Wyoming Liberty Group
A favorite corporate welfare scheme in Wyoming uses tax dollars to attract private companies to the state. One headline-grabbing scheme involves tax breaks and grants for data center attraction. When spinning the benefits of these subsidies, politicians make effusive claims to taxpayers, raving on about diversifying the economy, creating jobs, boosting the construction industry, increasing economic activity during slumps, generating tax dollars in the state, and/or increase productivity. For some reason, the flag, apple pie and for the children are left off this list.
“We need to look like we are doing something for that community.”
Wyoming Sen. Wasserberger, Joint Appropriations Committee, January 26, 2015
Facing declining mineral tax revenues, the desire to continue spending and the inability, so far, to raid the rainy day fund, Gov. Mead’s push to diversify the economy to create jobs and generate more tax revenue shifted into overdrive. His direction? The governor made yet another announcement about an investment by his chosen one – Microsoft’s data center. Yes, Microsoft is investing more in the state, but in exchange, the governor is doling out more corporate welfare. Corporate welfare is a costly way to appear to be doing something to diversify the economy to create jobs and increase tax revenue.
Facing a state budget deficit, declining revenues and the desire to continue spending, Gov. Mead asked, “What constitutes a rainy day?” This thinly veiled call to raid the state’s rainy day account to fund his spending priorities was ignored by the legislature. Instead, the legislature began the search for more revenues by developing a task force called Vision 2020. But if the legislature keeps its focus on revenue mining instead of spending withdrawal, it is merely delaying the rainy day fund raid –or worse, it is leaving a legacy of debt and higher taxes to our children and grandchildren.
This has not been a very good year for privacy on mobile devices.
It was a bad spring for Apple, as iPhone users found out their phones were, er, phoning home. iPhones log GPS data, cell information and WiFi hotspots. And they transmit all that to Apple every 12 hours.