Thursday, June 11, 2015

Walker's arena plan slammed in Wash Post

His plan to heavily subsidize a new NBA arena takes a hard political and analytical big-picture blow in The Washington Post:
Figuring out how to justify giving lots of tax money to the local sports team (or airplane plant or grocery-delivery company) can be troublesome for elected officials regardless of their political bent. If you’re a Democrat, constituents are sure to point out that giving money to billionaires — the Bucks owners’ combined net worth is around $4 billion — might not the best use of taxpayer largesse. If you’re a Republican, tacking on several hundred million dollars in government spending is a no-no when it comes to fiscal conservatism; the Koch brothers, in fact, have already expressed their displeasure with Walker’s offer to the Bucks, albeit not so much displeasure that they’ll necessarily stop funding his political campaigns... 
Selling sports projects as an investment that will pay off in jobs, in tax revenue, in the magic elixir known as revitalization. It’s an approach, it’s worth noting, that never gets applied to other budget line items, including some of Walker’s favorite targets. No, the University of Wisconsin system isn’t going to move to Seattle if it loses funding, but its students might — not to mention that all those unemployed English professors are going to have to seriously cut down on their grocery bills if they’re forced to take jobs at Applebee’s. (According to one estimate, the best bang for the government’s economic buck is actually food stamps, since it sends money to people who will spend it.)


Dr. Morbius said...

But unlike the airplane plant story from the Washington Post, the Walker Administration can only give out grants to aircraft companies that are incapable of producing airplanes -- see Kestrel Aviation of Superior (now One Aviation of Albuquerque NM) and that supposed aircraft company in Sheboygan that was going to produce a Vertical Take-Off aircraft.

Amount of State, County and Local tax credits, property & grants: about $80-million. Number of aircraft produced: None (unless you count the wooden mock-up of the Kestrel 350, but it will only become airborne in a tornado or hurricane).

Anonymous said...

The virtual airline company was Morgan Aircraft of Sheboygan. They received $700,000.