The largest retailer in the world, with more than $8 billion in profits last year, still needs federal tax dollars to make a go of it. The company founded by Mr. Sam survives by taking advantage of Uncle Sam. WJAC TV in Pennsylvania reported recently that Congressman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania brought home the bacon for Wal-Mart in the form of a $551,000 government handout — corporate welfare to help install water and sewer infrastructure on a piece of land Wal-Mart wants to use for a supercenter. The TV station said county officials were excited to get this welfare money for Wal-Mart, because the store’s opening would “create hundreds of new jobs.”
What a pathetic story. Local officials are asking federal taxpayers to subsidize the preparation of a building site for Wal-Mart. Here we have record federal deficits, and we are lavishing more than half a million dollars on the Walton family, which could build sewer lines across America on the wealth they have amassed. It’s hard to know who to be more frustrated with — the Congressman who worked to get welfare for Wal-Mart — or the company that stooped to suck it up? Why is Wal-Mart telling communities it can’t afford to prepare its own sites for development? And why do local officials think a new Wal-Mart means “hundreds of new jobs” when the net job figure will be little or nothing, once you subtract out the loss of jobs at smaller businesses? This ongoing use of federal, state and local tax dollars to build the Wal-Mart empire is one of the worst examples of welfare today in America.