In conservative circles, there always is a lot of talk about welfare spending and entitlements. Entitlements are now 63% of the federal budget and with Obamacare, that number will rise. Big government is the bane of working Americans.
One of the things that people assume is that Republicans are the party of corporate America. In some ways, that’s true. But, I think corporate America gives money and talks to who ever is in power. Corporate America is less worried about individual elected representatives, and more worried about who the leaders of those representatives are and the federal bureaucracy. Democrats are as corporate as Republicans these days.
In order to give themselves credibility, maybe conservatives ought to start cleaning house when it comes to corporate welfare. There are plenty of places to start. One is the Import-Export bank. Republican Senator Ted Cruz took to the floor and ripped Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell the other day. When did you ever see a Democratic Senator go on the Senate floor and rip Harry Reid a new one when he was leading the Senate?
The Import-Export Bank is corporate welfare pure and simple. The reason that the House and Senate haven’t been able to kill it is because there are companies, lobbyists and bureaucrats feeding at the trough because of it. The I-E bank is like any other federal program. Once instituted, they never die.
The US tax code is full of all kinds of loopholes for corporations. Ending them would give conservatives the credibility to end them for individuals too. America isn’t ruled by the House or Senate anymore. It’s ruled by the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy can be bought. George Stigler showed as much. Here is Milton Friedman explaining it.