Corporate welfare is a term describing a government's bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations. The term was coined by Ralph Nader in 1956. "Corporate welfare" creates a satirical association between corporate subsidies and welfare payments to the poor, and implies that corporations are much less needy of such treatment than the poor.
The CATO Institute handbook provides and overview of the literally hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, etc. given to large corporations who went for many years paying no federal corporate income tax. They also have an analysis of how much taxpayer money could be saved with reductions in such grab bags.
A 2004 report from the Boston Globe.
WASHINGTON -- More than half of US corporations paid no federal income taxes during the boom years of the late 1990s, and those that did were able to shelter much of their income, according to congressional accountants.
A New York Times report from 2000.
Goodyear, Texaco, Colgate-Palmolive, MCI WorldCom and eight other large corporations earned more than $12.2 billion in profits in 1996 through 1998, but none of them ended up owing corporate income taxes over that period, according to a study released yesterday. Indeed, as a group, the companies received $535 million in credits or refunds, the report found.
The study of 250 large publicly traded companies showed that 24 owed no tax or received credits against past or future tax obligations in 1998, up from 13 in 1997 and 16 in 1996. The study also found that 71 of the 250 companies paid taxes at less than half the official 35 percent corporate rate during the three-year period.
An AFL-CIO resource listing American corporations who still pay zero federal corporate income tax, yet receive federal subsidies and tax rebates.
There's just a few to get you started. Feel free to suggest some others in the comments.