• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • DOE’s Manufacturing Innovation Is $70 Million Corporate Welfare Giveaway

    The Obama Administration recently announced that $70 million of your taxpayer dollars will be spent over the next five years on a public-private manufacturing innovative initiative. If you’re asking why such an initiative can’t be fully funded by the private sector, move to the head of the class.

    The partnership includes 25 companies, three universities, and several research laboratories. Businesses should partner with universities and national laboratories if they identify opportunities to do so. In fact, many of the 18 companies involved in this partnership do make use of such resources. But taxpayer money does not and should not be a conduit for those relationships to form.

    Companies can make those investments with their own money and concentrate their resources on what they believe is most promising. When the federal government distorts those investments by sweetening the pot with taxpayer money to direct funding where they want it to go, it cripples the process of innovation. The more government participates in the market as an investor, the greater its temptation to shape the rules to advance its own interests.

    Further, because they are not risking their own money, politicians and bureaucrats will bear almost no responsibility for the outcome of the investment. This allows them to take credit when an investment succeeds and deny blame when it fails.

    Programs like this also promote cronyism. In this relationship, the politician helps the business gain market advantage, and the successful business helps the politician advance his political agenda. The result is, at best, a brand of cronyism where businesses develop strong relationships with public officials to ensure that public policies support their economic interests. And it keeps those companies politically connected. Most of the companies taking part in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) latest round of founding have received taxpayer support in the past:

    Since these are primarily the companies that focus on energy efficiency applications, it’s logical that they would be recipients. But so long as the government directs the flow of investment, the companies connected to the government will continue to benefit. This is why Congress should eliminate these programs that promote corporate welfare and allow private companies, using their own resources, to use America’s lab and university system or partner with other private companies if they believe it is in their best interest to do so.

    Posted in Energy, Front Page [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.