Government Funding of Private Projects

We live in uncertain times. Red state or blue state? Small or big government? Why was Hillary not jailed for singled-handedly attacking our embassy in Benghazi? At least our tired American mind can rest easy knowing that, no matter where we live, our government is giving our tax money to private entities. Phew! 

In red-Kansas, the no-tax-will-go-uncut Sam Brownback underfunded schools (despite a Supreme Court decision ordering him to pay them more), he made sure that welfare recipients (whose max benefits are $300 per month) can't spend that money on cruise ships and also can't be on welfare for more than 3 years, he banned Sharia Law, and he took some business and farm tax rates to such low levels that the whole state faces a $411 million budget shortfall

The state will furlough workers in a few days if they can't pass some agreement. 

This past weekend, a plan to close the budget gap was put forward that included some reductions in the huge tax cuts at the heart of problem.

Senator Greg Smith, champion of the little guy, had some insightful thoughts on that proposal: "You can take this plan and shove it." 

Tax increases? FUCK THAT! Tax reductions are what will bring people to Kansas! Traffic on I-70 will be bumper to bumper U-Hauls -- Mark Zuckerburg and Larry Page from the West, Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg from the East. 

Kansas will become the only pure state in this land. An Ayn Randian paradise built for the makers. You want a hand-out? Here's your $300 for 36 months, now get outa my sight! #NoCarnivalCruises #Freeloader #Taker

That's why Kansas just gave WireCo WorldGroup $8.5 million to move a few miles from the Kansas City, Missouri-area to the Kansas City, Kansas-area. 

Because .... ummm .... because .... hmmm, that's a tricky one ....... uhhh ..... jobs?

167 jobs will be "created" with the WireCo deal. But the company will be able to keep 95% of the state withholding tax for those employees thanks to the 2009 law that created PEAK (Promoting Employment Across Kansas). And most of the workers probably won't pay Kansas property tax since they won't have to move houses to commute a few miles more in the Kansas City-area. 

While Kansas cuts "welfare" to a $10,800 maximum payout over 3 years per person, that doesn't apply to corporate welfare. After all, 167 jobs for $8.5 million comes out to over $50,000 per WireCo employee. That would be 14 years worth of $300-a-month welfare. And WireCo can take as many cruises as they fucking please. 

Corporate welfare is there. A rock. A security blanket. A lighthouse that lets you know you're in America. No matter what government you voted for, you can bet your bottom dollar that your bottom dollar is going to people who don't really need it. 

"Public-private partnership" and "tax-incentives package" and "TIF" have become so ubiquitous, their underlying necessity is no longer questioned. It's not if we should be giving public money to private enterprise, it's how much should we be giving. 

In Minnesota, the new "public" stadium built just for the Vikings is estimated to cost over $1 billion. The direct public contribution is almost $500 million. 

Next door in Wisconsin, small government warrior Scott Walker doesn't want unions to get out of hand and also doesn't want his Socialist neighbor to be the only state throwing money at professional sports teams. Milwaukee and Wisconsin and Jesus apparently all want to keep the Bucks and are chipping in for a $500 million basketball arena project

The original estimate was only $250 million, but Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel pointed out that the original estimate wasn't including the interest. In the deal being put together, interest payments wouldn't start until 2028, meaning the interest paid may cost more than the entire stadium. Ooops!

Republican Assembly speaker Robin Vos and Republican Governer Scott Walker, though, are behind this thing. 

Strangely, Democratic Senator Jon Erphenbach is questioning the project. Get on board, you commie! You act like you've never heard of a public-private partnership before. 

Here in Iowa, we not only use public dollars to support stadiums (you'd have to be one cold-hearted mother-mother not to support a sports stadium, I mean, kids play sports, you hate kids?), we also kick in cash for pig-related or just pig-shit related projects. In late 2012, our state set a record with the largest tax incentive program in history (woohoo!!!). Somewhere between $160 million and $545 million went to an Egyptian-based fertilizer company that was so hard up for cash, they also bought Iowa's largest construction company, Weitz Corporation, after getting their state funds -- ironically, Weitz is now building our state-and-city-supported Convention Center Hotel. #CircleOfWelfareLife

Not only did we give them the money, we were happy to! After all, we "beat" states like Illinois that also wanted to give money to Egyptian fertilizer magnates. I-O-WA! I-O-WA! Suck it Illinois! 

Regular welfare recipients have term limits, drug tests, easily identifiable cards they use to get food that allow us to judge what they're purchasing from behind our grocery cart. 

Corporate welfare recipients are heroes. True Americans. After all, they're the segment of the population we can all agree needs our support.