In this article, the N&O touches on Gov. Perdue’s likely decision to veto SB 13. The bill would sweep millions in unspent money from various state accounts – money that would then be available to alleviate next year’s anticipated $2.4 billion budget deficit. The sticking point for Perdue appears to be money that would be taken from the corrupt and redundant Golden LEAF fund as well as some corporate welfare funds.
It continues to baffle why Golden LEAF continues to be portrayed by its defenders as some engine of job creation. As I pointed out before, as recently as 2009 Golden LEAF’s grantmaking included only a paltry 3% of its funding with even the pretenses of “job creation.”
But even more curious, is Perdue’s opinion of economic incentives in general.
“Forty-nine other governors have incentive capacity. … I personally hate [incentives]. I think it’s the wrong thing to do. I wish Congress would pass something to make them illegal. “
Perdue so despises the practice of corporate welfare that she actually “wishes” they would be criminalized, but yet she continues to engage in the practice, and in fact is asking for more corporate welfare money in her budget proposal for the coming fiscal year. Way to take a stand, Bev.
But then one reads this article, and perhaps discovers a bit of insight into why Perdue places corporate incentives as such a high priority.
Within weeks of Bev Perdue’s election as governor, former Gov. Jim Hunt called her son Garrett to recruit him to work at Womble Carlyle, the state’s largest law firm.
A spokesman for the firm said at the time that there would be no conflict of interests because Perdue would be lobbying the federal – and not the state – government.
But over the last two years, Garrett Perdue has worked as an attorney on Womble’s economic development team, recruiting and advising corporate clients seeking to relocate or expand operations in North Carolina. Companies represented by his firm have landed multimillion-dollar incentives packages from his mother’s administration.
No conflict of interest there.
The corporate welfare game, like so many other things in government, stinks to high heaven. An entire cottage industry of incentives lobbyists and corporate site selection “consultants” have sprung up due to the willingness of state legislatures and governors across the country to dole out special privileges and taxpayer dollars to corporations willing to pay for the political pull. Its no accident that one of NC’s largest firms representing corporations seeking handouts employs two of the state’s most recent governors, as well as the current governor’s son.
In the corporate welfare game, the winners are the politically-connected law firms and corporate site consultants who make a bundle off fees from the corporations who milk state lawmakers and governors into granting the expensive handouts. Lawmakers also get good publicity at the ribbon-cutting ceremony where they take credit for “creating jobs” that likely would have been created anyway. Its a nice little racket for a small circle of the ruling class. Meanwhile, the losers are the small businesses unable to compete with the corporations who were provided the political privileges, and of course the taxpayers.
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