The cost of doing business

In the “try to lure business at all costs” department: Part 1 of the New York Times’ United States of Subsidies series As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Government Pays High Price is another piece to add to my collection of anti-subsidy posts (like this one). Of particular interest: the searchable database of subsidies (Check out MN, for example, really only a bit player in the subsidy game) and the pervasive theme that governments don’t know what they’re getting into with these deals (and also don’t track the results like how many jobs are created – see the OLA’s report on the JOBZ program, for example or Lincoln Institute’s Rethinking Property Tax Subsidies for Business).

Politically, this should bother Democrats and Republicans.  For small government free market types, this is heavy government meddling in the private sector with your tax dollars.  For liberals suspicious of big business, the money flowing to enrich corporate America should be infuriating.  For anyone interested in transparency and accountability it’s trouble.