Pie in the sky waste of tax dollars

If a single tax dollar from an Ohio resident goes to a company that’s planning on manufacturing $200,000 flying cars, it’s time for a revolt.

Sure 11% unemployment is an issue, but so is delivering the basic services like police and fire to the businesses that you already have. Using your tax dollars to help launch a business just because it’s  somehow vaguely connected to “the invention of flight” in the name of “economic development” isn’t how to spend time or money right now.

We could invest in simplifying and streamlining government, so as to make the tax burden lower on all Ohio businesses and to make it easier to do business here. Start out with building a much better business registration, fee and tax portal- one stop for the entire State.

Instead, the Dayton Daily News makes an editorial endorsement of chasing after flying cars- talk about a strangely bad idea:

At this stage, Terrafugia only employs about 10 people. How many it might want to hire is another unknown. Economic development officials in Dayton weren’t aware of the company’s plans when the story broke. That’s no reflection on them. Every indication is that Terrafugia’s obsession at this point is with capital.

Since the news broke, the Dayton Development Coalition has been in touch with the company.

Comparisons with the Wright brothers arise. They weren’t the first to get into the air, but they were the ones whose work led to airplanes becoming practical.

And they were able to proceed largely on their own — up to a certain point. Eventually war and the military became crucial in the development of flight. ..

Dayton and Ohio shouldn’t be obsessing over the obstacles now. Just having the effort here would be a good thing. Flying cars are already an object of public fascination. The closer they come to reality, the more attention there will be. That’s the kind of attention Dayton is looking for.

via Editorial: Soaring sedans worth a look for Dayton, after the jokes | A Matter of Opinion.

The whole government involvement in cherry picking businesses for government support is already absurd. For those who complain about reforming health care as “socialist”- when it’s an attempt at providing a level playing field for all with a minimum standard of health care- but, aren’t up in arms about these decisions by government to plan and support some businesses and not others- you have totally missed the point.

Government needs to get smaller and more efficient fast- just like every business in America has been forced to. Even thinking about tax incentives for flying cars is a colossal waste of time and a pie in the sky waste of tax dollars.

It’s time to place a Federal ban against any tax dollars being used to provide support for “economic development” type deals. Tax dollars must go to delivering universal services only.

Bonus- video from Dayton Grassroots Daily Show

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7 Responses

  1. David Lauri February 22, 2010 / 2:11 pm
    Here’s a fun idea that Dayton-area governments could consider if they want to generate some extra revenue in order to be able to entice flying car companies to locate here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/opinion/21friedman.html
     
    For those too lazy to click the link and read the article, it’s a column by Thomas Friedman in which he points out Tracy, CA’s new fee-based 911 system.  Residents now can choose between paying a voluntary $48/year fee that allows as many 911 calls that year as necessary or they can choose to pay as they go at the rate of $300 per call.
     
    Wouldn’t that just be great?  Imagine this:
     
    911 operator: 911, please state your emergency.
    Citizen: I’m calling to report a car accident at Maple and Fifth Streets.  This car just ran right through a stop sign and hit another car, and a woman’s trapped.  Please send an ambulance right away.
    911 operator: I’d be happy to assist you.  We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.  Could you please give me your credit card number?
    Citizen: Say what?
  2. Steve February 22, 2010 / 3:31 pm
    There will be no flying car company here. It’s obvious he’s just using Dayton in theater as a ruse to get people in MA to give incentives. Otherwise, he would have been in contact with the politicians here. Why would an “undisclosed” group of Ohio investors care where the company operates? Seems to me Dayton is the leverage.
  3. Bill Daniels (pizzabill) February 22, 2010 / 3:56 pm
    Ha!  Oh, Yee of little faith.  Remember history, where the famous Dayton skeptic Divad Itarse, said the Wright Brothers would never amount to anything.  You can go back to early Dayton newspapers in the Wright State University microfilm section of the library and read it in his blog.
  4. David Lauri February 22, 2010 / 4:18 pm
    Did Divad Itarse ever win elected office?
  5. John A Smith February 22, 2010 / 10:17 pm
    David:
    I thought sure that you would support a fly-in-the-sky. This is just another example of Dayton grasping at straws. This was tried in the Sixties for those of us old enough to have been alive and an adult at that time.
  6. djw February 23, 2010 / 4:46 am
    The first comment over there is hilarious. Can’t say if the “con artist” tag is entirely fair in this case, but as someone who lived through the late 90’s in Seattle, I saw a great deal of the formula (Implausible Techy Idea)+(Greedy, foolish Venture Capitalists)=(High paying jobs for young nerds for several years). All in all, I wholeheardedly approved of the wealth redistribution at work in this scheme (the nerds were not exactly needy or wanting, but when when it comes to downward wealth redistribution you take what you can get), but once they start taking real money from municipalities rather than greedy rich people it gets a lot less funny.
  7. Jesse February 23, 2010 / 10:10 am
    That which is one day a pie-in-the-sky dream is the next a deliverable universal service.
     
    Television — invented in 1920.  2009 – $40 government coupons given out to help people defray the cost for a digital upgrade.
     
    Cell Phones — Made commercially available 1960’s and not prevalent until 1990’s.  2008 –  The FCC begins funding cell phones for “low income families.”  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS192845+15-Aug-2008+BW20080815
    2010 – estimated $1 billion spent on the program!  http://www.usac.org/about/governance/fcc-filings/2010/Q1/1Q2010%20Quarterly%20Demand%20Filing.pdf
     
    The concept that healthcare is a “universal service” is funny too, but I will defer that discussion for a more appropriate post.

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