Politicians of both parties like to attack "corporate welfare," because the attack taps into both liberal and conservative sensibilities. If you're anti-corporate welfare, you're railing against both corporations and government. You're appealing to notions of justice and equality.

But what if you talk about the same targeted tax credits, taxpayer-backed grants and eminent domain takings differently? What if you call them "incentives for companies"?

One poll suggests people really like incentives for companies -- people in North Carolina at least:

16. Do you support or oppose providing incentives to out-of-state companies to encourage them to open and hire in North Carolina, particularly in high unemployment areas?




That poll, by American Insights, didn't go into any detail about what the incentives would be. I wonder how people in North Carolina feel about a 25-percent tax credit for movies or 35-percent tax credits for ethanol heating people's swimming pools in an environmentally friendly way or the government seizing property to provide runway space to Federal Express?

In other words, I could say something like "lower taxes, right-to-work laws, better schools and less regulation are all incentives for me to build my business in North Carolina." Is that what most North Carolinians polled thought they were talking about?

Or do North Carolinians like corporate welfare as long as it brings jobs?