Rusty McMahon: Domestic Economic Terrorism

For decades, so-called leaders in Vance County have tripped over themselves trying to give away taxpayer money to every con man, huckster, charlatan, or self-professed genius that came along and uttered the words “job creation, sustainable, or green”. They could not wait to waste our money on harebrained schemes. And they’ve wasted millions.

Some years ago, an even more sophisticated and insidious version of this confidence game emerged and local companies are now cashing in. In this latest con, companies are not promising to create jobs. Instead, they are threatening to take their jobs and leave. They disguise their terrorist acts with phrases like “sustaining jobs,” “maintaining jobs”, or “not losing more than 10% of their workforce”.

Not long ago, this economic terrorism surfaced in Vance County. In the past several years, local companies have supposedly threatened to leave if our leaders did not pay ransom for the jobs. In fairness, the jobs do belong to the companies and not to the employees, but holding the jobs for ransom is tantamount to extortion, forcing someone to do something they should not and would not ordinarily do by way of a threat.

Now taxpayers are having our hard-earned money lavished on companies that are not even promising to hire additional workers. Our leaders are convinced that any additional investment promised by these companies will “increase our tax base”. That’s just code for giving government more to spend. Increasing the tax base has never lowered the taxes of hard-working citizens.

The companies get millions in welfare for doing what they were going to do anyway. Our leaders get to claim credit for doing something. And, as usual, we get the shaft!