Tag Archives: corporate welfare

Corporate welfare watch: US trade bureaucrats try to jack up the price Americans pay for solar panels

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A U.S. trade panel has ruled that low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from aboard. Friday’s vote by the International Trade Commission was unanimous. The trade commission has until mid-November to recommend a remedy to President Donald Trump, with a final decision on tariffs expected in January. … Georgia-based Suniva Inc., and Oregon-based SolarWorld Americas brought the case, saying a flood of imports have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Suniva declared bankruptcy, while SolarWorld had to lay off three-quarters of its workforce. Cheap imports have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged tenfold since 2011." (09/23/17)


Boeing wins WTO ruling declaring its corporate welfare legal

Source: US News & World Report

"Boeing notched a key victory in a years-long legal case against its European rival, Airbus, after an international body rejected the European Union's claims that Washington state was giving Boeing illegal tax incentives. … Monday's decision by the World Trade Organization's appellate body reverses a ruling by a lower WTO panel in November that said that Washington state — which is home to much of Boeing's plane manufacturing operations — had provided prohibited subsidies through a tax incentive for production of the Boeing 777X. The panel also called on the U.S. government to take action to end the support. The U.S. had appealed the panel's decision in December. Monday's ruling, which is final, found that none of the tax incentives provided by Washington state were illegal." (09/04/17)


WI: Republican Assembly passes $3 billion welfare bill

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

"The State Assembly on Thursday passed a $3 billion incentive package for electronics manufacturer Foxconn to build its first U.S. plant in Wisconsin on the promise that the deal with bring up to 13,000 jobs to the state. Lawmakers passed the legislation authored by Gov. Scott Walker 59-30, after the chamber's Republicans cheered it as a smart bet for taxpayers with massive upside for the state's economy and over Democrats' criticism that the deal is a gigantic gamble with state funds. … to make the plan a reality, Walker has proposed to give Foxconn $2.85 billion in refundable tax credits for jobs and for the construction of the campus. The company would be exempt from another $150 million in sales taxes, be eligible for lower utility rates and be exempt from some environmental regulations." (08/17/17)


Federal court: Arkansas can block Planned Parenthood money

Source: Fox News

"A federal appeals court panel ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, two years after the state ended its contract with the group over videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group. In a 2-1 ruling, an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel vacated preliminary injunctions a federal judge issued preventing the state from suspending any Medicaid payments for services rendered to patients from Planned Parenthood. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson ended the state's Medicaid contract with the organization in 2015. The court ruled the unnamed patients suing the state did not have the right to challenge the defunding decision. The panel did not directly address Arkansas' reason for terminating the contract. The decision could potentially lead to a showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court over efforts by Arkansas and several other states to defund Planned Parenthood that have been blocked by other courts." (08/16/17)


Is TIF failing the "but-for" test?

Source: Show-Me Institute
by Graham Renz

"Tax-increment financing (TIF) is a development subsidy program abused all over Missouri, and especially in Saint Louis. See exhibit A: the Boulevard development in Richmond Heights, just east of the Galleria. The development has been awarded more than $30 million in TIF over the years for the construction of high-end shopping, office, and luxury residential spaces in one of the most economically successful areas in the region. Just read this developer overview, which claims this part of Richmond Heights 'forms the metropolitan area’s most successful and dynamic commercial and residential district.' The area hardly looks like the 'urban blight' TIF was originally designed to remedy. But there's a recent development, beyond the (ahem) questionable use of subsidies in this area, worth touching on. The most recent phase of the development was originally estimated to cost just shy of $80 million. Back then, developers claimed the project was financially infeasible without TIF and other subsidies. But now the project's costs are up $20 million and it's still moving forward. But how can this be? How can a project that was infeasible at $80 million be moving ahead when it is now $100 million?" (08/01/17)


The ultimate trifecta of crony capitalism

Source: The American Conservatism
by Alison Acosta Winters

"A free market is by definition a business environment in which companies produce products and services valued by consumers at a cost they are willing to pay, free from special advantages created by government. In such a market, not only will a business fail when it doesn’t create value for consumers, it will be allowed to fail. But well-meaning politicians often can’t resist interventions into the free market through bailouts, subsidies, government loan forgiveness, or other lifelines. And of course companies have every incentive to go after such special treatment, both in terms of lobbying for them and flocking to them once they are created. Thus is corporate welfare found at every level of government in America and in nearly every realm of government policy." (07/27/17)


Why Planned Parenthood should be defunded

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance

"Congressional Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions. That, of course, means that the organization has been previously funded. And funded it has been — for years, by Republicans, most recently in the omnibus spending bill (H.R.244) to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that was signed into law by Trump on May 5. If Republicans, the vast majority of whom would say they are against abortion, are so opposed to Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions, then why did they fund the organization with millions of taxpayer dollars during the Bush years when they had a majority in both Houses of Congress for more than four years?" (07/21/17)


Stadium subsidies: Not just for the big leagues anymore

Source: Show-Me Institute
by Patrick Tuohey

"Show-Me Institute analysts have opposed spending taxpayer money on sports stadiums in Kansas City, Saint Louis, or anywhere. These subsidies are usually targeted for major league teams that are privately owned and wildly profitable. But in a cautionary tale for Missouri, across the border in cash-strapped Kansas, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) is spending taxpayer dollars to prop up a failing semi-professional baseball team, the T-Bones, in a struggling independent league." (07/05/17)


US Senate unveils $700 billion corporate welfare plan for ship and plane builders

Source: Military Times

"Senate lawmakers introduced a $700 billion defense authorization bill on Wednesday that sets the stage for another financial showdown with House budget planners and White House officials over the right target for national defense planning. The Senate draft calls for more base defense spending than either of the other plans, fewer troops and a smaller military pay raise than the House proposal, but 54 more aircraft and five more naval ships than the president had planned." (06/28/17)


Go Nats?

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Just a few miles away from where I live sits the stadium of the Potomac Nationals. I’m a fan. I’d hate to see the team we call the P-Nats leave. But … Hasta la vista. The owner of this minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals is demanding a new stadium. He threatens to move out of Prince William County, Virginia, if he does not get it. The Prince William County board of supervisors has already expressed interest in floating bonds to raise the $35 million the fancy new stadium would require — with the privately owned team paying the money back, with interest, over the next 30 years. Compared to other crony-ish deals around the country, not such a terrible taxpayer swindle. Still, zillions of wrongs don’t make this right." (06/20/17)