Because That’s Where The Money Is

Quote ostensibly attributed to the (in)famous bank robber Willie Sutton, though Wiki says it ain’t so (It even spawned the “Willie Sutton, Where the money is” rule of economics). In Newark Ohio, Mayor Hall is saying “Show me the money” when it comes to paving long neglected streets. Newly elected Council person, Jeremy Blake, is saying the mayor should show some leadership on this one. Former Council person, but still wannabe, Rhonda Loomis submits Newark Advocate Facebook commentary saying Blake should show some of those “fresh new ideas” that he claimed to have in order to get elected. The reason given that maintenance of public streets (and other Newark infrastructure) is always at bare bones minimum has always been “lack of funding.” In this Newark is not alone. Today’s Advocate submits a Gannett report by Chrissie Thompson for the Cincinnati Enquirer (Local level officials ask Ohio lawmakers to reverse cuts, 4-2-14). Bipartisan local elected officials from the southwest corner of the state went to our legislators to voice their desire to have money restored for city and township use (to maintain things like roads, etc.). Of note from the article;
“Gov. John Kasich and the General Assembly cut the $700 million Local Government Fund nearly in half in 2011 to help fill an $8 billion hole in the state budget. Republicans also eliminated the $300 million estate tax, 80 percent of which went to cities and townships.”
“Kasich has said Ohio shouldn’t spend the money (“the $1.5 billion savings account the state filled last year with surplus tax money. “A number that almost exactly mirrors what’s been taken from local government funding…””) because it gives job creators confidence about the state’s strength.”
And finally (the one to watch):
“So it’s [“Springfield Township in Hamilton County”] seeking to pass a Joint Economic Development Zone on the May 6 ballot, allowing it to share income tax revenue with Mount Healthy, as townships aren’t allowed to levy income taxes on their own. A bill that’s likely to pass the General Assembly would take away that option for other townships, forcing them to pass the income tax partnership by gathering signatures from a majority of property owners, including businesses.”

More of Wacko World Tennessee came to light this week. In an article titled “Report: Tenn. offered contingent incentives to VW” (4-1-14) the AP disclosed that in the taxpayer funded effort to derail the union representation of the VW plant in Nashville “An incentive offer by the state of Tennessee to Volkswagen was made contingent on the labor situation at the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga developing to the “satisfaction” of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, according to documents obtained by WTVF-TV in Nashville.” The incentive offer was quoted at $300 million. In addition to that “Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker repeatedly claimed that Volkswagen would announce an expansion at the plant within two weeks of the union being rejected, despite denials from VW management that the two issues were linked. No expansion has been announced in the weeks that have followed the vote.” “Volkswagen wants to create a German-style works council at the plant representing both salaried and blue-collar workers. But to do so, it has said it must work with an independent union, so it called for a three-day vote on UAW representation in February.” Analysis covered Corker’s bio in previous posts. The Ohio connection is with Bill who owns the Pilot Flying J truck stops sprinkled throughout our under-maintained highways (which got caught in deceptive bait and switch practices) while his brother Jimmy owns the Cleveland Browns (which are demanding the taxpayers pay for renovation of their new stadium).

Analysis finds the last Chrissie Thompson quote to be the most troubling. Recently, for considerations of road maintenance and improvement, the Etrna township trustees are considering exactly what our elected state representatives are drafting legislation to outlaw. Of course, within that legislation, property and ownership of business trumps resident voters, indicating an erosion and slippage of democracy (no taxation without representation has become no taxation without business approval). Aggravating the situation is the unspoken “solution” that everyday workers should pay for upkeep of any infrastructure, like roads. Add to this the conservative mantra that ever more must be given to jobs creators (evidenced by John the governator’s income tax cut proposals with sales tax/commercial activity tax increase, and everyday taxpayers supplying the majority of funding for public/private partnerships like JobsOhio, Grow Licking County and Newark Development Partners). It is easy to understand why infrastructure maintenance is lagging in Newark (and throughout the US). Taxpayers are subsidizing the jobs creators, like the Haslam’s and Corker’s, whose companies are the very ones which will cash in on any infrastructure improvement. The jobs creators are taking their subsidies up front, in advance, because “That’s where the money is!”

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2 Responses to “Because That’s Where The Money Is”

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