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Another government handout

Another government handout

Wayne Hoffman
November 25, 2014
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November 25, 2014

In case you missed it, IdahoReporter.com’s Dustin Hurst has an interesting story on how the government may spend $175,000 to bring 10 jobs to Jerome. Now, when I say “the government,” you might be thinking that’s something only the Obama administration could dream up.

No, this is something coming out of the Otter administration. The state’s Department of Commerce is contemplating the money to lure a California company to southern Idaho. And if you’re doing the math, you will see this is $17,500 per job. A government board is supposed to make a final decision in early December.

Idaho’s economy is increasingly driven by state government, by politicians and bureaucrats who think they know the secret formula for economic success, so they’re carving out all kinds of deals in order to bring businesses here.

But they don’t talk so much about all the businesses that have previously received government handouts and wound up closing their doors. Examples of the same can be found at IdahoReporter.com here, here and here. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been lost to projects endorsed by government officials.

My understanding is that some state lawmakers are looking to come up with yet another “incentives” package to make Idaho more compelling to potential business location scouts.

The best incentive, though, rarely gets talked about: Simply lower the state’s marginal income tax rates, make the property tax low, fair and predictable, and get rid of the nonsensical policies that take money out of the economy unnecessarily, like the grocery tax and its companion grocery tax credit. That would do more to lure people and jobs here than the state’s current corporate-welfare-focused economic policies.

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