TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Johnston: Your Tax Dollars At Work, Unconstitutionally

Reuters, A Gift, From NY to Abu Dhabi, by David Cay Johnston:

How does being taxed to give money to the oil-rich kingdom of Abu Dhabi and its hereditary ruler strike you? The cost, if you live in New York State, comes to about $1.4 billion, or roughly $190 per household, for an economic development deal with a privately held company called GlobalFoundries to build a microchip plant near Albany. ... The deal for the chip plant is being challenged in court by a long-time critic of “corporate welfare” in a case that will test New York‘s long-standing policy of subsidizing business.

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The most corrupt diversion of public money and control for private benefit probably occurs at the local level. Urban redevelopment and subdivision projects are highly profitable, and that profit fuels the corruption machinery. As long as government has the power to block private sector projects or to give them valuable concessions (e.g., via eminent domain transfer of property at bargain prices), this corruption will continue.

Kudos to David Cay Johnston for publicizing one instance. I hope he exposes many more.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Nov 2, 2011 12:57:15 PM