Tomorrow Palm Beach County Commissioners will vote on whether to extend generous corporate welfare incentives to a secretive international company identified on the county commission agenda only as "Project Gas". The company is said to be a subsidiary of an international company involved in the production of clean energy and we expect to find out the name of the company at tomorrow's commission meeting at the Government Center in downtown West Palm Beach. It is suspected the international company is a multi-billion company who profits by gaining financial favors from politicians.
"Project Gas" already leases a building in Palm Beach County and is looking to build its own building in Jupiter and keep its current 372 employees while creating 120 additional jobs in the county. For which the State of Florida is prepared to give the company $2.5 million while the Town of Jupiter and Palm Beach County $218,000 each. A second option on the table is the company creating 330 new jobs by 2020 to receive $6.3 million from the State of Florida while receiving $464,000 from both the Town of Jupiter and Palm Beach County.
The Libertarian Party is opposed to the government offering direct taxpayer money or ad valorem tax exemptions aka corporate welfare. It's 2012 presidential nominee Gary Johnson came out against them during his campaign stating we should, "Reject auto and banking bailouts, state bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, card check, and the mountain of regulation that protects special interests rather than benefiting consumers or the economy."
Libertarians view schemes such as corporate welfare as anti-free market and crony capitalism, hurting the small business owner by choosing winners and losers while hurting competition. Large corporations tend to be the beneficiaries of the bulk of these programs, creating an unfair advantage against those companies choosing to go it on their own. Even the conservative Wall Street Journal came out against corporate welfare in an editorial piece earlier this year.