Archive for the ‘Corporate Welfare’ Category
This week, the North Carolina Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-North Carolina) announced its Legislative Goals for the 2013-14 legislative biennium. The Regular Session convened briefly on January 9th to adopt rules and organize the session but will reconvene on Wednesday, January 30th.
When it comes to advancing the free market agenda, no state has a better opportunity this year than North Carolina. We believe that we have a genuine opportunity to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in North Carolina with lower taxes and regulations to make government less entangling and burdensome to North Carolinians. We will aggressively promote the opportunities of cheaper energy, quality educational choices, leaner and less burdensome government, and lower taxes.
Please remember that AFP deals only with issues of economic freedom, school choice, and property rights. There are other important issues that face North Carolinians which fall outside of our mission.
We hope you will stand with us once again to promote the following goals:
- Passage of the state budget without tax increases;
- Lower overall tax burden in North Carolina;
- Support for Constitutional Spending Limits that could include: Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) that would limit government spending to the increase in population and inflation and/or legislative supermajority requirement to raise taxes;
- Keeping North Carolina as a “Right-to-work State,” by implementing it into the state constitution along with the state’s ban on public employee collective bargaining;
- Dedicating all North Carolina Education Lottery revenue to school construction; or support ending all state-run gambling;
- Elimination of North Carolina’s Estate Tax – also called the “Death Tax”;
- Promotion of legislation that allows for the exploration and production of North Carolina’s energy resources;
- Advocating a “rollback” of North Carolina’s Renewable Portfolio Standard;
- Blocking the creation of a North Carolina Healthcare Exchange;
- Allowing the purchase of health insurance from any state;
- Passage of legislation to get the state of North Carolina out of the liquor business;
- Ending all “welfare for politicians,” known as taxpayer-funded elections;
- Protecting free and political speech rights by deregulating campaign speech;
- Ending the Golden Leaf Foundation;
- Converting the Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities into a refundable tax credit;
- Increasing the number of non-public school choice options available to parents;
- Repeal of the corporate income tax and elimination of all corporate welfare;
- Simplifying and lowering individual income taxes;
- Promoting the elimination of redundant committees and commissions in order to shrink the size of government in North Carolina;
- Expanding recently passed tort reforms, including “loser pays”; and
- In general, greatly reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens.
Once again, the Republican members of the Wake County Commission have failed the taxpayers of North Carolina’s capital county. Red Hat, one of the Triangle region’s most successful companies, came hat-in-hand, to the public trough, asking for $650,000 and the GOP lead group, came through. This is a group that the Wake County Republican party worked tirelessly to elect and we feel certain that they won’t be happy.
Republican Commissioners Paul Coble (running for Congress), Tony Gurley (running as “the conservative candidate” for Lt. Governor), Phil Matthews, and Joe Bryan all voted FOR this measure. Liberals Betty Lou Ward and James West also joined in.
According to Board Clerk, Susan Banks, only Erv Portman cast a vote against. All conservatives should drop Commissioner Portman a note of thanks for standing alone to protect the taxpayers of Wake County.
Red Hat wants to leave its longtime home on North Carolina State University’s Centennial campus, and move to downtown Raleigh into the recently vacated Progress Energy building. Progress Energy was recently acquired/merged with Duke Power and those employees have either lost their jobs or have been relocated.
In the name of “jobs”, Red Hat deemed that the “needed” this money to bring more jobs, not only to Wake County, but to lawmakers’ precious downtown, that has already received more than its fair share of public financing.
KCC understands that Red Hat, a successful manufacturer of the Linux computer operating system, would have been fine without the money. We like to call this effort, the Red Hat Poverty Fund.
politicians have become afraid to oppose the practice of luring companies with the promise of tax breaks.
It’s time to get companies off the public dole in the ole’ North State. However, it won’t be happening anytime soon. Both the State of North Carolina and the City of Raleigh are expected to vote to chip in to the Red Hat poverty fund. After all, no self-respecting politician wants to appear to oppose jobs, even in the face of principle!
Editor’s Note: According to the News and Observer, Commissioner Paul Coble said it’s written into the policy of the county commission. With a Republican Leadership, this policy MUST be changed!
Phillip Falcone, CEO of embattled LightSquared, told Fox News on Monday that his firm did not donate money to the Barack Obama campaign to buy access and favors from the FCC. ”Why would anyone do that”, he asked rhetorically to Megyn Kelly, the interviewer. ”I’m just trying to build a network.”
CNet News’ Roger Cheng reported:
LightSquared is attempting to build a nationwide 4G LTE network that it will sell on a wholesale basis to other carriers that want to resell its services. But the company has run into a major hurdle with a coalition of companies reliant on GPS equipment. They claim LightSquared’s spectrum interferes with the operations of everything from farming equipment to airplane systems.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, the House Armed Services Committee met on the impact of LightSquared’s effect on national security. According to Wireless Week,
the Defense Department and military make extensive use of GPS that could suffer interference from LightSquared’s transmitters – but the nonappearance of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, scrutiny of lobbying in the executive branch and questions about FCC decision-making overshadowed the event.
Immediately after opening the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, chairman Michael Turner called out the FCC chairman for not appearing, indicating that Genachowski had been seen in the building, but
“That said, I have the unfortunate responsibility to inform the subcommittee that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Genachowski refused to appear today. I must also make clear that I consider the Chairman’s failure to show up today to be an affront to the House Armed Services Committee. Further, it appears to be symptomatic of a disregard by the Chairman to the consequences of the FCC’s January 26 waiver to LightSquared. I trust Chairman Genachowski is doing something very important this morning if he couldn’t be here to discuss the significant harm to national security that may result from the FCC’s action on January 26th of this year.
On January 26, 2011, LightSquared was granted a fast-tracked waiver from the FCC (with White House approval).
One brave Air Force General, risked his career by appearing at the hearing. General William Shelton, who told the subcommittee, the week before, in a classified briefing, that he has been pressured to change his testimony to favor Falcone, the large Democratic Donor.
The notion that LightSquared’s version of the 4G LTE services is a national security risk, has been known since at least February 2011. LightSquared has both debated the issue, and later issued statements that it intends to repair the problems.
General Shelton is the Chairman of the Air Force Space Command.
The difference between LightSquared’s 4G LTE network and those of carriers like Verizon and AT&T is that LightSquared’s is based on satellite. Traditional carriers use land-based towers.
We leave you with this question:
Why should Falcone and his network get a free pass, when carriers like Verizon and AT&T followed the rules and built out their own 4G LTE networks with their own capital. Which rule book is Obama and the FCC playing by, and is this fair to the American consumer? Only you can decide, in November of 2012.
For More Information:
Democrats anxiously hit the road in the kickoff of their “Tax Me More Bus Tour” Monday. The NC-Democrats, inspired by and
emulative of President Barack H. Obama’s recent “Debt-End Bus Tour,” have decided to embark on a “fact finding” mission for job solutions.
Before last week’s legislative session, Rep Bill Faison (D-Orange County) held a press conference to announce his proposal for a $1.1 billion tax-increase on the people of North Carolina.
NCGOP Communications Director Rob Lockwood told KCC: “The Democrats plan for jobs, as evidenced by Rep. Faison’s proposal, clearly indicates their desire to raise taxes on North Carolinians.
Their motto for job-creation is clear, ‘READ OUR LIPS: MORE NEW TAXES for everyone.’ The Democrats fail to understand a simple concept: new taxes do not create new private-sector jobs.
People of all political affiliations have serious questions for Governor Beverly Perdue and her Democratic colleagues.
They want to know why the Governor has been silent on the issue of “right-to-work” in the Tar Heel State.
Perdue has metaphorically put up a sign that states, ‘North Carolina doesn’t want non-unionized jobs, take your business to South Carolina!’
What is clear is that if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) can interfere in South Carolina, they can interfere anywhere with right-to-work laws, especially North Carolina.”
Former NC Democratic Chairman David Young declared Friday, “YES, NLRB v. Boeing Fight Hurts NC.” David Young’s feeling that it was important to speak out publicly on the issue highlights the bi-partisan call for action by non-elected citizens.
Governor Perdue, where are you and North Carolina Democrats on the NLRB v. Boeing issue?
Last Thursday, the entire NC Republican US House Delegation voted to overturn the President Obama’s NLRB’s authority to squash job
growth in right-to-work states. Their public stance boldly tells any company “We’ll fight for your right to employ in North Carolina.”
The actions of the House members only go so far when the Governor chooses silence over fighting for jobs.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In related news, Rep. Bill Faison announced on Friday that he will not challenge Governor Perdue in the Democratic Gubernatorial race. He told WRAL’s Laura Leslie that he WILL run if Perdue were to not run for re-election. Earlier in the day, he would neither confirm, nor deny whether or not he would challenge the Governor, Leslie reported.
On Monday, President Barack Obama landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at about 11:00 a.m. EDT and headed to Research Triangle Park, on the Durham side. Joining him on Air Force One were, according to Jonathan Kappler of the NC Free Enterprise Foundation, were Congressmen G. K. Butterfield (D-NC, 1st) and Brad Miller (D-NC, 13th).
Kappler also reported that Rep. David Price (D-NC, 4th) and U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D) were on the ground to meet the president on the ground. Later reports mentioned Governor Beverly Perdue (D-Craven) being on hand, as well. Additionally, there were a number of public officials including Chancellor Randy Woodson from North Carolina State University. During the short trip out to “the park”, Interstate 40 was temporarily closed, backing up traffic for miles.
Upon arrival at Cree, an industry leader in low power lighting, he toured the plant and promised an “announcement” on jobs. Oddly, Cree, and already successful company, accepted stimulus money for “job creation”. Additionally, within the past two years, they threatened to leave. The North Carolina State Legislature, then lead by Democrats, immediately voted to give that company “incentives” or corporate welfare to “keep” them in the Ole’ North State.
Further, Katy’s Conservative Corner has learned that, for Cree employees interested in the speech, they have the option by management to either take the day off or to work four, ten hour days. Many employees are upset. They didn’t ask the president to come and neither did corporate executives. But, with money comes obligation.
Update 1:14 Sometime this hour, Obama is scheduled to make a talk about his “jobs” report. This should be interesting. Labor Union Report posted on Sunday evening that many of those jobs would be “created” in China. This blogger is currently searching for that link. North Carolina is expected to be a battle ground state in 2012.
Charlotte was selected by the Democratic National Committee as the location for their national convention over the objections of unions, nationally. North Carolina is a right-to-work state, but it isn’t for lack of trying. The SEIU and other large unions have been fighting for card check legislation for the last several years.
Update 1:48 p.m EDT
The good people over at NC Americans for Prosperity are joking on Twitter that they have an office pool on how many times potus says investments when he means wealth redistribution.
Update 1:53 p.m. EDT Obama has taken stage telling unfunny jokes about how he has aged since visiting Cree when he was running for office.
Obama is standing in front of backdrop “Jobs Council – President’s Council on Jobs…” He says Cree has “doubled in efficiency just since my visit 3 years ago.” Says he’s helping to lead a comeback in clean energy revolution.
News 14 Carolina, a Time-Warner only channel reports Obama was last in the state when he visited Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC in December 2010.
Update: 2:01 p.m. EDT This “speech” is being carried on national television such as Fox News and CNN. No need to blog the details of the speech. However, we will continue to bring you behind the scenes reports.
Update: 2:05 p.m. EDT Fox News has cut their coverage but you can find all of it on their website, streaming live.
While Obama discusses “Smart Grid” technology, my poor mother-in-law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina feels certain that her power company is going to cut her power in the middle of the day or night. She recently received a letter from her power company saying they now have the power to cut her power if she used too much during peak time periods. This woman will not use a dish washer, uses barely any air conditioner due to poor circulation, and only washes clothes at night. She’s the type of customer any power company would love. They should, in fact, use her as their poster child. Yet, they send her threatening letters.
The poor woman calls KCC’s family terrified, thanks to this smart grid technology. It’s along the lines of Democrats scaring old people, making them think that Republicans are going to take away their social security.
Update: 2:11 p.m. EDT Obama says he’s optimistic about our future. He cites the positive example (ha ha) of the automotive companies coming back from virtual death just two years ago.
Update: 2:12 EDT Obama ends his speech with no questions. ”Hail to the Chief” plays and the president leaves the stage. Looks like time for clogged Interstate 40 East, from the Research Triangle Park exists to the Raleigh-Durham airport.
Your blogger finds it amazing that zero mention was made by any of the Television channels or commentators about the stimulus money that Cree took or the Incentives that Cree took from our state. What a shame. Of course they can add a third line and work 24 hours a day now. All of our money made it possible. For you who don’t even live in North Carolina, Cree thanks you from the bottom of their heart!
This blogger is glad she doesn’t have to fly out until Thursday. KCC is headed to Right Online, but that’s another story! This ends the live blogging portion of the visit.
On Monday, President Barack H. Obama is scheduled to visit Cree in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He plans to discuss jobs and the economy and we can be sure he’ll take credit for any successes and blame the Republicans for all failures. The man does not understand how to accept responsibility, nor does he know that by keeping his greedy administration’s hands off, businesses of all sizes can flourish and attract more jobs.
In the latest sign Obama’s economic policies have failed, unemployment ticked up for the second month in a row to 9.1% while job growth plummeted to an 8 month low.
As the Grand Old Party often says, “Hope still isn’t hiring in America”
The President calls the current status of our economy a temporary “bump in the road” but it looks as if we are heading towards a dead end.
- Debt is at $14.3 Trillion
- Unemployment is at 9.1%
- 43 cents borrowed for every dollar we spend.
- 2.5 million jobs lost under Obama
- Unemployment ticked up for the 2nd month in a row
Even Democrats have noticed Obama’s lack of business acumen.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) said ”I do think that President Obama has had a bit of a tin ear as far as the business community goes.”
He’ll cite Cree as a model of success but he won’t mention that the company took corporate welfare (a.k.a. government incentives), just to stay in North Carolina. He won’t mention the fact that Cree was ready to abandon the Old North State just as soon as the government’s (i.e. taxpayer’s) money stopped flowing.
Yes, Cree has done some amazing things with the solid state lighting technologies they pioneered. They invented virtually the first commercially viable blue LED. But paying them money to stay in North Carolina should NEVER have happened. This blogger doesn’t care that every other company is at the taxpayer trough. Cree is successful enough to stand on its own.
Meanwhile, the North Carolina Republican Party has released an ad “welcoming” Mr. Obama to North Carolina. The Democratic National Committee sees NC as a key state in 2012 and this blogger expects to see more of him. Each time he comes, we will be sure to roll out the welcome mat. KCC cannot wait until the Democratic National Convention. We’ll be there and will be bringing it all to you.
Enjoy the video and please donate to place this ad on the air.
The following is the latest North Carolina Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo. She writes on behalf of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women. Your blogger is a member of that organization and has exclusive permission to reproduce these legislative reports.
Editor’s Note: Bolding (other editing) done by the blogger and not by the writer. As requested by the writer, all original content included. Please note sources cited. KCC appreciates the writer’s extensive research and reporting.
Here is the current edition of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women (NCFRW) Legislative Report, written and edited by Brenda T. Formo. This is posted with permission, as is. It’s an excellent roundup and your blogger looks forward to receiving it each week.
If you are interested in joining your local club, please check this page for more information. (You must have a PDF reader installed on your machine.)
US House of Representatives
On Friday, Feb 11 the House Appropriations Committee released a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the 2011 fiscal year budget which is expected to be voted on this week. Republicans have cut $100 billion from the CR.
On Feb 14, 2011 the final vote was taken on HR 514, “To extend expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.” The bill passed with a vote of 275 to 144 with 14 not voting.
NC Representatives voting for the bill: G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr.(R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), Heath Shuler (D-11th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).
NC Representatives voting against the bill: David E. Price (D-4th) and Melvin L. Watt (D-12th).
United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act
On Feb 9, 2011 the House voted on HR 519, a motion to suspend the rules and pass the “United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act.” The bill was to “establish as United States policy that the United Nations should return $179 million overpaid into the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund as of Dec. 31, 2009, and that the U.S. should press the U.N. to change its fund assessment procedures to reduce discrepancies.” (MegaVote) The vote failed, which required a two-thirds majority, in a vote of 259 to 169 with 6 not voting.
NC Representatives voting for the refund bill: Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), and Heath Shuler (D-11th).
NC Representatives voting against the refund bill: G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), David E. Price (D-4th), Melvin L. Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).
House Rules Committee
On Feb 14, 2011, the House of Representatives’ Rules Committee voted to “shut down Rep Steve King’s ability to offer an amendment to completely defund Obamacare on the continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year,” according to Erick Erickson at RedState, a conservative internet (sic) site. Erickson says that the Republicans lost a “prime opportunity” to “shut down Obamacare with its historic ‘power of the purse’” because the continuing resolution is a “must-pass bill.” Erickson stresses that Republicans should “force the Democrats to use political capital to get the provision out of the bill in the Senate.”
NCGOP Chairman, Robin Hayes provided an articulate response emphasizing that Republicans want less tax, less spending, and less regulation. Predictably, the Democrat party Chairman David Parker blamed the NC fiscal problems on President Bush as opposed to Democrat spending decisions.
Investors.com, “Editorial: Obama’s Gutless Budget Proposal, Feb 14, 2011;
CPAC 2011 offered so many great speeches by so many great Conservatives, both new and familiar, that I could not write about them all.
He thanked the audience’s hard work for the electoral successes of 2010. West said the “liberal-progressive agenda offers no solutions” for America’s problems. He reminded the audience that leftist policies have been tried and have failed, worldwide.
He noted that Democrats are targeting his congressional seat as one of the most vulnerable to retake on 2012. He replied that he doesn’t feel vulnerable standing before this friendly audience.
He says the 2010 elections were about putting a “restraining order” on the Federal Government. He says “hard decisions” are needed now in cutting government and the budget deficit. West opposes Federal bailouts. He condemned Obama’s expensive subsidies to encourage people to buy hybrid and electric vehicles. Instead, West wants to cut corporate taxes and favors a Balanced Budget Amendment.
West condemned political correctness and how it contributed to the Fort Hood shootings. He says we shouldn’t grant constitutional rights to terrorists. He says we must never get rid of our nuclear deterrence capability. He accused China of using capitalism as a weapon against us. He’s a big supporter of Israel and promises never to let this US ally down.
West is pro-life and strongly opposes late term abortions. He believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.
West asked the audience to “stand firm, for this is the dawn of a new America”.
I greatly liked West, but he went a bit overboard with quotes from famous people: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Edmund Burke, Sun Tzu, etc. At least they were all good quotes. However, my wife Katy says that West’s speech is among the top three speeches she heard at this CPAC.
NC state Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) laid into Senate Democrats for their unwillingness to cut $75 million — when the state is facing a $3.7 billion budget shortfall in the next fiscal year.
He dressed down his Democratic colleagues down for wasting so much money on corporate welfare when it only helped a very few businesses and created only 300 jobs out of $1.7 B spent. That’s over $5 million per job, which are mostly low-paying call-center jobs.
As a dentist and small business owner, Rucho is someone who was punished by the economic incentives that Gov. Beverly Perdue so loves. Rucho added that Republicans are going to fix 100 years of Democratic disaster. The Democrats are welcome to join the Republicans or they can sit by and cry about it. Mostly, they’ve been crying to the mainstream media.
His floor speech got their attention:
Courtesy North Carolina Republican Senate Caucus and WRAL.