Politico headline from today: “Qualcomm exec calls for small-business research funding.”
Alternative headline: “Businessman asks government to give money to businesses.”
Government should not give money to private businesses, period. Businesses should compete in the marketplace, not Washington. There is a lot of money to be made by selling people things they want. Companies that do a good job of that deserve every cent they earn.
Subsidies are not earned. Nor are they given to companies make things people want. Companies already doing that don’t need handouts. In short, corporate welfare is allocated by politics instead of economics.
What Mr. Jacobs is asking for would be a boon for lobbyists and politically favored businesses. But it would be a drag on everyone else. And not only because they would be paying for the handouts. Lost innovations are part of the price. The money spent on corporate welfare is money not spent on more worthy projects.
See also Wayne Crews and I on corporate welfare in the new edition of CEI’s Agenda for Congress.