John Merline of Investors Business Daily has published a fascinating analysis of $10 billion the government annually gives to the dreaded 1 percent:
Using IRS data, IBD found that the top 1% of income earners claimed approximately $7 billion in Social Security benefits in 2009. That year, the program paid super-rich seniors — those with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $10 million — an average of $33,000 each.
Medicare, meanwhile, paid roughly $2.6 billion in health care subsidies for the richest 1% of enrollees, based on calculations using Medicare enrollment, overall Medicare spending and premium data. (Medicare does not track spending by enrollee income.) And if you consider that 5% of Medicare enrollees have more than $1 million in savings, the amount taxpayers spend to subsidize retiree health benefits skyrockets.
The hole is that government funnels gobs of money to corporations in subsidies and bailouts, and these moneys in turn often go to the salaries and worse, bonuses, of top executives. That's a pretty large hole for Reason to miss. However, it is illuminating how our tax system and our entitlement programs, which most people seem to hold as sacrosanct and absolute do things they don't expect them to do.