Definition of corporate welfare bum in English:

corporate welfare bum


  • A business or business executive perceived to be exploiting tax loopholes or benefiting unduly from government subsidies or tax breaks.

    ‘I'd like to see the corporate welfare bums pay their fair share of taxes’
    • ‘They've got a winner if they say it's in the interest of fighting crony capitalism aka corporate welfare bums.’
    • ‘Who could have anticipated Government subsidies to worthless corporate welfare bums, amounting to $63 billion dollars.’
    • ‘The company characterized the new entrants as "all-time corporate welfare bums."’
    • ‘David Lewis, father of Canada's New Democratic Party, was railing against "corporate welfare bums" - big businesses who failed to pay their share of taxes - in 1972.’
    • ‘The magazines he shaped are benefiting from heavy government subsidies and are, in fact, among the corporate welfare bums he hates so intensely.’
    • ‘Subsidies pander to "corporate welfare bums" who could do just as well without any handouts.’
    • ‘His budget plans were all based on help the rich, screw the poor, keep giving big subsidies to Big Oil and other corporate welfare bums, and keep defence spending high.’


1970s: popularized by Canadian politician David Lewis (1909–81) of the New Democratic Party during the 1972 federal election.