The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 October 2006

The line forms on the right

Earlier this week (in Vent #505) I came out in favor of all four state questions on this year's ballot, though I was least enthusiastic about SQ 725, which allows the state's Rainy Day Fund to be tapped to rescue failing manufacturing plants.

What I said was something like this:

The State Chamber and other chambers of commerce are pushing hard for 725; I might vote for it anyway, simply because we've already lost entirely too many manufacturing jobs. In a gesture toward sensibility, the Rainy Day Fund cannot be tapped for this purpose unless there's at least $80 million on hand. Consider this a Yes, but I've got my fingers crossed.

Not the most enthusiastic of endorsements, but there it is.

Mike has no such reservations. He doesn't like it at all:

Obviously, the idea is to make it easier to distribute state funds for use as corporate welfare. This proposal makes things a little too easy, in my opinion. If our elected leaders feel providing a special business incentive is in the state’s best interest, let them hash it out among themselves in legislative session. Isn’t that what they’re for?

Considering the Governor and the leaders of both houses have to sign off on any such incentives, I don't think there's too much danger of rushing into these things.

On the other hand, this is indisputably true:

And of course there will never be a shortage of "at-risk manufacturers", especially when state coffers are over-flowing.

Which is, of course, a disadvantage of any government program that writes checks: people will queue up to get it whether they need it or not.

And if SQ 725 turns out to be more boondoggle than boon, well, Mike told you (and me) so.

Posted at 10:05 AM to Soonerland