Thursday, January 29, 2009
Kulongoski's legacy - your money
Be very, very afraid when a politician wants to use your money for HIS legacy.
Front page story in The Funny Paper today about Kulongoski's "green legacy." The Governor wants to put Oregon "on the front lines of what he firmly believes will be the next economic revolution: green energy."
Predictably, what the fawning article never asked, was what vast experience does the Governor have in the private sector that would position him to know what the next economic revolution would be? Did he predict the transistor? The microprocessor? The internet?
Just think of all the money we've wasted in Oregon on some politician's claim of the next big thing? Remember "creative services?" The Portland Development Commission just knew this was going to be big, so they even remodeled an entire office building specifically outfitted for the needs of the creative service sector (or "cluster" in bureau-speak.) The building bled money from the get-go, so much so that the PDC had to occupy it themselves, just to stop the embarrassment.
Of course then there was the "Biotech" craze. Ten thousand new jobs were coming to Portland if we just spent billions on South Waterfront and OHSU. Both places are basically bankrupt now, and taxpayers are holding the bag. So far, ZERO biotech jobs were created. (Actually, some jobs did result, which went to Florida.)
So now our Governor says he just knows that the green economy is the next big thing. Why would we put one dime of our money on his vision?
Of course he wants a heck of a lot more than a dime. Hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize inefficient forms of energy production. A cap and trade system that will bleed tens of millions out of ratepayers' pockets to fund more of their green dreams. Mandates for "renewable energy" that drive up energy costs even further.
That is his vision, his legacy. And he pretends that it will create jobs! Oh, sure it will result in more people employed making windmills and solar panels. But far, far more people will lose jobs due to the higher energy costs in the rest of the economy.
But people like Ted Kulongoski don't have the frame of reference to understand this economic reality. A lifetime in the public sector, he literally doesn't understand wealth creation.
But he does understand special interest politics, like all good liberal politicians. A system of energy taxes (Cap & Trade) and renewal energy mandates (25 by 25) and tax credits (BETC) will absolutely ensure that money will flow to all Kulongoski's environmental allies for years and years to come.
And we all pay for it in higher taxes and energy costs. The net effect, of course, is that we are all very much the poorer, with a worse economy and fewer jobs.
But the government class and their press-release publishers (The Funny Paper and the rest of the mainstream media) along with the environmental lobby will tell us for years what a success this all has been, and what a wonderful legacy Ted Kulongoski has built.
Have fun paying for it.