The Hidden Cost of Public Assistance to Private Enterprise

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Tax breaks and government subsidies are beloved by politicians to help cities, counties and states increase jobs and grow their economies.

But, when companies pit one place against another in bidding wars, that can raise the cost to taxpayers while cutting vital services, like public education.  

When GM, Apple and other major players say, “take it or leave it,” even state governments can’t say, “no.” 

Is there any way to guarantee they’ll get what they pay for?  If the company shuts down or decides to go elsewhere, who’s left holding the bag?  



  • Louise Story - New York Times - @louisestory
  • John Nixon - Budget director for the state of Michigan under Republican governor Rick Snyder. Formerly budget director for the state of Utah. Governing magazine has named him Public Official of the Year. - @MI_DTMB
  • Bobby Hitt - Secretary of commerce for the state of South Carolina, under Republican governor Nikki Haley. Worked previously for BMW in the role of securing incentives from the state. - @SCcommerce
  • Sarah Eckhardt - A Democratic county commissioner in Travis County, Texas - @sarah_eckhardt


Warren Olney