Missouri Spends Billions Propping Up Private Industries
Missouri spends more than half a billion dollars annually propping up private industries.
The following graph shows the trend of subsidies to private industries in Missouri. I used Gross Domestic Product by State data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to produce the graph.
Some may dismiss these subsidies because they are small relative to Missouri’s gross state output (they equal 0.27 percent of GSP, on average). However, this view ignores the big picture; it ignores what Missouri is giving up when it gives handouts to private industries.
This is a considerable amount of money on an absolute level. According to the BEA data, the government allocates an average of $539 million in subsidies to private industries in Missouri each year. Many other programs compete for this money, so the government and taxpayers face an opportunity cost equal to the amount of the subsidy. This money could pay for essential services, reduce the state budget deficit, or be returned to taxpayers to spend, save, and invest in the private sector.
Trend of Subsidies in Missouri by Industry Category (Private Sector)