Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will release his House Republican budget next week, and one of its themes will be the fighting against corporate welfare. Mr. Ryan says, “We can’t make the case to the American people that we are the reform party if we won’t reform the giant corporate-welfare state in Washington.” Bravo. Too bad so few of his colleagues agree with him.
It’s very simple, really: Republicans have to be willing to cut weak claims, not weak claimants, as Reagan budget director David Stockman used to say. But corporate welfare has strong claimants: deep-pocketed business interests that rely on federal largesse to pad their pockets and jack up stock prices. Too many companies in America, from Boeing to AT&T, have come to regard government as a giant customer. They cheerlead for big government because they are among its chief beneficiaries.
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