Thursday, February 02, 2006

Byrd Amendment Ended

Good news. One of the least-defensible corporate hand outs will end by vote of Congress. The Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act is known for its sponsor former Ku Klux Klansman (that's a fact) honorable Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. It rewards uncompetitive companies with handouts. If a foreign competitor is selling cheaper than you are you have a problem, right? Not if you are favored by Robert Byrd and this law. You are rewarded for not controlling your costs by a generous handout - the Senator smiles and give you money, but the taxpayers pay for it. "Monsters and Critics" reports
Since 2001, the Byrd Amendment has resulted in payments of more than $1.26 billion to U.S. companies affected by low-cost imports. Fully $476 million of that amount has gone to one corporation, the Timken Co. and its subsidiaries. And last year, more than half of all pay-outs went to five companies.
Corporate handouts at their worst favor just a few companies, which always seem to have donated to the big defender. Unfortunately the corporate-welfare defenders managed to delay the repeal:
In a compromise reached between House and Senate conferees, the repeal will be delayed for two years and Byrd Amendment distributions will continue for applications made prior to Oct. 1, 2007.

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