Okay, so I bumped what I had intended to be the inaugural post in these series because I found today’s Associated Press story too tempting.
Kasich, a former Lehman Brothers managing director, said there would be "no more bureaucrats, no more bungling, no more tripping over one another."
John Kasich says we need to replace the public Department of Development with a private corporation that can “move at the speed of business.” But does creating an ability to dole out corporate welfare quicker lead to better results?
Not really, according to an analysis by the Associated Press that found in many States, it created inflated job creation claims and more problems than it solved.
While some states laud successes from the approach, such semiprivate economic-development boards have been criticized in several states for awarding big bonuses to executives, exaggerating job numbers, favoring businesses with a vote on projects and keeping information from the public.
This year, the tax authority overseen by the nonprofit Michigan Economic Development Corp. came under fire for lacking adequate accountability after it awarded $9.1 million in tax credits to convicted embezzler Richard A. Short while he was on parole.
Yeah, if that part about Michigan sounds familiar, it’s because you read about it here first.
What about Indiana (I can already hear Jon Keeling shouting from Virginia)?
Yes, what about Indiana?
In Indiana, Democratic House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer has called for reforming the Indiana Economic Development Corp. after an Indianapolis TV station found abandoned factories and idle cornfields where the corporation said it had created new jobs.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana so far this year has only created nearly 12,000 more jobs than Ohio has so far this year. That’s hardly a number that indicates a structural superiority in job creation.
Nevada, Michigan, Florida, and Indiana all have the same private corporation/economic development model that John Kasich wants Ohio to emulate. But there’s something else all four States have in common that the Associate Press neglected to mention. Something that the Kasich campaign itself has never been held accountable to explain. Do you know what else these four States have in common?
All four States have a higher unemployment rate than Ohio.
Just like his plan to repeal Ohio’s income and estate taxes, Kasich is promising that these changes will bring us economic prosperity even though, right now, we can find plenty of examples of States that have tried the exact same strategies and are in worse shape than Ohio is economically.
Faster is not always better. Sometimes all you get for eliminating “red tape” is throwing caution to the wind along with all that taxpayer money. Those administrative hurdles exists to prevent fraud and waste, Congressman. Now, perhaps we need to re-evaluate if our processes are too complex than necessary to provide adequate safeguards, as the Toledo Blade noted. However, that doesn’t mean we throw out the safeguards wholesale.
John Kasich is promises us the same model as these other States while insisting that the results would be different, even though every objective observer has concluded that these are structural defects that come with the environment created by having a private corporate structure that gives bonuses based on job creation claims.