Whatever policy flaws might afflict it, welfare for individuals at least has a noble rationale: the alleviation of suffering. Not so corporate welfare—which has all of the disadvantages of social-welfare spending with none of the benefits.
Corporate welfare’s sole redeeming quality, writes A. Barton Hinkle, is its relative size. Washington ladles out about $100 billion a year in handouts to the undeserving rich. That is a minute fraction of federal outlays for social welfare (Medicare alone will cost more than $670 billion this year). But it is still roughly $100 billion too much.