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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Local v National Conservatism

I'm always amazed how conservatives fight the local top down strategies but advocate for them at the national level. I believe progressives consistently want make sure that the environmental standards are up to par but don't really mind if tax incentives are used to lure businesses to our community. On the national front, progressives don't mind the tax breaks for corporations as long as it doesn't take away from the safety net .The moderates will take a little bit of both and will generally come down on both sides, as long it's feasible. Yes,I know liberals and progressives are also all over the map but they have never claimed to have one standard.

I'm glad our newspaper explained tax abatements even they only presented the favorable side. That's really the only way you can explain tax abatements because you can't really explain the negatives without knowing all the details. I realize we have built in incentives for companies to come to our community, such as the barge canal, new schools, close proximity to Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio, good hospitals, and a good four year university. Tax abatements at the local level are much like the federal deduction for start up costs. It's basically, "we will make the company's transition cheaper today for tomorrow's tax dollars." Is it a necessary component in order to lure a large industry? I think it's the cost of doing business that has been accepted for a long time. Companies use it for leverage between competing municipals and competitors realize its part of the bidding process. From what I've read and understand from the local conservatives, they think it's an unnecessary cost because they want a distinctive wall of separation between the private and public entities. They don't think that our city or county should be picking winners and losers because that's the root of crony capitalism. That's a good argument but it comes down to a level of trust. For more on abatements, be sure to check out today's editorial here.

Not to dwell on city politics because I don't know the players per say but it was interesting to see where a conservative councilman said that legal funding should not be about politics. He went on to say "But if this project isn't properly funded, the public can expect one of two things to occur. Either the defense of the permit will fail because it wasn't given the funds to succeed, or they will get part way through the fight and have to return to Council for additional funding." That's what confuses me, at the national level the Republicans are doing exactly what the councilman who call himself a conservative, is complaining about. At the federal level, conservatives don't want to pass President Obama's job proposals but they blame him for high unemployment. Can you see where I’m coming from?

These are just two issues but I'm sure there are more, where the consistency is not there. Usually fiscal conservatives usually want a total free market but they know that's virtually impossible, so they resist joint ventures or anything else that will make government look competent. We can't have a total free market as long as we have the Federal Reserve which is capable of manipulating our economy by increasing our knowing interest. Lately, I've seen the Republican Party going back to its libertarian roots by insisting on austerity methods only. There's an argument that some will say is not true because Romney was chosen to lead the party. Is Romney really leading or will he be the puppet of Grover Norquist and Paul Ryan?

I’m not saying that the local conservatives are right or wrong; I just want to know if I’m judging them correctly.I kind of like the local use of the word "conservative" because it appears to be policy over ideology.


Mike said...

Kinda quiet at the VA...Lull before the storm or hang over effect of all the FB discussions?

I can't believe that supporters of Roger Clemens are asking for immediate consideration for his acceptance to baseball's Hall of Fame since he was acquitted of all charges...So was O.J. and Barry Bonds but who are we fooling...It's about stats BUT so was Pete Rose's rejection...Anyway I had to put that out there without writing a blog..:-)

born2Bme said...

Commenting about the lull at the VA. I'm having issues with their site today. It's so slow and many of the pages cannot be displayed. I wish they could get that fixed. It's a big turnoff for quite awhile now for me.

Mike said...

Same here,I tried my iPhome,iPad and computer but extremely slow to load front page and twice as slow for comments...Frustrating but the new system will take care of all that..:-)

Edith Ann said...

It's not any better! High traffic is not working for them!

Yeah, the new system will fix this...

Mike said...

The avatars are back so I'm assuming they are working on the system but the chatter about the switch has stopped.

Tophat said...

I felt the abatements were ummm... generous.
I have been involved in opening several branch operations- tax abatements were never a deal maker or breaker. They were a "bonus".
Cat would probably have come to Victoria regardless.

To the local issue, it is silly, Cat is already up and running, they are not going to not expand just because there is a tax abatement, the expansion happened solely because of the exiting plant was already here- the expanded operation made fiscal sense to be located at the Victoria plant.
This is much like the car salesman lowering the price after you have already agreed upon his original price.

Mike said...


You obviously know more than I do about the CAT situation but are you absolutely sure that boardrooms don't take the tax abatement into consideration when acquiring a plant site or what plant sight gets the improvements?

I get your point about the car salesman but he also knows that you will spend more money on oil changes, buying that priority part and accessories and a happy customer brings referrals.

That is the point of this blog...:-) A liberal and a conservative taking different sides from the national party decisions. I guess it proves my point at the local level it's more about common sense and horse trading, than it is ideology.