Last year West Virginia gave away $1.7 billion in tax favors and incentives to businesses, which on a per capita basis, is the second highest level of corporate subsidies in the nation. In addition West Virginia has also cut business taxes so much that, on a percentage basis, corporations in West Virginia contribute only half as much to state government in income taxes as they used to. Additional cuts have already been enacted that will further reduce businesses contributions to only a third of what they were.
And what is there to show for it?
In short, West Virginia has aggressively lowered business costs through tax cuts, regulatory reform and outright subsidies and the promised results have been non-existent. So, what is the solution for this abject failure? Our elected officials wants to do more of the same.
That's a whole lot of money being spent with little to show in return. With that much money floating around, someone must be getting rich. And I would be remiss as a citizen for not speaking out.
Having slashed business taxes and provided lavish subsidies, West Virginia law makers will now push to help businesses cut workers' wages on the promise that, if we discount ourselves just a little bit more, prosperity will ensue. Never mind the fact that West Virginia has the fourth lowest cost of doing business in the nation.
This is just the newest evolution of the age old concept of the gate keeper. It's all very interesting in its own right, but even more interesting is this. Rather than stores opening and closing based on supply and demand, we have planners deciding which stores should be open and what sort of competition should take place. It's all very interesting in its own right, but even more interesting is this, socialism is gripping more and more of our communities. An economic system where governmental action determines which endeavors succeed or fail is socialism.
The power to pick and choose is dangerous in any hands.
Each of us has a responsibility to the community in which we live, work and do business. But this responsibility is not one-sided. Our elected officials also has a responsibility to the citizens who live in it; to be fair and just and to always do the right thing.