For Immediate Release
Date: Friday, June 1, 2007
ALABAMA REPUBLICAN ASSEMBLY OPPOSES AMENDMENT 1 CORPORATE WELFARE SCHEME
BIRMINGHAM, AL—The Board of Directors of the Alabama Republican Assembly recently and unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Amendment 1 ballot initiative that would increase Alabama’s bond debt cap by over $400 million and provide many other corporate welfare incentives which the group charges is fundamentally unfair to Alabama businesses and taxpayers.
“[I]t is not the place of government officials to intervene in the market place and use tax dollars as subsidies to decide which businesses thrive, and which fail” the resolution states. “[A]lthough this bond debt plan is being promoted as a job creator, it is essentially nothing more than corporate welfare funded by the credit of future taxpayers yet unborn.”
“This whole plan stands in complete defiance of the most basic of conservative free market principles,” stated ALRA President Matt Chancey. “The Republican party has been slammed at the polls all over America because it is abandoning its conservative base for politically-correct social policies and anti-free market economic principles.”
“What is the point in criticizing ‘welfare queens’ when too many self-professing conservatives support ‘Wall Street welfare?’” Chancey added.
The ALRA resolution criticized Amendment 1 for costing Alabama taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for every job it supposedly will bring to the State.
“Amendment 1 was designed for one company and one company only. It was not designed to help the thousands of small business owners in Alabama—who constitute the backbone of our economy,” Chancey said.
The company Chancey refers to is ThyssenKrupp, a foreign steel manufacturer which recently decided to locate a plant in Mobile County and to which Amendment 1 was designed to attract.
The ALRA resolution states “every state in the union except for Alabama and Katrina-ravaged Louisiana decided that ThyssenKrupp's demands were excessive and should not be paid by their taxpayers.”
“We welcome ThyssenKrupp to Alabama," said Chancey. “But the ‘red carpet’ we need to roll out is not a big welfare package billed to the Alabama taxpayer, but rather an environment of low taxes, limited regulation, and a level market playing field for every business in the state.
“There are other steel companies already in Alabama,” added Chancey. “Why are we offering 30 years of income tax credits to ThyssenKrupp? Why not just get rid of all corporate income taxes? That will help every business in the state and encourage more industry and business development without having to load up our kids with bond debt before they’re even born.
“In my opinion, this is largely about a numbers game for politicians. It’s nice when elected officials get to claim that they brought ‘thousands of new jobs to Alabama.’ But it’s at best a short term adrenaline shot for our economy. Like all adrenaline rushes, it ends with a crash and it’s our kids who will suffer for our short-sighted economic policies like Amendment 1. Thank Heaven our Alabama Constitution gives the people the final say on this issue and we encourage Alabamians to vote NO on Amendment 1.”