Hairstylists doing brain surgery

The Dayton Daily News editorial board, with prompting from George Will has finally realized that politicians’ involvement in “economic development” is nothing but a way to provide tax breaks to big business or their politically connected friends.

It’s time to stop corporate welfare nationwide. No more tax breaks for “job creation” unless it’s mandated by Congress- and applies broadly, so as not to favor any one business, group of businesses or payback lobbyists. It’s time for government to concentrate on the basics- public safety, public infrastructure, education, health and welfare of the general public- to create a “standard of living” befit of the most powerful country in the world- not just the über rich.

Letting local politicians double as venture capitalists is sort of like letting your barber do brain surgery- sure, they work on your head and are trained to cut- but, the two procedures are as unrelated as night and day.

The Dayton Daily finally notices that Ohio is “investing” way too much to “create jobs”- while screaming poverty when it comes to being able to provide the services that are fundamental- including a legal way to fund schools. (Note- the Ohio “formula” for funding schools was found to be unconstitutional more than a decade ago- and nothing has changed). And, remember, the first line of tax breaks is usually a property tax break which cuts money from school districts.

The state of Ohio has given out tax credits to the tune of $104,000 for each job it claims to have helped create or save in the Dayton area during the past three years.

Statewide, expenditures have come to $5.4 billion. (For purposes of comparison, the projected state budget deficit that’s causing all the cuts in the pending budget is about $8 billion over two years.)

And that’s just the state’s money. The number doesn’t count what cities, counties or other local governments spend.

And it includes jobs that already exist, but are not moved from the state after a company has raised that possibility. In the Dayton area, more than half the jobs said to be saved or created were saved.

via Editorial: Competition between states getting us nowhere | A Matter of Opinion.

Those numbers look like the mortality rate when trusting a barber to do brain surgery to me- what about you? Why are we allowing government to play favorites when it comes to business? “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” seems to apply perfectly here (to go Orwellian on you).

There is only one solution- a national movement for a constitutional amendment that allows the practice of diverting either tax dollars or tax discounts to any business except at a federal level- and then, only if it is applied simply and broadly to all. For example- a rollback on new employees hired who have been unemployed for more than a year (to stimulate hiring)- or, incentives for employees who live within walking distance of their employer (to conserve oil) etc.

I tweeted the other day- that if we funded wars the way we fund schools, we wouldn’t be in three of them right now. Can you imagine voting a tax increase to fund the F-35? And at the same time, while we have our young men and women risking everything in those wars- we are allowing the über rich to continue to whine about how tax increases on them- will hurt the economy. It’s time to make them pay for their safety with a war tax that reminds them what real risk is- like trying to live in a mansion in Somalia instead of Palm Springs. Security has a price- and they aren’t paying for it the way the rest of us are with higher fuel costs, lower paying jobs and housing foreclosures.

Our country is being run by people more interested in getting re-elected than getting it right. Let’s help remind them whom they represent and whom they are supposed to be serving- US.

Let’s stop the local hacks from wasting more money and screwing up a level playing field- let’s end corporate welfare once and for all.

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22 Responses

  1. Gary May 5, 2011 / 11:09 am
    If pigs could fly; believe in miracles; Apocolypse Now; and Deliverence seems the only alternatives–what will be will be, things will never change, you just must be faithful in your heart that things will get better, it sometimes works–I’m not talking any religion either, it’s just the flow of the universe …
    On my street the other day, I saw a Mexican Man and his White wife walking three young boys and another baby in a stroller … How are they making it?  Selling pot?  Not to be racist, but I’m sure most Mexicans cannot read nor write, like lots of folks in Dayton–how are they surviving, think about it!  Maybe they are happier than the uber rich!
    I don’t have a dime to my name, but I haven’t lost my house yet, thank the gods!  Thank the Angels maybe … And thanks to my credit cards for helping me for now–you cannot take it with you … Credit Card companies will survive, it’s called getting their hussle on!  I am Corporate Wellfare in my heart!

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  2. Robert Vigh May 5, 2011 / 12:40 pm
    David.
    I always understood the constitution to be a document that described what the government was ALLOWED to do. Not a document where if it was not excluded then it was allowable. My point is, what in the constitution currently says it is ok to create tax breaks for certain sectors of the economy? Or Social Security? Or any one of several other entitlement programs and or tax break, lobbyist programs? Corporate welfare and entitlement are born from the same distortion of our understanding and purpose of government. The programs you would like to see are simply your preference of this distortion. Consequently, I liked the beginning of your post, but no so much the end. 

    I agree that local hacks and the local grants that Dayton pays out are obnoxious. I have never understood the subsidy for business on an economic scale and most certainly not on a philosophical scale. The solution is right in front of us. Shrink the scope of government. But, I fear that many people are keenly aware that things they like (Medicare, Social Security, etc) are born from the same corruption and distortion of our founding documents that Corporate Welfare derives itself from. There will always be a battle of “preference”, until we agree it is simply wrong to take from others to fund our “preference”. That is a mighty lofty goal to ask of 300 million differing minds. But, it would be nice if the city I lived in figured it out.

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  3. More to the story May 5, 2011 / 4:16 pm
    I am personally a lot more concerned about giving free rent, food, health care, heat, a/c etc. to people who literally do nothing and are a dead weight burden on this city and the country in general.  I think the hate speech directed at the “evil rich” in this country may have already passed the level of hate speech directed at Jews in 1935 Germany.  How about we direct our hate towards the people that are paid to do nothing and contribute nothing to our city.  I thought getting something for free in exchange for doing nothing was stealing?  The freeloaders as a whole steal a lot more than the corporate folks do.  At least the successful people in this country and city are at least working.  Is corporate America responsible for our crappy government, labor union, democrat run schools and city services?  Dayton’s biggest problem is the low quality of it’s residents not some out of town rich people.

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  4. Gary May 5, 2011 / 5:08 pm
    @MTtS- Did you work today?

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  5. Brian May 5, 2011 / 5:53 pm
    @MtTS:  what “hate speech directed at the ‘evil rich'” ?   I’m not hearing that, even on MSNBC.  The economy was great (and the budget balanced)  with the tax rates we all had under Clinton.

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  6. Gary May 5, 2011 / 5:55 pm
     
    The Service Corps of Retired Executives — is a nonprofit organization which provides small business counseling and training under a grant from the … Okay Bubba- Did you work today? Your comment was at 2:44p, or are you one of those employees who stay on line all day and watch porn, or on your cell phone on the crapper? after your nap! Maybe I thought you were joking that I needed to score on a woman … Yes I do, to establish my manhood. And it’s people like you is the reason I don’t want to work, mean people, sarcastic, like some bosses I’ve had! And I don’t like working with queers either, and they are on every job I’ve had! I did 14 years with the mentally ill, what the f*** do you do for a living? I knew what BTW meant, too. And I use Google. But no question is a dumb question IMO! I’m just fed up with society- I have at least 75 resumes and apps out there! No one wants to hire an educated man! I think I’m being blackballed by the Internet, but my record is clean! I just don’t get it- you have to be a kiss-ass, a queer or Black to get work in Dayton! Did you get your GED yet, general education degree, Bub? My SBA plans are: a recreation and concert hall facility funded by the government for indigent people; or starting a population of shag bark maple trees that turn a lovely red in fall. So there, but it’s all useless, IMO, and yes, you may be correct, I’ve given up, but I’ve tried so hard, too!

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  7. Gary May 5, 2011 / 6:21 pm
    GED=general eduction development; Thanks Bubba, I would’ve guessed general education diploma, so I Googled it!  Forgive me everyone, I’ll try to lay low for a while–too much time on my hands, and nothing else you slackers, I know what you are thinking, :-).

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  8. Civil Servants Are People, Too May 5, 2011 / 7:00 pm
    I agree that there are some misplaced priorities in the state’s current budget proposal.    The problem is that no politician will say that their state or city should be the first state to disarm in arms race of economic development.   Much like the cold war, states are spending more and escalating the stakes at every turn.   

    Some say that government should act more like business.    The Wal-Mart philosophy of “every day low prices” is no different than the Tea Party calling for lower taxes.   Pressure the suppliers (or taxpayers) to reduce the cost to your bottom line.   But then if every state competes to lowers their costs, what do you have left to pay for services?

    So the alternative is you maintain a sensible tax base and offer project-specific incentives to facilitate investment.  Most of the economic development projects you see do just that.   

    And it’s usually not the politicans making the real decisions on individual projects, it’s the civil servants with years of experience on the front lines.   They are the professionals implementing policies as directed, based on rational models advanced by their peers – just like any other profession.

    Of course, there’s a lot of pork sometimes, too.   Reform, yes.    Nuke the system, no.

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  9. More to the story May 5, 2011 / 11:18 pm
    Is there a corporation that has received more undeserved welfare than the City of Dayton over the last 30 years?  Did the rich people and corporations spend their money on a laser and fountain show?  The City of Dayton should be cut off from getting welfare (obama stimulus was the latest and greatest probably) as the money is either stolen or wasted by criminals.  Is that not correct David?

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  10. Stephen Lahanas May 6, 2011 / 8:09 am
    Hey More to the Story, you can find the best media coverage ever on the “Evil Rich” in a radical publication called the New Testament. No one said it better and BTW they also said taking care of the poor was OK. The only folks I see these days making money without doing any work belong to the investor class – I guess they are superior because they inherited their money? Most working folks – middle class are not rich. Rich starts with making many millions and extends into making billions.
     
    Are the rich evil – I’ll leave that to theologians to decide. Is it right for folks to publicly advocate those less fortunate than us starve and die in the streets – no – it’s not. Where did I learn these values? Well, I grew up here in Dayton and went to church.

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  11. djw May 6, 2011 / 9:06 am
    I always understood the constitution to be a document that described what the government was ALLOWED to do. Not a document where if it was not excluded then it was allowable.

    A friend of mine likes to joke that the Constitution is the town whore of American politics. Everyone goes to her for what they need, but once their needs are satisfied, they’re out the door. I’m always amazed by the lengths people will go to to convince themselves that the Constitution more or less perfectly enacts their political preferences.

    Regardless of whether a document framed in such way would be wise (I’m skeptical), this understanding of the constitution has no relation to reality whatsoever. It’s not how constitutions in general are understood now, nor was it how they were understood in the late 18th century. Any attention to the actual political views of the central framers suggest they would have found this interpretation utterly bizarre. Hamilton in particular would have been utterly horrified by such an interpretation. It’s true that some early anti-federalists used arguments like this against the central bank and a few other things, but a) they weren’t particular serious about applying this theory of the constitution seriously, nad b) they lost, and that interpretation hasn’t had any influence since.

    But the most obvious, straightforward reason to reject this interpretation is the plain text of the constitution. There’s simply nothing in it that makes any claim of this sort, and a number of clauses point pretty strongly in the opposite direction. How would you possibly square this interpretation with the necessary and proper clause, for instance?

    As to the larger issue: it’s a symptom of federalism. You’d need a ban from the center on bribing companies, and that would rather obviously be a the constitution. I’ll happily join forces with my libertarian friends in supporting a constitutional amendment on this issue, but beyond that obvious long-shot I don’t see a clear way out of the problem.

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  12. More to the story May 6, 2011 / 9:19 am
    What kind of welfare is the recovery and reinvestment act?  On the rare occasion I actually see people “working” there it looks like one guy working and 5 guys doing nothing.  If these are the hard working democrats that are supposed to build our country back up we are screwed!  Why would you hire Americans to do any work if the putting America back to work union guys are what is available.  Is there a more ridiculous form of welfare and theft than what is on display at your local recovery and reinvestment sign?  There are problems with all types of welfare in this country, corporate is just one of them.

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  13. Bill Daniels (pizzabill) May 6, 2011 / 10:13 am
    I’m reminded of the old saying about the WPA program where it took four people to cut grass:  One comin’, one goin’, one crappin’ and one mowin’.

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  14. David Lauri May 6, 2011 / 12:30 pm
    Gary, it’s a good thing you don’t use your full name on your comments here because potential employers are definitely googling your name when they receive resumes or applications from you, and I’m sure that many potential employers, if they connected you with what you write here, would be rather disinclined to hire you.

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  15. Gary May 6, 2011 / 2:14 pm
    David,
    Per Google: Gary Max Western Michigan University Masters, Engineering Mgmt 1991 – 1999
    What is that orange hat you are wearing symbolize?
    Sorry everyone, the corporate world has me by the balls; I need a visa!
    Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.)

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  16. Mr. BOE May 6, 2011 / 2:46 pm
    Totally unrelated but I hear from a good source Steve Harsman and Betty Smith screwed up more stuff at the BOE.  They directly supervise the distribution of election day supplies and sent the wrong stuff to some precincts.  They are lucky David was not on the ballot!  I wonder if Greg Gantt and Tom Ritchie will cover this one up for them as well.

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  17. Ice Bandit May 6, 2011 / 8:19 pm
    Is it right for folks to publicly advocate those less fortunate than us starve and die in the streets – no – it’s not. (Steve Lahanas)
     
    ….Starvation? Somebody has just gotta’ reach some agreement here about what the underclass affliction is. According to the First Lady, there just ain’t enuff booty shaking in the hood, resulting in an epidemic of obesity. And not being one to urge to others what she wouldn’t do herself, the First Lady got up and shook her own groove thang in front of God, her captive Harlem classroom and the entire press corps. Nosiree, dear Steve, with Food Stamps, free school breakfasts and lunches, subsidized church dinners and copious food pantries stocked with government surplus goodies, it’s no wonder a large number of ghetto booties are worthy of a police escort and a “wide load” sign……

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  18. Ice Bandit May 7, 2011 / 12:06 pm
    Apocolypse Now; and Deliverence seems the only alternatives…(Gary)
     
    …yes, dear Gary, when the Old Bandito has nothing else to do on a nice Spring Saturday, he takes his old Fender five string to an area on the banks of the Little Miami River off Jacoby Road not far from Yellow Springs. There, out of eyesight but within earshot, he sets up waiting for unsuspecting canoeists along this popular boating route. Upon hearing the churning oars and happy chatter from the church groups and youth fellowships turning the bend, he breaks out into a prompt rendition of “Dueling Banjos.” You’ve never seen people row so fast in your life……

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  19. Gary May 7, 2011 / 12:40 pm
    @Ice, very funny!  And I realized I spelled Apocalypse and Deliverance wrong, darn it, and I claim to love grammar so much.  David E. can you put a spellchecker on here?  :-)
    David, I like your orange helmit.  Ice, I like your little icon, do you play hockey?
    Back to the topic at hand; ironically, Barack did brain surgery for a man of glib didn’t he?  Killing Bin Laden!  :-)

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  20. Butler TWP Repub May 7, 2011 / 10:36 pm
    More BOE problems, Good Lord. For heaven sake when are they going to clean up that mess. That was a small election right? You would think it would be easier to manage. Sounds like a problen that wont go away.

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  21. Former Campaign Dem May 8, 2011 / 4:33 pm
    Butler, I agree it is a problem that won’t go away.  I think it might be time to help David and the BOE staff out by releasing some inside information I got during the few years I worked at the BOE.  Hopefully Jon Husted will clean up the mess first but he is from this area which might make it hard on him.  Others have told me they have made complaints to the SOS but I’m not sure what the complaints were about.  There are a number of D’s and R’s that worked at the BOE that know both directors are long overdue for being removed.

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  22. Butler TWP Repub May 9, 2011 / 9:37 am
    I hear now  everyone at the Boe gets FREE parking at the county garage. Why do Board members get FREE parking for a meeting held once a month? Couldn’t you give them a parking pass? That would save the county thousands a year. FIX THE BOE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY HUSTED!!! When will this farce end. Is Harsman still screwing his secetary and blaming it on Paul Harris?

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