Georgia Electric Vehicle Subsidy Dubbed the 'Worst Economic Development Deal of 2022'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | January 2, 2023
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Remember the game show “Let’s Make a Deal”? Many Americans participated in the show, accepting the product that host Monty Hall offered, or, taking their chances with the next “mystery” offering that might be worth more. The risk was higher than real life, because the players couldn’t do any research – but, then again, they joined the audience without investing money. Instead, they invested time, foregoing other opportunities for the chance to play the game.

Sadly, most politicians view their machinations and edicts as “opportunities” they give to you. You have no choice. You can’t decide not to participate. You have to play their game.

Yet, they portray it as a “deal.”

So, when a “free market think tank” makes the error of calling an act of government thievery and redistribution a “deal,” one really needs to chide the group, even as one applauds them for pointing the spotlight on the dumb, elitist government waste.

As Joe Lancaster reports for Reason, the Center for Economic Accountability (CEA) is “a nonpartisan think tank that opposes corporate welfare,” and every December since 2018, the CEA has cited the "Worst Economic Development Deal of the Year."

They concentrate on state-level graft. And this time? A money-sucking "green car" business in the Peach State. 

“(I)n a year with three times as many projects with billion-dollar state development subsidies as the year before, an electric vehicle (E.V.) factory in Georgia outran the competition.”

With the worldwide fever for fascistic “public-private partnerships” that have pushed tens of billions into the “green” and Climate Cult agendas – everything from government climate statistical manipulation to government wind farm subsidies – the CEA revelation about state “electric vehicle” pork going to the corporation Rivian seems to fit right in.

“The company makes luxury all-electric trucks and SUVs from a single factory in Normal, Illinois. To expand its operations, it announced in December 2021 that it would be opening a second factory in northeast Georgia. In exchange, state and local officials, including the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), crafted a package of tax credits and state incentives valued at $1.5 billion.”

It's always wise to differentiate between tax credits – i.e. the government NOT stealing what someone or a company of people earn – and real subsidies. In the case of tax credits, yes, politicians often use them to steer behavior, incentivizing the politically preferred activity by offering not to take cash earned or associated with that behavior. But at least it’s not government-committed theft.

Subsidies are different, of course. Like bailouts and “investments” that politicians claim to make with our money, subsidies are just a way of handing out stolen goods to people the politicians favor.

Related: Massachusetts Announces Planned BAN On Sale of Gas-Powered Cars By 2035 | MRCTV

What’s unique about this “tax break” and subsidy situation in Georgia is that even the tax break appears to have broken the Georgia constitution.

In the CEA press release, one reads:

"(S)aid CEA President John C. Mozena. 'They (the government of GA) made a massive, speculative investment of taxpayer money in an early-stage company in a highly competitive and government policy-dependent industry without doing basic due diligence. They went to great lengths to get around the fact that Georgia has no law that gives them the authority to hand out property tax breaks. They didn’t do their homework on the downsides of this project for the communities where the plant would be built, they kept the people who would be impacted the most in the dark until the deal was almost done and then they went to great lengths to keep local leaders from having a say in what happens to their communities.'”

And Mozena adds:

“With all due respect to Rivian, its people and its products, the blunt truth is that it’s an early-stage company in an incredibly competitive industry, and its future is far from certain,” said Mozena. “We know this because they say so. In Rivian’s government filings and investor materials, they’re transparent about challenges like supply chain limitations, negative cash flow, tough competitors, lack of experience, existing debt and other impediments to their future success. But you’d never know about any of that if you listened to Georgia’s politicians and bureaucrats go all-in with a billion and a half dollars of taxpayer money. To hear them talk, this is a slam-dunk investment.”

And that last term, “investment,” is one to remember.

As I noted last week for MRCTV, politicians thrive on not just tax cash, but euphemisms. Just like they claim they are “defending” us by forcing us to pay for their protection racket, for their machinery of theft, they also claim that their redistribution of wealth is an “investment.” Investments require choice. There’s no choice involved here.

If people think something is worthwhile, they don’t need to be forced to participate. They can show their preferences through their free will and decisions as to where, then, and how much of their money they want to invest.

We don’t get a moral out when claiming that the act of enslaving others is like offering them a “deal”, that forcing them to work and pay for what we like is an “investment.”

That’s a moral outrage, and it’s as immoral on a state level as it is on a federal or personal level.

Related: UK Police Admit: Electric Cop Cars Run Out of Charge While Responding to Calls | MRCTV