The federal government is approving work requirements for able-bodied adults in the Medicaid program. This is great news for welfare reform as we seek to improve the integrity of how taxpayer money is spent.

And there is another welfare program we also need to look at – corporate welfare.

The willingness of Washington, D.C., to hand out special favors to special interests has made it the richest urban center in America. That’s not how it’s supposed to be – people should be rewarded for actually producing and providing goods and services. But instead, many are profiting from cozy relationships with politicians and bureaucrats.

Cutting corporate welfare also goes hand in hand with the recent tax cuts that were signed into law. I support tax cuts for everyone, and we should also be cutting spending.

The Cato Institute estimates that over the course of a decade, federal corporate welfare will cost taxpayers nearly $1 trillion.

Take, for example, the Export-Import Bank, which arranges sweetheart financing deals for overseas entities. When deals go well, private companies pocket the profits. But if deals go bad, American taxpayers pick up the multibillion-dollar tab.

While my opponent, Angus King, supports corporate welfare programs like these, I believe businesses should succeed or fail based not on their friends in government, but on their ability to serve others in the marketplace.

That’s why, as a state senator, I sponsored legislation to end corporate welfare in Maine and use the savings to cut taxes across the board – not just for the large businesses that can afford a lobbyist to secure a carve-out.

These are the same kinds of policy ideas and principles I will bring to the U.S. Senate. We need a change in Washington’s attitude. We need less corporate welfare for the big guys and more liberty for the little guy.

Eric Brakey

Republican state senator; candidate for U.S. Senate