Corporate Welfare Scheme Back With New Name

'Aerotropolis' now 'VantagePort'

A corporate welfare scheme that sputtered during a downturn in the economy four years ago is back with a new name but the same premise — government spending tax dollars to try and pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

The idea, once called “Aerotropolis,” is now named “VantagePort” and has seven communities paying $25,000 each annually for marketing the areas around Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports for business development. Wayne and Washtenaw counties pay $50,000 each.Research Associate Jarrett Skorup told The Detroit News that if the idea is worthy, it should be backed by private investment.

“Backing it with taxpayer dollars risks it becoming just another example of the government’s bad history of trying to pick economic winners at the expense of everyone else,” he said. “At the same time, politicians get to claim predictions of 60,000 jobs (in this case) with no apparent negative effects when they are wrong.”

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Center analysts previously addressed the scheme here and here

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