Greg LeRoy

Greg LeRoy directs Good Jobs First and is the author of The Great American Jobs Scam. Good Jobs First was honored by State Tax Notes magazine for leading the charge for Statement No. 77. 

Recent Articles

Disclosing the Costs of Corporate Welfare

A new government accounting rule will soon spotlight the true costs of corporate tax breaks.

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File
For decades, politicians of both parties have touted the glories of massive tax-break deals. Whether it’s a governor announcing an auto assembly plant or a mayor breaking ground for a new mall, they invariably take credit for the jobs and claim that tax breaks did the trick. But the costs of such deals and the programs that bankroll them have seldom been fully disclosed. The details are usually buried in different state, county, and city agencies. And of course, the costs are suffered by taxpayers over decades, long after the politicians win their re-election. Taxpayers in Canton, Mississippi, for example, were shocked to learn that the Nissan assembly plant they thought cost $295 million in subsidies actually cost $1.3 billion . The smaller figure they remembered from a long-ago special vote by the state legislature. But $1 billion more was revealed in local records, where long-term property tax abatements were impoverishing schools, and in an obscure state program in which...

Can Trump’s Wild One-Off at Carrier Combat Corporate Welfare?

Donald Trump’s controversial deal with Carrier Corp. has ushered in a long-overdue debate over corporate giveaways that come at taxpayers’ expense.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
trickle-downers.jpg Say what you will about his hot-mess way with issues, but President-elect Donald Trump has already raised the cause of manufacturing jobs higher than any president in memory. His maneuver with United Technologies that convinced Carrier Corp. to keep 800 jobs in Indiana has drawn both praise and scorn. But by casually endorsing interstate job wars, Trump has also invited a sorely needed debate over a truly egregious aspect of corporate welfare. The Indianapolis deal is clearly a one-off with no policy precedents to benefit any other workers. But it has cued up an issue that progressive advocates can embrace and that should force Trump supporters to grapple with tough questions. Specifically: Trump’s America First populism could be channeled to make real progress toward curbing wasteful taxpayer giveaways to footloose corporations. Unbeknownst to Trump, this debate is about to get super-charged: Over the next 18 months, a torrent of newly-mandated data about...