Focus Point - Corporate Welfare

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. One of the things we'd hoped for from the Bush administration was a truly conservative approach to corporate welfare, that is, ending it. Numbers reported by Business Week suggest Bush is on the right track, he just may not be going far enough.

Bush plans to cut aid to business programs by a billion dollars. There are big cuts in the export-import bank and the overseas private investment corporation. A commerce department program that subsidizes technology research for companies perfectly capable of paying for it themselves would be slashed from $132 million to $13.

But the ethanol program lives on. The Catfish Institute and the National Watermelon Board -- no kidding -- actually get more money. There's half a billion in timber subsidies, and clean coal research takes a drastic cut: from $2 billion to $1.9 billion.

I rarely agree with liberals, but they were right to squawk when the poverty welfare reforms went on five years ago with corporate slush funds left untouched. President Bush has turned off the spigot a little, but there's lots more work to do.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time school spending.