State Rep. John Kowalko Weighs In On Delaware Taxpayer Money Getting Flushed Down The Toilet

In my article on our Non-Transparent Delaware, State Rep. John Kowalko left a comment that deserved its own post.

As regards the “Commitment (of taxpayer money) To Innovation Act” please read the following:

I certainly have not and will not support any of these corporate tax welfare bills. DuPont/Dow moved the majority of research and other jobs in the agricultural spinoff to Iowa and Delaware taxpayers are left with some extremely costly crumbs (headquarters only) in Wilmington. Let me point out to all that there was and will continue to be opposition to this ravaging of the taxpayers’ wallet and I certainly will do my best to expose my colleagues to the illegitimacy of such policies that offer no return on investment for Delaware taxpayers.

My point is that making a product (Oreos for instance), moving 600 jobs from Chicago to Mexico across the border for dirt cheap wages and rueful working conditions benefits only those multi-billion dollar corporations and their CEOs (see DuPont/Dow $80 million bonuses) while idling thousands of American workers who no longer have spendable income to support the consumer spending that is needed for local businesses to survive. Ross Perot was right about that sucking sound. For example: DuPont $200 million factory built in China (recently opened) employing thousands of Chinese workers manufacturing solar panels for sale back here, or Johnson Controls recently constructed and opened battery manufacturing facility ($150 million) in China for distribution from the Delaware distribution center in Middletown that taxpayers invested millions in infrastructural and road improvements. For example DuPont spinoff headquarters staying in Wilmington while a significant majority of the actual jobs of the agricultural research branch goes to Iowa leaving Delaware with 1700 layoffs of well-paid positions and only a potential for job growth with a price tag of $16 million for Delaware taxpayers. The list goes on and on.

The “Corporate Welfare” policies of this Administration have cost the Delaware taxpayers $250 million during Governor Markell’s term. This irresponsible wasting of the taxpayer dollars has resulted in no discernible return on investment and has stopped absolutely no job losses from these wealthy corporations. Further compounding this administration’s erroneous economic missteps is the recent policy that was passed, despite my and Representative Williams objections, labelled the Delaware Competes Act. This corporate giveaway will cost over $48 million in lost revenue to Delaware with absolutely no appreciable effect to retain or grow jobs. Now the Administration has filed more legislation branded as “The Commitment to Innovation Act” that will further erode necessary revenue that provides basic, necessary services to Delawareans. Neither of these misguided economic policies will reinforce local business growth or stability and will leave a gaping hole in Delaware’s budget that this Administration will attempt to fill on the backs of state employees, seniors and the poorer families in Delaware.

Adding to the insult of these types of corporate giveaways is the actual statistical proof that these types of bribes and irresponsible economic policies have been marked by failure after failure at an unaffordable expense. Read the linked article and please note that $22 million went to JPMorgan which profited to the tune of $24.5 billion last year with “promises” of job growth that would inevitably have occurred without this taxpayer outlay. Note also the proposed $14.16 million to DuPont which totally dismisses the fact that there has been 1700 well-paid jobs recently and irretrievably cut by DuPont in Delaware. And the bulk of its future jobs with the newly created agricultural spinoff (Pioneer) will be lost to Iowa. Consider the $11 million gift to Incyte Corp. with the promise of creating 130 jobs in the future on the heels of the announcement by Incyte that they were laying off 137 Delawareans. The Fisker and Bloom debacles speak for themselves as monuments to irrational and irresponsible wastes of taxpayer dollars. One tenth of that $250 million diverted to supporting locally based businesses for job growth, infrastructural investments and production improvements via tax credits and subsidies would ensure a healthy and robust growth in our local communities and not end up in the pockets of corporate profiteers. Call your legislators and demand that they resist this callous and flawed attempt to redistribute and divert revenues from Delaware families into the coffers of wealthy corporations.

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2 thoughts on “State Rep. John Kowalko Weighs In On Delaware Taxpayer Money Getting Flushed Down The Toilet

  1. So, John…. what you are saying is that the reason I pay state taxes is so it can be added to the $24.5 billion dollars of JP Morgan’s profit…… and not used for education, roads, parks, and things that help me here in Delaware…..

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  2. Yes, and the reason you’ll pay more taxes is because this Governor’s “Delaware Competes Act” combined with this Governor’s “Delaware Innovation Act” combined with this Governor’s Delaware Department of Economic Development (DEDO) giveaways of $50 million aided, abetted and willingly supported by General Assembly Democrats and Republicans alike will total over $100 million in Corporate giveaways and that ain’t money laying around the lost and found office. Of course the Joint Finance Committee and leadership can agree to recover that revenue from State worker benefits, leaving them with less money to support local businesses and forcing more of them on the public support system. Or the JFC could impose co-pays and cuts to medicaid recipients that would force them to not seek preemptive or preventative medical care therefore shuffling them off to the ER where they could be treated at a mere 10x the cost of the first option at a cost to the (oops) taxpayer. Or the Governor, leadership and JFC could support and pass HB 216 which would recover some needed revenue from the richest 1650 corporations in Delaware who currently max out at the $180,000 annual franchise tax cap. (raising their obligation by a mere additional $20,000-if they choose the max option-would garner $32 million to refill the hole that Jack is digging. Or DuPont could keep some of those 1150 jobs here (total lost yearly salaries of $92 million and $5.5 million in lost state tax revenue and ???$ of local business supporting consumer spending capabilities) and refuse to suck on the government teat while concluding a 130 BILLION merger. Or the DuPont/Dow CEO’s could pay the taxpayer some of their $80 million bonus money from the merger or (most likely Kavips) you and I and every poor schmuck who has put their faith in these current elected officials can dig a little deeper and dine on the generic cat food not the name brand.
    John Kowalko

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