“Corporate welfare” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in political circles, particularly from the political left.
The Carrier deal is not corporate welfare. To understand that, one must first define what corporate welfare is.
President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday, Dec. 1, that the air conditioning and furnace manufacturer, which announced its departure for Mexico in February, would be staying in Indiana sent shocks in predictable waves throughout the political arena.
Conservatives heralded it as a move that was proof Trump would do what he promised.
Liberals and the media — all liberals are not media, even if all media are liberals — downplayed it as underwhelming, falsely reporting it as 800 jobs instead of the actual 1,100, with Vox noting it was a “piecemeal” approach to creating jobs that would not keep up with the 200,000 new jobs per month needed to handle basic population growth.
(For that matter, the recently highly-touted-by-Democrats jobs report of 178,000 new jobs in November wasn’t either. Spin, anyone?)
— Steven Cheung (@CaliforniaPanda) December 1, 2016
If the President-elect were hopping from one state to the next, meeting and focusing on one company at a time, Vox would have a good point. But the site completely ignores the scalability of what the new administration just accomplished.
Trump’s Carrier deal is not corporate welfare as it has been called because corporate welfare is not a real thing.
The phrase was coined by the left as a way of protecting parts of the population that have grown so dependent on entitlement programs that they need some justification for contributing nothing to society.
The left knows the 49.2 percent of Americans on entitlements (per Forbes) equate to more votes than the rich, affluent, and middle class. If they can create enough entitlements to get people dependent on government, they will essentially never lose another election.
Thus the creation of “corporate welfare.”
Corporations are designed to make as much money as possible. When government creates too many regulatory burdens, they force higher-ups to find new ways of building those profits.
That has led to massive outsourcing, particularly in manufacturing where 1 million jobs have been lost since 2008 when Obama took office.
The government took too much, so leaders responded in a way beneficial to their companies.
Democrats mounted two successful Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 because they were able to paint corporations as the bad guy.
Where they tripped up was on policy, or their lack of it. They created villains, but no solutions; thus the blame shifted back as pendulums often do.
Trump’s Carrier deal was not a piecemeal approach. It was a template for saving more jobs — not only in Indiana but throughout the United States. The line that it amounts to $7 million in corporate welfare is tired and worn out.
For starters, the tax breaks come from the state of Indiana, not the federal government. Many states set up economic development funds to allow for this. Voters understand companies need incentives to create jobs. They also understand jobs mean being able to have a better way of life. It’s a benefit they — at least the voters of many red states — don’t mind paying for because they see it as an investment.
When companies run razor-thin profit margins — most do — they do so in part because they are paying salaries and benefits to employees who would otherwise be on unemployment.
Furthermore, the $7 million extra Carrier is keeping is of its own money. The government didn’t earn that revenue. Carrier did.
The WSJ has details on the Trump deal with Carrier: $7M in tax breaks over 10 years pic.twitter.com/zXEQU2oCVt
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) December 1, 2016
Many Americans are just not buying the corporate welfare myth anymore, and fewer will as Trump continues to show companies will respond positively to an American workforce if they’re paying less in taxes and dealing with a simpler regulatory environment.
Yes, corporate welfare is a myth. It’s a myth because the citizens fund the government. They do it by paying taxes. They pay taxes because they work. They work because of companies like Carrier.
The government should always take a back seat to both these entities because it cannot — or rather should not — exist without business and without “the People.”
The government should take care of those who cannot — not will not — take care of themselves. It should also serve functions for internal/external defense and infrastructure, but that’s it. And that’s it because it’s a creation of the People, not a ruler of it.
So no, corporate welfare is not a part of the Carrier deal nor any similar deal. What happened this week is just the government doing what it’s supposed to do in a capitalist society — stay the heck out of the way.
Thoughts on corporate welfare, readers? Sound off in the comments section below.