Opinion

Pa.’s corporate handouts

Pennsylvania’s legacy in corporate welfare — in all, more than $5.7 billion in public subsidies since 2007 — has benefited the chosen few and politically connected while hosing the taxpayers.

Leading the nation in corporate handouts, Pennsylvania ranked 35th in job growth, 31st in personal income growth and 38th in population growth from 2005-15, according to Bob Dick, of the Commonwealth Foundation. His report, “The Costs of Corporate Welfare,” documents the folly of government favoritism, which “stunts economic growth, misallocates resources and leads to higher tax bills.”

Doling out millions of dollars to corporations, film producers and racehorse owners diverts resources from private investment, Dick reports. Rather than benefit state consumers, this creates a system that rewards those entities that know best how to game it.

On this the record is clear: The 10 states spending the least on so-called “economic development” saw faster job growth than those (like Pennsylvania) spending the most.

The alternative to the state’s empty policies of government favoritism is economic freedom that embraces reduced regulations and lower tax burdens. That begins by eliminating corporate welfare handouts and channeling those savings into lower taxes.

Simply picking winners and losers ad nauseam won’t move Pennsylvania beyond economic mediocrity.

The above editorial appeared in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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