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Bob Dick, a Policy Analyst at The Commonwealth Foundation, talked with Talk Radio 1210’s Dom Giordano about another dubious distinction for Pennsylvania, leading the nation in corporate welfare.

Dick said the motivation to subsidize private businesses stems from a misguided attempt to boost the Pennsylvania economy.

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“Since 2007, we have spent a little more $5.7 Billion on a variety of economic development spending programs, grants, subsidies, loans, tax credits, these sorts of things. It’s really driven by this idea that government spending is what boosts economic growth and we know that’s not the case. In fact, since 2007, and around this time frame, Pennsylvania has been lagging the rest of the country or, at least, most of the country in job growth, income growth and population growth. Even as we’ve been spending billions of dollars in corporate welfare spending.”

He pointed to a tax credit for the film industry as an example of what is wrong with the process.

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“The idea behind the tax credit, it’s a good one. This idea that we reduce the cost that government imposes on businesses and they’ll come to Pennsylvania to set up shop, but we should do that across the board, not just pick the film industry and say you guys are really important and we’re going to give you this tax credit in order for you to set up shop in Pennsylvania.”

Dick said the state has no roll in determining which businesses survive and which businesses fail.

“The government should not come in and say your industry is more important than X industry so we’re going to give you $60 Million, which I believe is what the tax credit is, to conduct business.”

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