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The house passed the Economic Development Bill today by a vote of 98 to 48. 

I voted for several amendments to the Economic development bill including amendments to:

·      Cut the Corporate Tax ¾ of a percentage (the only part of the bill that provides a decent help to more businesses than just the ones picked for targeted tax credits)

·      A sales tax holiday for products that are “Made in the USA” (Finally a step in the right direction to ultimately encourage production of goods in America and also good for business in our state)

·      No sunsets on Tax Credits for Food Pantries and Pregnancy Care Resource Centers. (These tax credits operates more like a tax deduction and they are nontransferable so no one stands to profit at the expense of the taxpayer Also, these are for benevolent organizations, not businesses so no one is forced into a competitive disadvantage)

After other amendments were added, I had doubts about a vote I cast to add sunsets to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, I liked a plan that I heard later by Rep Ryan Silvey.  Rep Silvey had offered up an amendment to bring every tax credit under review every four years instead of sunsets. Due to the nature of the various types of tax credit programs (some are more characteristic of tax deductions etc…) I think it would be a good idea to bring ALL of them up for review on a routine basis, at this time in our state, we do not have the luxury of perpetual tax credit programs that continue on without any oversight.

Although I voted in favor of several amendments, I ultimately voted NO on the entire bill for two main reasons: 

(1) The bill was extremely bloated and covered an entire host of different issues and tax credit programs and we didn’t even debate the content of the proposed 200 page + bill on the house floor, we just debated different amendments.  The 200 pages of this bill were given to us a day or so before we arrived in Jefferson City and many of us felt we didn’t have adequate time to study the new version of the bill. 

(2) I believe the Economic Philosophy of the state is headed in the wrong direction; instead of using sound principles of economics to spur economic growth, we are debating how best to control the economy in an attempt to force it into prosperity instead of relying on consumers and producers to initiate the growth. When the government issues policies to choose who can and who cannot participate in the market  we only put more economic control in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians who feel they can improve the economy by writing new laws.  The government cannot predict supply and demand so they should stop trying to give economic advantages to one industry over another. The more we do this, the deeper of a hole we will have to dig ourselves out of when we finally decide to break a sweat on the tax reform that we desperately need to give businesses more economic freedom to succeed and prosper.

I am glad that there were beneficial items in this bill but  unfortunately the cost of this bill seems to have outweighed the overall benefit, especially if we continue with flawed economic policy geared more and more toward central planning.

Freedom, liberty and property rights for consumers, producers and laborers will make us the most prosperous in the end; it worked the first 200+ years in America and I believe that if we try it again we will see some great innovation come out of our state!



 
I just voted NO on the "China Hub" bill in the Committee on Economic Development. It seems that to compete with other states for economic development and job creation, many are under the impression that we have to do what everybody else is doing but just do a better job of it. Maybe that is the reason why I often hear people say "Well, we have to do something!" when they tell me that they do not like these targeted tax credits but they are going to vote for them anyway. Although the Aerotropolis bill is far from anything I consider to have true economic potential, parts of it are better than what we were given in committee before. 
CORRECTION from earlier post: "Compete Missouri" is not in this bill as it was first proposed but some of the items still remain to my understanding (I am still trying to figure this out, we just got the bill the other day already had to vote on it without any debate in the committee itself). 
There were Four NO votes on this bill in committee:
Myself
Rep Schieber
Rep Wallingford
Rep Swearingen

Targeted Tax Credits and the Principles of Freedom

The proper role of government is to protect the rights of the citizens. This means, among other things, that the government must keep us safe from invasion, protect our inherent rights such as our freedom of speech and our property. It takes funding for the government to protect our rights but when the government begins to reallocate the people’s money beyond their jurisdiction, their acts naturally become counterproductive to the purpose of government and become dangerous to our liberty, our treasury and our ability to pursue happiness with the confidence that we are all equal under the law.

I AM NOT AGAINST PROPER AND REASONABLE REGULATION IN THE MARKET AS LONG AS THAT REGULATION IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE INEGRITY OF THE MARKET SYSTEM BY PROTECTING THE PROPERTY (MONEY AND LABOR) OF BOTH CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS.

Here are some freedom-minded bullet points on sound economic principles: 

• When the government targets certain industries for tax credits in hopes of spurring economic prosperity, the government is either implying that it can predict supply and demand for goods and services, or it is attempting to suspend the laws of supply and demand altogether in favor of central economic planning, both of which are bad policy and rob the people of their liberty and property.

• When the government targets certain industries for tax credits, it is basically admitting that letting that industry have more money is a good thing that will spur economic growth. The problem is that the government is picking who gets a greater opportunity to succeed at the expense of the others, possibly even a small businesses competitors and thus there is no equality under the law. That notion alone is enough to make this a civil rights issue.

• The government is literally robbing the labor of the people through their tax money in an effort to assist others in their labor and pursuit of success. This is an outright abuse of our property rights and not only that but we are implementing the basic tenant of socialism to do it insomuch that we are advocating the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles in hopes of attaining a healthy economy. 

• Another point to make is that there is no equality of law under such a program when one is forced to pay taxes so that a competitor may not pay taxes. 

• Good and bad investments in our economy can only be properly determined when consumers and producers are free to make their decisions without interference of intrusive government policies that distort the pros and cons of the investment. 

• The markets do not become more free when the government gets involved; they become less free. It is important to keep the government out of the market except when they are needed to protect the rights and property of producers and consumers. 

Economic prosperity has always and will always follow the path of least resistance. Bottom line: If we want to bring back the jobs, we need to cut taxes and red tape equally for everyone and get the government to STOP planning the economy. Let the market and investors, consumers and producers work it out. That is the system that brought us the toaster, the lightbulb, the plasma flat screen TV and the Macbook Pro that I am typing this on. Let's try that system again and see what new ideas can come out of Missouri!