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.
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.