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Brooks: Carrier Deal Will Encourage Making Money Off Gov’t — ‘Invitation To Corruption’

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that the Carrier deal encourages companies making money off the government and is “an invitation to corruption.”

Brooks stated, “I agree with Sarah Palin on this one. She wrote an op-ed today where she called it ‘crony capitalism’ and a source of corruption. And I think that’s true. The job of government is to be a level playing field, where companies compete, and make money honestly. And by rewarding one company over another, by getting involved in these sort of petty deals, the first thing you’re doing is encouraging rent-seeking, for companies to make money off government, rather than the honest way. And the second thing, it’s — and especially in this administration, it’s an invitation to corruption. If you’re cutting deals with company after company, doing this kind of deal, that kind of deal, inevitably, there’s going to be a quid pro quo. There’s going to be under-the-table lobbying. And it’s just a terrible precedent for our economy and for the administration.”

Brooks added that the Carrier deal was “a very expensive way to save 1,000 jobs. Second of all, Carrier is owned — the parent company is United Technologies, a defense contractor, totally dependent on US government interests for their well-being. If we can’t lean on these people and negotiate a good deal with them, and where we have to pay $700,000 in tax credits to save 1,000 jobs, it’s a bad deal, I mean, even from that perspective. It’s very expensive.”

He concluded, “[T]here will be 1,000 people who will have Christmas. That’s true. But there will be a lot of people who will be paying for that. Second of all, you’ll have a less efficient economy, so there will be less job creation. Third, when companies ship jobs overseas, they don’t like just take the factory and then move it abroad. They gradually do what is in their economic best interests, which is to scale back production here, or flatline it, and scale it up there. If the economics is still favoring a job in Mexico over a job in Indiana, Carrier will still be doing it, but they’ll be getting a lot of taxpayer money, and we’ll have a sludgier economy.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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