Corporate Welfare

The Bipartisan Corporate State

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Tim Carney's column today is about the career of Dan Coats, the senator turned lobbyist who now wants Indiana voters to return him to the Senate. Here's the lede:

Republicans in 2010 have an opportunity to capitalize politically on popular anger with elites in Washington and Wall Street and with an exploding government that tramples on the little guy in service of the well-connected. But now, in a competitive Senate race, Republicans have tapped a corporate lobbyist who has grown wealthy inside the Beltway by begging for government favors on behalf of the biggest banks, drug companies, automakers, and other leeches in the Washington swamp.

Carney argues that "if Republicans nominate Coats, a Beltway insider specializing in corporate welfare, the Tea Party might be tarring and feathering the GOP as well." But Carney also notes that, while Democrats wasted no time before attacking Coats as a corporate tool, he's been lobbying for "the same bailouts, regulations, and overspending that President Obama has championed." The bill of particulars includes the Bank of America bailout, the Chrysler bailout, tariffs on China, cap and trade, Internet regulation, and an effort to extend a pharmaceutical monopoly.