If the U.S. Can't End Sugar Subsidies, the Ex-Im Bank, "Essential Air-Service," and So Much Other Pure Crap, We Ain't Broke Yet


Over at National Review's The Corner, Mercatus Center economist and Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy has written a stinging yet admittedly incomplete critique of Republican vote records in Congress. Here's a snippet:

In recent years we have seen Republicans, with the usual exceptions, vote along party lines against big signature Democratic laws such as the president's health-care or the stimulus bills. But it's not enough. There are many other votes that escape public scrutiny but are just as important. For instance, in the last few weeks we have seen Republicans in the Senate and the House vote to support a series of corporate-welfare programs in spite of the consequences that cronyism has for our country. Here are a few examples:

  • The Ex-Im Bank (147 Republicans in the House voted to support its re-authorization.)
  • The $200 million Essential Air Service program subsidizes airlines to provide service to rural communities (77 House Republicans voted to keep the program alive.)
  • The Economic Development Administration (104 Republicans voted to keep the program alive.)
  • HUD's Community Development block grants (156 House Republicans voted against an amendment to get rid of it, including Representative Paul Ryan.)
  • HUD's loan-guarantee program (114 Republicans voted against getting rid of it.)
  • DOE's 1705 loan-guarantee programs (127 House Republicans voted to defeat an amendment to shut down the program.)

As de Rugy notes, 16 GOP senators voted in favor of a misbegotten farm bill that piles new subsidies on top of the old ones. And yes, a good chunk of GOP senators (including Marco Rubio) voted to extend protection to the domestic sugar industry.

In the wake of the Obamacare ruling – and with an election, a debt-ceiling limit, taxmageddon, and so much more coming up later in the year – it's especially important to keep informed about all the big and small ways that Washington remains steadfastly bipartisan in squeezing money from us all.

The Democrats remain convinced that we're not out of money. The GOP mouths concerns but never finds the backbone to cut anything that might effect one of their special interests. The rest of us? Well, we just foot the bill one way or another.