The Senate today passed the CHIPS+ Act, a bill that would hand over tens of billions of tax dollars to domestic production of semiconductors. CEI Senior Fellow Ryan Young denounced the bill as unneeded corporate welfare:
“The best policy for giving taxpayer money to private businesses is: Don’t. Unfortunately, the Senate seems to think the best way to compete with China is to copy its policy mistakes. Subsidized industries grow soft, dependent, and uncompetitive. They focus on politics and lobbying rather than making better products at lower prices. Subsidies also come with strings attached that both political parties will pull toward their respective policy fads.
“Rather than subsidize profitable businesses, policymakers should remove never-needed regulations that stifle competition and helped make supply chain problems so bad in the first place. These range from price-raising trade barriers to endless paperwork and permit requirements that can take years to cut through before companies can build factories and add capacity.
“As CEI founder Fred L. Smith, Jr. likes to say, you don’t have to teach grass to grow, but you do have to take the rocks off of it. That is the way to enable American businesses to become more competitive—not by adding $280 billion to the national debt with corporate welfare for an industry that doesn’t need it.”