I think Daniel J. Mitchell sums things up very nicely here. I feel about the same way.
Corporate America is doing a full press in DC right now, even during the lazy days of the Congressional summer recess. The big boys don’t want the Export-Import Bank, the taxpayer backed corporate slush fund, to go away. Congress may stop funding it in September. If Congress does stop funding Ex-Im it will be a major win for everyday Americans and it will be a real loss for the crony capitalists.
Though the President called the Export-Import Bank of the United States “corporate welfare” when he ran for president, his message has changed. Many of his former staffers are pro-Ex-Im too as the attached report outlines. Who followed whom is unclear.
The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg argues that what is called the American “Left” will never really fight crony capitalism. That what the progressives actually want is not the separation of business and the state but business which will do as it is told. Business as junior partner to the government. A lapdog.
Is he right?
Because they know they can count on him to do “their business.”
Think about that. On average each of the largest 100 companies in the world receives $200 million from the US taxpayer, each year. Some more than others of course.
This is not capitalism. This is crony capitalism and it is dangerous to our economy and our society. If small government people are going to talk about how free markets are preferable to the incestuous system we have now they need to go after corporate welfare.
Each member of the House and Senate should be held accountable on a day-to-day basis. Who voted for what? And not only on whether a lawmaker voted to make a bill law, but also if a member voted to move something into (or out of) committee. What were the committee votes? What maneuvering happened?
If we want a less crony capitalist government it’s going to take some monitoring (and perhaps at least equally as important, reporting). We have the technology.
People lose their senses when entering the land of the farm bill. Conservatives vote for subsidies and feel perfectly fine about it while voting to cut food stamps. (Which should be reduced but so should the farmer subsidies.) When one explains to a farmer that they are essentially on welfare and costing the taxpayer billions of dollars one invariably hears back that farmers feed the the country and that somehow they deserve all the welfare that they get because they feed us.
FDR partnered with big business while burdening the general economy. (Sound familiar?) LBJ did the same in better times. As the attached article points out LBJ even partnered with corporate America to take down Barry Goldwater. Nixon laid layer after layer of regulation on top of the American people, while remaining a good friend to big business. Much of the giant government apparatus we have today was built in concert with, not to counter, big business.
How many times do we need to learn this lesson? Central planning, big sweeping, one size fits all policies do not work. They are filled with waste, crony capitalism, and all sorts of unintended consequences which often are worse than the issue the original policy was created to ameliorate.
This is absolutely the case with corn ethanol subsidies.
Our farm system is totally rigged for generally very wealthy (made wealthier with our tax dollars) agribusiness participants. But the Republicans won’t attack this kind of welfare because it benefits constituencies in rural and generally Republican districts – at least the constituencies which tend to write checks to their congressperson.
Another good one from Tim Carney. He is absolutely on point with this piece. The GOP should get real about small government or it may find itself completely irrelevant in the relatively near future. Voters are done financing this sort of thing, at least formerly GOP voters are.