Corporate Welfare Queens Rally Support for More Handouts
From Jim Siegel in The Columbus Disgrace:
With about 100 supporters of state Issue 1 gathered yesterday inside TechColumbus, home to 25 high-tech startup companies, David Wilhelm offered a warning.
“I want to scare everybody in this room,” said the co-chairman of the Yes for Issue 1 campaign to renew the Ohio Third Frontier program. “We could lose.”
Despite support from more than 150 organizations, plus the backing of elected state leaders in both parties, Wilhelm said polls show that only about 20 percent of Ohioans can express an opinion about the four-year, $700 million bond issue on the May 4 ballot to extend the Third Frontier beyond 2012.
Undecided voters often vote no, he said, noting that the last Third Frontier issue in 2005 passed with just 53 percent of the vote.
“We have a problem with this campaign to the extent that there is so little controversy associated with it, it’s hard to get covered,” Wilhelm said. The Bexley resident, a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee and national manager of President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, urged supporters to get active.
Controversy? Why would there be controversy, Mr. Wilhelm?
It should be just as controversial as President Obama’s stimulus bills, where America is taking a multi-trillion dollar gamble in an exercise in Keynesian economics. The theory is that massive public spending is supposed to boost private sector confidence and investment, when we are seeing that in reality the opposite is happening.
The reason why there is no controversy is that both the Ohio Democrat Party and the country club types at the Ohio Republican Party have endorsed it, just as every major Ohio newspaper. When it has support from both major parties and the dinosaur media, who cares if the Third Frontier UNCONSTITUTIONALLY raises the amount of debt Ohio can incur past the 5% limit. And if it creates any jobs, it is in the legal sector, where lawyers work with instruments like “certificates of participation” to avoid the debt ceiling and the political nature of the Ohio Supreme Court would mean any challenge to this increase in spending would not be taken seriously.
And what really hurts is how the Issue 1 campaign is abusing the phrase “free market.”:
It isn’t a free market when the state takes money out of the economy from one place and gives that money to politically-connected firms of their choosing for projects that the “free market” has already deemed too expensive and risky. This is socialism, corporatism, and reinforces the notions that true-believing lefties have about the evils of capitalism.
In reality, there will always be venture capital to fund serious new ideas, and we don’t have to force taxpayers to take the roll of angel investors… And to make it even worse, instead of taxpayers receiving shares and dividends, our ROI consists of airy-fairy, misleading macroeconomic studies about “jobs created.” Taxpayers assume all the risk, companies enjoy all the rewards. This is not the “free market.”
There is no financial interest that has shown itself willing to fight against Issue 1, but I think that- especially in this climate- voters are intelligent enough to oppose. I would urge you to vote No on Issue 1… And for extra emphasis, if you live in the Columbus-area and are Republican, vote liberal Jo Ann Davidson out of the Republican State Central Committee.
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- CNBC: Only 60% of America is a Better Place to Do Business Than Ohio, Thanks to Corporate Welfare