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Friday, May 30, 2008

PA's Corporate Welfare Line

Patriot-News Editorial on how Harrisburg is handing out taxpayer money to big businesses (this time, Amazon) that should not be getting special treatment at all.

This corporate welfare comes as it was reported this month that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold 2.15 million of his 99 million shares of Amazon stock for $168 million.

Obviously, Amazon could afford to build the $20 million facility out of its own resources, and hardly needed a $1.25 million "opportunity grant" and $500,000 to help with job training, courtesy of the state's taxpayers.

The governor can claim that this inducement reflects the commonwealth's "strong pro-business climate." But how many tax-paying and tax-collecting good corporate citizens in Pennsylvania have been further competitively disadvantaged by allowing Amazon to have a free ride at the expense of other businesses and taxpayers?

Good question. And we hope the editorial board would take the same position on similar "investments" by Gov. Rendell on health care, energy, and the like.

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