Yesterday, the outspoken freshman Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted about the need to push back against corporate greed.
Tlaib comments were in support of an article published by The Hill highlighting Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who is leading a group of progressive Democrats in calling on regulators to block the proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, arguing that the deal will hurt workers and the low-income consumers who rely on the two telecoms giants’ affordable offerings.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 8, 2019
Is Rashida Tlaib really against corporate greed—or is she only against corporate greed for select corporations?
Between 2009-2014 the radical “impeach the motherf*cker” lawmaker served as a state representative in Michigan, where she was eager to give hundreds of millions of Michigan taxpayer dollars on multiple occasions to electric car and battery businesses that collected massive amounts of cash and then went bust.
From 2009-11, then-MI State Rep. Rashida Tlaib voted to give an astounding $768 million to battery makers in Michigan.
But Tlaib’s words would have more weight if not for her own voting record on special favors for corporations when she was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2009 through 2014.
MI Cap Con reported – Tlaib served three terms in the state House from 2009 to 2014. During those years, she cast eight votes authorizing state taxpayer-funded subsidies to corporations and developers, voting “yes” in each instance. Altogether, she voted to authorize transferring $1.031 billion in state tax money to politically favored businesses, with much of the money coming from individuals and small businesses.
In her newspaper commentary, Tlaib said the “we cannot continue to subsidize their [corporations’] greed with taxpayer dollars and get nothing in return.”
Yet rather than trying to shut down the wealth transfers, as a state representative, Tlaib took every opportunity that came before her to authorize more of them.
Here’s what Michigan Capitol Confidential reported last month on Tlaib’s history of supporting “corporate greed”:
Among the bills Tlaib approved was one authorizing a $253 million subsidy for electric car battery makers. Another one was for $228 million for a state “21st Century Jobs Fund,” which writes subsidy checks to scores of private businesses.
Here is a list of the bills, with the amount authorized by each:
$100,000,000. Senate Bill 777. Subsidize battery scheme in the former Wixom auto plant. House Roll Call 469 on Sept. 10, 2009.
$253,000,000. House Bill 5469. Give subsidies to electric car battery makers. House Roll Call 676 on Dec. 17, 2009.
$365,000,000. Give subsidies to electric car battery makers. House Roll Call 96 on March 26, 2009. Senate Roll Call 83 on March 11, 2009.
$9,500,000. Senate Bill 619. Tourism industry marketing subsidies. House Roll Call 122 on March 3, 2010.
$24,000,000. Senate Bill 944. Subsidize developers’ ‘historic’ building rehabs. House Roll Call 555 on Dec. 3, 2009.
$50,000,000. Senate Bill 855. Subsidize electric car battery maker in former Wixom auto plant. House Roll Call 613 on Dec. 8, 2011.
$2,400,000. House Bill 5732. Make subsidies for developers saleable to others. House Roll Call 680 on June 12, 2012.
$228,000,000. Senate Bill 269. Authorize an extension to the ‘21st Century Jobs Fund’ for various business subsidies and other favors. House Roll Call 719 on Dec. 18, 2014.
In March 2014, the Detroit Free Press concluded that the massive giveaway of state tax dollars to electric vehicle battery makers failed to generate the thousands of jobs that were promised.
In particular, a March 16 article noted that “today, Michigan has only a few hundred battery workers in four plants — despite $861 million in Obama administration stimulus grants and $543 million in Michigan tax credits awarded by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration in 2009.”
The state and federal government awarded more than $1.4 billion in tax credits and direct subsidies to four companies — A123 Systems, Dow Kokam, Johnson Controls, and L.G. Chem. Nearly $600 million in federal money alone was spent. Three of the companies went bankrupt.