Letter: Archaic law in plain sight



Taxpayers are learning how the deck is stacked against them, small companies feel like sitting ducks for taxes that large corporations dodge with ease. But it is hard to find a more blatant legal rip-off than the General Mining Law of 1872 that’s still in effect.

The law still sells mineral rights on public lands to mining companies for $2.50 per acre for placer claims and $5 per acre for lode claims (Bureau of Land Management imposes filing fees and yearly maintenance fees). Seems like that’s still 1872 prices. There are no royalty payments to the American people for the extraction and sale of our assets of gold, silver and uranium. To compound the injustice the cost to clean up abandoned mines is estimated at $32 billion to $72 billion, so the taxpayer gets stuck with the bill.

This is one example of corporate welfare, the third rail for politicians and “conservative” talk show hosts. While they will rail against money to the poor, tax breaks for students and the middle class they will refuse to even acknowledge that corporate welfare exists while they shovel our money out the back door. The U.S. taxpayer doles out billions each year through subsidies, tax loopholes, and plainly stupid laws.

Since corporations (U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United) are now treated like people, make them get a real job and get off welfare.

Sven Gundersen