Skip to main content

What's wrong with Welfare?

For Texas Republicans it's fine as long as it goes to big business.

An examination into corporate incentives that has become standard operating procedure for state and local governments across the country, the New York Times takes a special look at Texas in: Lines Blur as Texas Gives Industries a Bonanza, and presents some startling numbers of of tax breaks and subsidies fostered by Rick Perry and his gang to corporations at the cost of limiting basic services to Texans. That article is worth a total read as it names names and connections.

Rick Perry has made corporate recruitment a hallmark of his administration making frequent trips to lure prospective businesses while at the same time preaching austerity for the masses and cutting services to the population. Texas gave up more than $250 million in tax revenues to Amazon alone, in exchange for 2,500 jobs (amounts to about $100,000 per job. (for workers are paid $20,000 to $30,000 a year))  prior to a dispute and standoff with the state over sales tax collection. More about the actual jobs in the Times article.

Under Mr. Perry, Texas gives out more of the incentives than any other state, around $19 billion a year, an examination by The New York Times has found. Texas justifies its largess by pointing out that it is home to half of all the private sector jobs created over the last decade nationwide.
Perry established the Texas Enterprise Fund that awarded more than $410 million outright over eight years and developed enterprise zones where companies can receive exemptions that add up to big money for retailers like Walmart. Incentives have gone to General Motors, Tyson Foods and the German chemical giant BASF. Much of these incentives come out of school budgets despite the reputation, rankings and drop-out rate of Texas schools.

To help balance its budget last year, Texas cut public education spending by $5.4 billion — a significant decrease considering that it already ranked 11th from the bottom among all states in per-pupil financing, according to recent data from the Census Bureau. Yet highly profitable companies like Dow Chemical and Texas Instruments continue to enjoy hefty discounts on their school tax bills through one of the state’s economic development programs.
To its defenders  Texas is an economic powerhouse, the only big state that weathered the recession with aplomb, a place where people from all over the world can still pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The critics argue that Texas has managed that by selling itself for parts; the state may have low taxes and lots of jobs, but at a serious cost to its schools, infrastructure and environment.
“Facebook, eBay, Apple — all of those within the last two years have announced major expansions in Texas,” Mr. Perry said. “They’re coming because it is given, it is covenant, in these boardrooms across America, that our tax structure, regulatory climate and legal environment are very positive to those businesses.”
Perry has acknowledged that the state’s job growth was not erasing persistent poverty, saying that “we are going to have people that fall through the cracks.” He said creating jobs was the best way to help Texans, who “don’t want government assistance when they can do it themselves.”

Gail Collins looks at the state’s staggering inequality, casual embrace of crony capitalism and creaky educational pipeline and warns in: As Texas Goes...:,   "what happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas anymore."

Through its vigorous support of banking deregulation, lax environmental standards, and draconian tax cuts, through its fierce championing of states rights, gun ownership, and, of course, sexual abstinence, Texas, with Governor Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions, has become the bellwether of a far-reaching national movement that continues to have profound social and economic consequences for us all. Like it or not, as Texas goes, so goes the nation.
Texas is leading the way:  Corporate Welfare and Incentives are considered good.  To heck with people.

For a breakdown of subsidies see: Texas

In Summary:

Texas spends at least $19.1 billion per year on incentive programs, according to the most recent data available. That is roughly:

$759
per capita

51¢
per dollar of state budget

That's over half the state budget, folks.  Just think of what could be done with that money were it directed to people and programs that really need it.

Originally posted to DRo on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and CenTex Kossacks.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site