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.

Vote no on Issue 3. For a whole lot of reasons

I’ve already written why Issue 3 is a bad idea. Never mind that Montgomery County Democratic Party thinks it’s a good idea because they got money from the Casino backers to tell you to vote yes.

It creates a monopoly- with no competitive bidding- for 2 organizations in 4 locations. How big of a monopoly? It even bans churches and softball leagues from playing blackjack at a fish fry:

Require that casino gaming be conducted only by authorized casino operators of these four casino facilities or by licensed management companies retained by such casino operators.

via http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/ballotboard/2009/3-text.pdf

via Issue 3 bans fish frys..

Gambling is a pretty bad bet to begin with. However, I’m at a point of frustration with every state around us offering it. We need to save our gamblers their gas money- and have them in Ohio, but only with a true competitive bid situation- like the bill that’s being introduced for next year if this doesn’t pass.

This amendment is a farce- going as far as to write specific pieces of property into the Constitution. Again- Amendments are special, they require a super-majority of 70% of the popular vote to change. This is bad legislation, written to hand over the keys to the candy store to two companies.

Vote no on Issue 3. You’ll get another chance soon enough to vote for something that’s more fair to you and will make our State more money.

UPDATE

Voting no on Issue 2- Livestock care standards board Amendment

There are lots of things Ohio should regulate, and take care of- but, a Constitutional Amendment to create another layer of bureaucracy to “protect livestock and poultry” is an insult to the people of the Great State of Ohio.

Constitutional Amendments are special. It takes a whopping 70% of the vote to overturn or amend them. They are supposed to be passed to stop politicians from mucking things about on a whim.

That’s exactly why big agri-business is hot to pass this as an amendment, as opposed to being handled by simple votes in the legislature. This could be done easily by a vote in the Statehouse- instead of asking the people of your house to do it for them.

Animal welfare is important, but, if you think a regulatory body added to the Constitution is going to help- just take a look at what good the Securities and Exchange Commission has done for you lately. Let’s worry about protecting people with a Constitutional Amendment, not chickens.

Surely our fine legislators in Columbus can craft something without a constitutional amendment. I’m voting no on Issue 2.

150 years for Madoff, and the SEC gets off easy

While there are people dancing in the streets about Madoff getting 150 years (they are now homeless, because of this cretin who stole their life savings) we haven’t yet seen one regulator nailed to the same cross.

Why not?

Herein lies the fundamental problem with our current financial system: it’s all one big con game.

Without putting some sort of restrictions on speculation, which is what 99.99% of the stock market is now, and huge amounts of volume being traded daily, there is zero connection to actual business goals and objectives.

Business is no longer about making money and paying dividends to the owners, it’s about manipulating stock prices so that paper wealth can be created, and huge sums skimmed off the top by the people running the casino, oops, I mean markets.

Madoff may be in prison, but somehow, we’re still allowing “legitimate crooks” to get paid millions per year, while running companies into the ground just like Madoff did. And, our politicians are barking up the wrong tree.

Take our esteemed crooked Congressman, Mike Turner.

His latest move-

U.S. Rep. Michael Turner, R-Centerville, has introduced a constitutional amendment that would bar the federal government from owning stock in companies, his office announced this week.

Coined “Preserving Capitalism in America” the constitutional amendment would preserve the government’s right to provide loans or to acquire equity interests in any public authority or public use corporation, as well as investments by any government pension fund.

via Turner seeks to bar government intervention – Dayton Business Journal:.

I’ll translate for those of you who are missing the point: instead of banning the use of your hard-earned tax dollars to prop up these crooks running corporations into the ground at a record pace, Turner wants to continue to give them money in the form of bailouts and “economic development” funds- corporate welfare, without taking an equity position.

Turner is all for giving your tax dollars away.

The insane part, he supposedly has 102 co-sponsors to this piece of crap legislation.

It’s time to install strict controls on stock ownership, forcing anyone with over 1% ownership, or over $100,000 in one company to hold the stock for at least a year. It’s also time to create strict limits on executive pay, clearly stating the maximum pay allowed based on average payroll, number of US-based employees, and net worth of the company. If you want to pay yourself more as CEO, take the company private. Shareholders would be paid dividends on anything above and beyond the ratio, unless they vote to reinvest in the company. Any CEO who cuts his workforce, or has a loss, gets paid zero. There has to be risk to be a CEO.

There is only one place for our current crop of legislators who aren’t calling for the arrest and prosecution of both the regulators and the thieves who have paid themselves so well while failing so fantastically. In a cell, right next to Bernie.

Then we can get started on constitutional amendments.