California Democrats, Like Trump, Love To Throw Money at Companies That Don’t Need It

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

California’s leading Democrats and the president-elect of the United States may be headed for conflict on immigration, healthcare and climate change, but there’s at least one issue where they are closely aligned.

They both love to make unnecessary payoffs to corporations.

Many on the left in California criticized Donald Trump’s trumped-up saving of Carrier jobs, courtesy of giveaways from the state of Indiana. But this Trump-approved bit of corporate welfare is nothing compared to what California Democrats have done.

They’ve thrown money at aerospace firms, and offered a totally unjustified set of tax breaks for Hollywood production. They tried to offer hundreds of millions to Tesla, but were outbribed by the state of Nevada.

And if you’re a sports team that might want a stadium, or any rich person with a big project and the right set of campaign donations, you can get an exemption from environmental reviews.

It’s a good thing that Democrats are making war preparations against Trump on issues that involve protecting Californians from what is shaping up to be an autocratic administration. But you can safely ignore any charges that Trump is paying off business.

That’s a game we Californians play too.

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