“We prefer the term ‘corporate welfare.’”
Elizabeth Stelle, CF’s Director of Policy Analysis, recently appeared on the KD/PG Sunday Edition to discuss the GM bailout, Amazon’s HQ2 forgoing Pennsylvania, and more. She pulled no punches, noting the term corporate welfare more accurately describes the host of tax incentives, bailouts, and subsidies that governments use to attract and keep businesses in an area.
It’s very difficult for government to be able to predict winners and losers, and what’s a good investment and what’s a bad investment. Best leave it to the marketplace and look at other ways to incentivize job growth. Let’s look at things like our regulatory climate, our tax burden, and focus on fixing those things in Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh in order to have more job creation.
As the conversation turned to Amazon, Elizabeth questioned why local businesses should have to pay for subsidies to bring in a giant competitor—one of the richest companies in the world.
How about the Shell cracker plant? Host Stacy Smith wanted to know if the incentives offered to land the plant in PA were acceptable. “That’s really an example of admitting that we’re not willing to do those other things that could attract Shell on our own merits, so we have to put in special incentives,” Elizabeth countered.
Watch the entire interview posted below to hear Elizabeth’s prescription to cure what ails Pennsylvania’s economy. Hint: it might involve reducing corporate taxes and punitive regulations.
For a detailed list of the more than $800 million Pennsylvania spent on corporate welfare this year, check out our recent policy points, Corporate Welfare’s Record of Failure.