should make your blood boil.  As billion dollar companies get richer, they rely on front line employees to actually make them money. Those same employees that risk their health to make the company money, are living in poverty.  They are on food stamps,  public health care and other public assistance. They do this , the General Accounting Office found out, because these employers have constantly underpaid those employees.  The Federal Minimum Wage is at $7.25/hr and has not moved for over a decade.

Some of these companies, like Wal-Mart,  Dollar Tree and Wendy’s pay $9.00/hr or less. Especially locally, here  in the Philadelphia area.  The employees cannot make ends meet and rely on public assistance. meanwhile, the corporations get hundreds of millions in tax breaks, making them hold onto even more cash.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said  “At a time when huge corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s are making billions in profits and giving their CEOs tens of millions of dollars a year, they’re relying on corporate welfare from the federal government by paying their workers starvation wages. That is morally obscene. U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America. It is time for the owners of Walmart, McDonald’s and other large corporations to get off of welfare and pay their workers a living wage,” said Sanders.  “No one in this country should live in poverty. No one should go hungry. No one should be unable to get the medical care they need. It is long past time to increase the federal minimum wage from a starvation wage of $7.25 an hour to $15, and guarantee health care to all Americans as a human right.”

To show the disparity, Across nine states–Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington – these large corporations employed the following numbers of SNAP recipients in February 2020:

Walmart – 14,541
· McDonald’s – 8,783
· Dollar Tree – 4,515
· Dollar General – 4,488
· Amazon – 4,218
· Burger King – 3,326
· FedEx – 2,622
· Wendy’s – 2,237
· Subway – 2,231
· Taco Bell – 2,114
· Uber – 2,032
· Target – 1,783
· Dunkin’ Donuts – 1,564
· Home Depot – 1,305
· Lowe’s – 1,154
· Family Dollar – 570
· CVS – 545
· Walgreens – 355

When the the income of workers goes up that worker becomes self sufficient. They no longer qualify for subsidies. The money earmarked for those subsidies goes back for other purposes.  There have been attempts to raise the minimum wage. It even passed the house but was blocked by the senate. Mitch McConnell, republican  leader of the United States Senate.

Even Vice President  Mike Pence  publicly stated that the minimum wage should be increased.