James Surowiecki reviews the record of CEOs on the dole:

Energy companies lease almost forty million acres of onshore land in the U.S. and more than forty million offshore, and keep the lion’s share of the profits from the oil and natural gas that they pump out. In theory, this is O.K., because we get paid for the leases and we get royalties on what they sell, but in practice it often works differently. In 1996, for instance, the government temporarily lowered royalties on oil pumped in the Gulf of Mexico as a way of encouraging more drilling at a time of low oil prices. But this royalty relief wasn’t rescinded when oil prices started to rise, which gave the oil companies a windfall of billions of dollars. Something similar happened in the telecom industry in the late nineties, when the government, in order to encourage the transition to high-def TV, simply gave local broadcasters swathes of the digital spectrum worth tens of billions of dollars. …

Corporate welfare isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some of these giveaways arguably do a lot of good. But companies that benefit from these policies are just as dependent on the government as the guy who gets the earned-income tax credit. And, when Romney concentrates his fire on the latter rather than on the former, it makes you wonder if his problem isn’t with government assistance per se, but only with government assistance to poor and working people.