Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Gov. Sarah Palin, who is being considered for a cabinet position in the Trump administration — is raising alarm over president-elect’s recently announced deal with Carrier, suggesting in an op-ed it could amount to “crony capitalism.”
“When government steps in arbitrarily with individual subsidies, favoring one business over others, it sets inconsistent, unfair, illogical precedent,” Palin wrote in a ‘Young Conservatives’ op-ed. “Republicans oppose this, remember? Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember? Because we know special interest crony capitalism is one big fail.”
Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence traveled to the Carrier plant in Indianapolis Thursday to tout the company agreeing to keep 1,100 jobs in the city instead of shipping hundreds to Mexico.
Carrier said in a statement the agreement was due in part to the incoming administration’s lobbying as well as state tax incentives. Trump’s transition team has refused to publicly disclose the full details of the deal, but company officials said in a statement Thursday that the state of Indiana, where Pence is governor, offered the company a $7 million package over multiple years, contingent on factors including employment, job retention and capital investment.
Trump, in comments at a rally, put other American companies on notice that they would not be free to relocate their companies outside of the U.S. “without consequences.”
Palin, who ABC News reported Wednesday is under consideration to be Trump’s secretary of veterans affairs, took issue with that principle in her op-ed.
“Foundational to our exceptional nation’s sacred private property rights, a business must have freedom to locate where it wishes,” Palin said. “In a free market, if a business makes a mistake (including a marketing mistake that perhaps Carrier executives made), threatening to move elsewhere claiming efficiency’s sake, then the market’s invisible hand punishes.”
Palin goes so far to point out that such government intervention sets an “illogical precedent” of a corporate welfare system she labels as “a hallmark of corruption. And socialism.”
“However well meaning, burdensome federal government imposition is never the solution. Never. Not in our homes, not in our schools, not in churches, not in businesses,” she added.
“Gotta’ have faith the Trump team knows all this.”
The Trump transition team has defended itself from similar criticisms by conservatives of the deal, with Pence telling the New York Times in an interview Thursday, “The free market has been sorting it out and America’s been losing.”
Palin was a stern defender of Trump throughout the GOP primary and his campaign, but in her op-ed she joins the chorus of skeptics calling for Trump and his team to make full details of the Carrier deal public.
“I’ll be the first to acknowledge concerns over a deal cut by leveraging taxpayer interests to make a manufacturer stay put are unfounded – once terms are made public,” Palin writes.
The Trump team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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