manufacturing worker
Credit: iStock

In one of the most cynical PR moves in politics, last December Donald Trump took credit for saving 1,100 jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana. Behind the scenes, we learned that via negotiations with VP Pence, the company had received $7 million in state tax credits for not sending the jobs to Mexico and, in a phone call with Trump, the CEO of the parent company was promised a massive federal tax cut.

Here is what Trump said at the celebration rally at the plant.

“Carrier stepped it up, and now they’re keeping over 1,100 people,” Trump told an audience of cheering factory workers.

He said those numbers could go even higher, noting that United Technologies had agreed to invest roughly $16 million into updating the plant.

“And by the way, that number is going to go up substantially as they expand this area, this plant,” Trump said. “The 1,100 is going to be a minimum number.”

But then the story started to fall apart. First of all, we learned that of those 1,100 jobs, 300 of them were never slated for re-location in the first place. Then, the CEO said that the $16 million would go towards automation, admitting that it would ultimately mean fewer jobs.

Now, CNN is reporting this:

Donald Trump may have convinced Carrier not to move its Indianapolis furnace plant to Mexico. But the company is still shipping about 300 of its jobs to Mexico right before Christmas.

In a formal notice to the state of Indiana, the company detailed its plans to eliminate 338 jobs at the plant on July 20, four supervisor jobs in October and a final 290 jobs on Dec. 22.

Let’s look at the math.

1,100 (number of jobs Trump claimed to save)
-300 (never slated for re-location)
-338 (eliminated in July)
– 4 (eliminated in October)
-290 (eliminated in December)
168 (actual number of jobs saved)

Let’s be clear…that is the number before the promised automation kicks in. But so far it means that, with the $7 million tax break alone, those 168 jobs cost the state of Indiana almost $42,000 each.

I am reminded of all the lies OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has been telling recently about how this administration has prioritized the interest of taxpayers over the “freeloaders” in our society. Looks like the biggest freeloader of all is Carrier.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.