Corporate Welfare, $100 Billion Too Much

In this column by A. Barton Hinkle he explains that corporate welfare is doubly offensive. It has all the bad parts of any welfare program, but none of the good parts, that is the alleviation of at least some suffering. Corporate welfare is a transference of wealth from taxpayers mostly to those who are already well off.

He also rightly calls out some conservatives for their tolerance of this form wealth redistribution.

(From the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

…while conservatives have had a knee-slapping good time ridiculing the Solyndra debacle, corporate welfare is a richly bipartisan problem. For obvious reasons, it enjoys the support of Republican-leading corporate honchos and Chambers of Commerce, which are sometimes as allergic to a truly free market as your run-of-the-mill campus Trotskyite. Business leaders often like nothing better than a government-supplied leg up on the competition.

Republican politicians often happily oblige. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, for instance, has doled out cash and assistance to a host of businesses big and small: Backcountry.com, an online retailer, received $300,000 last year. General Electric got the same amount to recruit and train workers for an IT center in Henrico. Virginia spent millions to bring a Microsoft data center to Mecklenberg, and doled out millions more to help billionaire filmmaker Steven Spielberg film a Lincoln biopic.

When he zeroed out funds for public broadcasting, McDonnell insisted, “We must get serious about government spending. That means funding our core functions well, and eliminating spending on programs and services that should be left to the private sector.” Recruiting and training workers for General Electric qualifies as a core state function?

Click here for the column.