Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
Where Do North Carolinians
Draw The Line?

Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

On September 11, people from across this great nation paused to remember that day six years ago when our country was attacked by Islamic terrorists. On Tuesday, our state legislature also met in special session in Raleigh to reconsider House Bill 1761, the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund, which had been vetoed by Governor Easley. The bill would give the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. up to $40 million in state incentives over a 10-year period if Goodyear made a minimum $200 million investment to its Fayetteville plant. Gov. Easley vetoed the bill, citing a number of problems, including the possibility that Goodyear could lay off workers and still receive state aid.

Instead of trying to override the Governor’s veto, Democrats behind closed doors worked out a deal to appease the governor while saving themselves the embarrassment of the veto being sustained. To do that, they trotted out House Bill 4 on Sept. 11, giving it the same name as the vetoed bill.

But the new bill will increase the total of the handouts to $60 million over 10 years, and expand corporate grant eligibility. To make matters worse, this bill added Bridgestone Firestone, which had asked for a similar deal several years ago as an incentive for investing in their Wilson plant. They were turned down and went ahead with their planned investment anyway. So why are we now adding them to this entitlement package?

Democrats pushed this legislation through the House by a vote of 61-44: the Senate by a 25-16 vote. In the House, only four Republicans sided with the Democrats, while four Democrats voted no. In the Senate, all Republican voted no.

Ronnie Bryant, President and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, said that in spite of the possibility of lost jobs, the legislation was better than having a plant close or having it leave the state. Companies are investing in more expensive equipment, which requires fewer workers. Requiring companies to guarantee jobs isn’t as important as employee wages and the company’s overall investment in the region, he said.

While incentive packages have been offered before to companies being wooed to the state, such as to Dell and to Google, this legislation is unique in that it involved companies already in North Carolina and the size of the payout {although in October 2004 Gov. Easley did award $1 million to Phillip Morris to help it retain a facility in Cabarrus County.}

So now not only do we have to create tax incentive packages for companies to relocate to North Carolina, we have to pay them millions of dollars to stay here. Who is going to be next in line for their share of this corporate welfare? We have opened up Pandora’s Box and unless this course in legislative mismanagement is stopped, we will be marching toward a financial abyss.

North Carolina offers industry a great climate with plenty of skilled workers and an abundance of natural resources. By cutting corporate taxes--North Carolina has the highest in the southeast-- and easing corporate regulations, we would significantly enhance our marketability.

North Carolina is a right to work state. Why do Japanese companies pick non-union states to locate their plants? They certainly are not running to Michigan with its high taxes and unions. It’s all about economics. And that does not mean giveaways placed on the backs of the taxpayers. It’s about creating a business environment that enables corporations to pay employees good wages while escaping the burden of excessive corporate taxes. That’s what capitalism and the free market system are all about.

With the value of the American dollar dropping, Goodyear and Bridgestone Firestone should be able to sell more tires in their foreign markets as American goods become more competitive. They don’t need taxpayer—funded incentives to help them increase their bottom line. North Carolina should not allow itself to be held hostage by corporate America or by a legislature that needs a lesson in basic economics.

Bob you have this one nailed accurately. It is CORPORATE WELFARE, better known as socialism. It is no surprise that Democrats get huge campaign contributions from both big business and big labor since "corporate socialism" has become the favorite form of government collusion between Democrats and some so-called capitalists. This is not "free enterprise" capitalism since the whole idea is to reduce competition and assure that the winners work behind the scenes to maintain an illusion that the Democrat Party is against business.

The Democrat Party is not against business. It is merely opposed to competition. The Democrat Party loves corporate welfare for the right corporations. You just have to look into who gives them campaign contributions.

The press is also complicit in this game. Early reports implied that the new money would be spread across a large number of companies so that it didn't favor Goodyear. That was of course simply wrong.

It is only with "free enterprise" competition that you get winners and losers. When you rig the process so that big business dominates, the lack of competition assures that they can charge excess profits, which the corporate fat cats can share with the socialist party as taxes and contributions to socialist favored charities. They do this while maintaining the illusion they are on opposite sides.

It is this collusion that leads me to say repeatedly that the term "capitalist" has ceased to mean anything. The world today is a competition between Republican Party "free enterprise", which means competition, and Democrat Party "corporate capitalism" which really means socialism. That is the battle ground.

As this insanity proves, Democrats are the party of "corporate welfare", better known as socialism. It is wrong and long term it harms America.


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