Industrial policy is back in fashion in Washington, or as it ought to be called, corporate welfare. The semiconductor industry is first in the queue, but it won’t be the last. Taxpayers should at least know they’ll be subsidizing highly profitable companies that don’t need the help and might end up regretting the political handcuffs they’re acquiring.
The bill that will head to the Senate floor as early as Tuesday includes $52.2 billion in grants to the computer chip industry. But wait, there’s more. Congress is also offering a 25% tax credit for semiconductor fabrication, which is estimated to cost about $24 billion over five years. That’s $76 billion for one industry.