When First is Worst: Pa. Leads Nation in Corporate Welfare

Pennsylvania leads the nation in corporate welfare spending since 2007—and second place isn’t even close. At $6 billion, the commonwealth outspent its nearest corporate handout competitor, Ohio, by more than $1.5 billion, according to data from the Council for Community and Economic Research.

This year alone, state government will transfer more than $800 million from Pennsylvanians to politically-privileged interest groups. The state has already subsidized billion-dollar corporations like Amazon, Netflix, and Kraft under the guise of “economic development.” Yet, these handouts have done little to revive Pennsylvania’s stagnant economy.

Despite spending billions on corporate subsidies, Pennsylvania ranked just 35th in job growth and 31st in personal income growth between 2005 and 2015. In fact, the ten states spending the least on corporate welfare from 2007-2015 saw greater job growth than the ten states spending the most.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed has already expressed interest in reducing corporate welfare this year. In his Tuesday budget address, Govenor Wolf should address these unfair programs that benefit few at the expense of many.

See the chart below for how far ahead we are in the corporate welfare race—where finishing first means you're the worst: