Progressives for corporate welfare (and one against it)

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

The Progressive Policy Institute says it offers a “mix of political realism and policy innovation” and “progressive, market-friendly ideas.” I’ll translate that for you: they want government-corporate collusion.

Anne Kim, senior fellow at PPI, has a long piece on American manufacturing in the liberal Washington Monthly. She points out how many market forces are pushing U.S. companies to “insource” manufacturing. Then she also calls for a bunch of subsidies for U.S. manufacturing:

we should shamelessly court companies to America….

the president could go further still. He should ask Congress for a several-billion-dollar “war chest” to meet or beat any incentive offered to a company by a foreign government to lure production there.

Slate’s Matt Yglesias, no libertarian purist, aptly calls this “a terrible proposal to create a large federal slush fund the executive branch can use to randomly subsidize politically powerful firms.”

But it’s right up President Obama’s alley. Obama’s “win the future” and “new economic patriotism” has been a bunch of industrial policy that amounts to corporate welfare. Most money from these programs goes to large, politically connected companies, thus distorting the economy, and choking off competition.

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