Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Bill Haslam is 100% WRONG on this issue

Taxpayer funding of Chambers of Commerce is a horrific idea for so many reasons it is difficult to name them all, but here are two:

1- It creates another special interest lobbying group that will invariably lobby for higher taxes. There is NO WAY to effectively limit how this money is spent and chambers of commerce will become immediately addicted to this revenue source and will ALWAYS want MORE! They will return each year at budget time and with a lump in their throats they will emotionally plead, "We MUST have much more taxpayer money. Don't you see, its not about us, its about the jobs" their voices trembling with emotion.

2- "Economic development" has become a euphemism for "I am a politician and I can sprinkle you with magic political pixie dust and create jobs." The ONLY way politicians "create" jobs is to give away taxpayer money as bribes.

“It’s 100 percent the right role” for Metro to fund the chamber’s economic development efforts, Haslam told an audience at a Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning.

Haslam said the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce functioned in a similar manner, adding that Knoxville, where he previously served as mayor, “outsourced” much of its economic development to the chamber.

Metro has reportedly contributed nearly $3 million to the chamber, which represents a 10-county area in Middle Tennessee, since 2006. The next biggest contributor was Williamson County,which has given $15,000 to the program, leading some council members to question Metro’s subsidies.