Silicon Valley versus Corporate Welfare

April 27, 1998 • Briefing Paper No. 37
By T.J. Rodgers

The estimated $65 billion a year that the federal government now spends on corporate welfare programs harms U.S. industry in general and Silicon Valley companies in particular. The competitiveness of America’s semiconductor firms and other high‐​technology industries would benefit if corporate subsidies were eliminated altogether and the savings were devoted to reducing corporate income taxes, the capital gains tax, or the personal income tax.

Given Congress’s reluctance to vote down corporate pork, one strategy for eliminating corporate welfare would be to form an independent commission to identify unnecessary subsidies. That would force Congress to vote yes or no on a package of corporate spending subsidies.

More than 50 Silicon Valley CEOs agree with this critical assessment of federal subsidies to industry and have signed a “Declaration of Independence” from corporate welfare. In the statement, which appears in the Appendix of this study, the CEOs urge Congress to end corporate welfare “even if it means funding cuts to my own company.”

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About the Author
T. J. Rodgers is president and CEO of Cypress Semiconductors in San Jose, California.