Our View: ‘Cliff and corporate welfare

Posted: January 15, 2013

Yes, we realize the “fiscal cliff” tussle is history — and debt-ceiling and “sequestration” scraps await. Nonetheless, we can’t help but continue to ponder why some corporate welfare “lardies” (i.e., legislative goodies dripped in lard) found their way into that “cliff”-avoiding legislation.

Corporate welfare, we say? Yes, those 50 or so little baubles that introduced — or, in many cases, we suspect, reintroduced — a wide variety of folks, from Hollywood producers and NASCAR track owners to green-energy hopefuls and wannabes, to the delights of the public trough.

The question, of course, is how such “lardies” found their way into a bill that, ostensibly, should not have included more spending. The short answer: Because Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., wanted them to.

As far back as the summer, so notes the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, Mr. Baucus announced his intent to renew a mess of expiring tax credits. Like moths to a flame, lobbyists from such giants as General Electric and Citigroup glommed onto this proposal, seeking continued succor from corporate taxes. House Republicans resisted this kit and kaboodle, Mr. Carney said, largely out of reluctance to continue pouring money into the Solyndras of the world.

So Mr. Baucus’ push stalled — that is, until the White House inserted the entirety of his legislative language into the “fiscal cliff” measure.

And so, voila! — that’s how $76 billion worth of special-interest “lardies” were approved. Is this any way to run a government, or what?