China Hub - Liberty Alert Sep. 6

* * * * * * * * Liberty Alert * * * * * * * *

Urgent - Call Your Missouri Senators and Representatives NOW!

Last week we issued a Liberty Alert calling attention to an upcoming Special Session of the Missouri General Assembly, which convened today. The Governor and many GOP legislators are promoting a special interest deal that will benefit China and certain groups of investors, then deceptively identifying the legislation as a jobs creation bill. Please read the comprehensive report from Ron Calzone at Missouri First for talking points and inside information that exposes the real intent of this legislation.

A Special Report on the Special Session of the Missouri General Assembly

A bill that will set up a “China Hub” in the St. Louis area and provide $360,000,000 in taxpayers’ subsidies will be considered by the Missouri legislature this week.

This bill subverts the constitutional role of government and destroys liberty – we need your help to fight it.
The Governor and leaders of both the House and Senate agreed to the terms before calling for a special session of the legislature. This bill is on a fast track and we must act decisively.
The bill has been called “Aerotropolis”. Governor Jay Nixon recently renamed it the “Missouri Jobs Act”. Others, who understand the true nature of bill, are calling it “Errortropolis” or the “Jobs for China Act”. In spite of the great job of deceptive branding, this special interest bill will likely benefit communist owned Chinese Airlines and manufacturing companies more than Missouri workers. Of course, a few Missouri developers will clean up, too, as unnecessary infrastructure is built – largely on the taxpayers’ backs.

Here is a preview of what is said to be in the bill so far. (They haven’t finished writing it.)

  • 300 million dollars in transferable tax credits to a small group of developers in St Louis who are to build warehouse space around Lambert airport. (These tax credits ARE NOT simple tax cuts – they are as good as cash subsidies.) The money is to be doled out by the mayor of St. Louis and the St. Louis County executive.
  • 60 million dollars in subsides to freight forwarders, ostensibly to encourage Missouri exports.
  • Takes away 50 to 100 million dollars per year in tax credits for low income renters and elderly provided an equal amount be spent on senior citizen programs.
  • State funded venture capital programs for business startups.
  • There are also promises to sunset or otherwise reduce existing tax credits over the next decade. Currently, the reported cuts are less than the new tax credits. The promise of these “cuts” is deceiving, much like the baseline budget cuts of the federal debt ceiling increase.
  • There is surely a lot more in the bill. Last we heard it had ballooned to several hundred pages and the head of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce says it has “Something for everyone.” so he is optimistic it will pass.
  • This anti-free-market bill also includes subsidies to lure sporting events and film-making to Missouri.

There are several reasons to oppose this legislation.

  • First and foremost, it is against economic freedom. Government should not choose the winners and losers in Missouri. Subsidies to one person or business always takes away opportunity from others.
  • This sort of special subsidy violates several constitutional principles and specific clauses forbidding the enactment of “special laws” which target only certain entities or locales. It also violates a Missouri constitutional prohibition of grants of public money to private parties.
  • This is Soviet style central planning rather than free markets. That economic model was tried and failed miserably in Russia and Germany. Closer to home, there is an airport on the east side of St Louis built just for this purpose; international air cargo. After over 300 million taxpayers dollars and more than 12 years, that airport has one flight per week of cargo and 0 passenger flights. Watch this 2 minute story about the MidAmerica airport located just 40 miles from the proposed China Hub. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34831732#34831732
  • This bill allows special interests to subvert the purpose of government. As long as we continue to allow government to redistribute wealth and provide special favors – all on the backs of the People – those special interests will control the legislative process, and do so with money they get from taxpayers! Legislators bought by the special interests will not have your interest at heart – that results in liberty-stealing laws of all sorts.
  • This bill will result in unforeseen consequences. St Louis already has an abundance of empty warehouse space for rent. Now our Government thinks the solution is to build more and subsidize it with your tax dollars? Because this project is not market driven, it will result in misallocation of resources. The subsidies will also harm other employers, who must compete for available labor and capitol – that ultimately hurts even the average worker.

See http://www.mofirst.org to read our open letter to legislators.

Here are some news stories:

AP Aerotropolis: Economic boon or boondoggle?

… During a trip to the U.S. in January [2011], Chinese President Hu Jintao signed several export deals with American companies, including two in St. Louis — the coal firm Peabody Energy Corp. and the ag company Bunge North America. [Note that coal and grain do not ship via airfreight]
Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Aerotropolis-Economic-boon-or-boondoggle-2154324.php

Business InsiderMissouri’s Republicans Are Self-Destructing

… taxpayers have not bought into the argument that tax credits will equate to economic growth:
Supporters of the legislation made wildly optimistic claims. They talked about how this was a can’t-miss proposition that would create “thousands of jobs” and “jump-start” economic activity.
But where was the credible evidence to support the giddy optimism? Short answer: There was none.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/missouris-republicans-are-self-destructing-2011-8

St. Joe News Press Set aside cargo hub proposal

“We struggle to comprehend why this is even on the legislators’ agenda.”
Read more: http://www.newspressnow.com/editorials/29080486/detail.html

ACTION ITEM:

Right Now: Call your state Representative and state Senator
Tuesday Evening: **Watch for another email with a special link that will let you fill out a witness form that will be hand delivered to the Senate committee hearing this bill. The subject line of the email will be: China Hub Bill — Witness Form
The hearing may be as early as Wednesday afternoon, so you will need to fill out the form no later than about 8:00 a.m. that day. (The link can not be sent until the bill is assigned a bill number – probably Tuesday afternoon.)

For updates see http://www.mofirst.org

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And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works. — Frédéric Bastiat - “The Law”
Ron Calzone, director
Missouri First, Inc.
ron@mofirst.org
http://www.mofirst.org
A special thanks to Ron Calzone for this report!Please visit www.mofirst.orgfor information on the Witness Form process. Remember the deadline is Wednesday, September 7 by 8:00 a.m.

In the meantime, call your legislators’ offices and let them know that Missouri wants a free market to pick “winners and losers” and that our tax dollars are not available for paybacks and deals.