We’ve all seen big corporations dangle the promise of jobs and economic nirvana over the heads of competing local and state governments, demanding they roll over and offer up big tax breaks, subsidies and other “incentives.” Whoever offers the best corporate welfare, wins the corporate “treat.”
But a new short film—”Show Us the Tax Breaks”—demontrates that all-too often, the jobs and economic benefits promised by corporations fall far short of promises. Sometimes, they just take the money and run, leaving communities in economic ruin.
“Show Us the Tax Breaks” premieres in Washington, D.C., Thursday, following a panel discussion with union leaders, economic and development experts and congressional members, who will explore how real economic recovery strategies must address the creation of good jobs and the role of corporate subsidies in our current economic climate.
Panelists include AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Boilermakers (IBB) President Newton B. Jones and UNITEHERE! President John Wilhelm. The panel discussion starts at 6 p.m. EDT at the Teamsters (IBT) building, 25 Louisiana Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.
“Show Us the Tax Breaks” spotlights how the ironically named Union Tank Car Co. abused economic development incentives to enrich its owners while destroying good middle-class American jobs—and without creating any tangible benefit to the national economy.
The film focuses on the Union Tank Car’s East Chicago, Ind., plant that once employed 600 IBB members. After enjoying millions of dollars in tax breaks, Union Tank Car aggressively solicited both Texas and Louisiana with promises of a brand new plant, 850 new jobs and economic development—for the right tax breaks and incentives.
Louisiana won the bidding war. The 600 IBB jobs were destroyed when the East Chicago plant was shuttered in 2008. But by May 2009, Union Tank Car’s new Alexandria plant employed only about 325 workers and the economic growth promised for central Louisiana hadn’t materialized.
This provocative film argues that pitting states against one another as Union Tank Car did violates the spirit of public development subsidies and undermines working families.