Governor Dr. Robert Bentley laid the dependency problem bare in his State of the State address this week:
“We will never see an end to the plague of poverty by offering a deeper dependence on a flawed government system.”
“We will never help our poorest citizens, or our future generations by casting over them the net of government giveaway programs.”
“We can break the cycle of poverty, but not with programs that drag our communities and our people into the downward spiral of dependence.”
Can I get an Amen?
“There is never freedom for the breadwinner who is dependent on the government.”
Say it, governor. We in Alabama are simply trying to help those who would belittle themselves, who would come to the government with their hands out and their pride stuffed down deep in their jeans.
We want to do them a favor, as the governor said, by breaking the cycle of dependency. We’ll cut those folks off so they can start again to feel good about themselves.
They’ll thank us one day.
Yeah, the good governor zinged the gimme-gimme crowd for sure. He just stopped a tad short.
For if coming to the government for your very survival is a shameful sign of reliance, Bentley missed a whole boatload of dependency.
After offering Alabama’s poor people a hard dose of tough love, the governor boasted that …
“One thousand Alabamians are finding… opportunity in Mobile where Airbus has invested $600 million.”
But didn’t point out that, because of government handouts, subsidies, incentives and rampant corporate dependency, that economic development coup will cost Alabamians $159,000 per Airbus job.
Bentley bragged that “900 more people are working this year assembling Montgomery-made Hyundai vehicles.” He said more jobs are coming to Tuscaloosa’s Mercedes plant, and beamed about how Honda “launched mass production of its 2014 Acura MDX sport utility vehicle, the first time the automaker has assembled a vehicle from its luxury line.”
“Word is spreading far and wide that Alabama is a great place for companies to do business,” the governor said.
And that’s true. It’s just not the whole truth.
Word has spread that Alabama is a great place to come if you have your hand out.
Alabama doled out a quarter of a billion dollars in incentives to lure Hyundai to the state, matching the quarter of a billion dollars in incentives it came up with to lure Mercedes and the $158 million it found for Honda.
Alabama governments gladly open their coffers for truck builders that never come and for McDonald’s restaurants in poor, unhealthy communities. Local governments roll out the red carpet for Walmarts that pay employees so little they still qualify for food stamps.
Word has spread that Alabama will spread the government cheese far and wide to lure anybody that claims it will produce jobs.
Of course it’s not just Alabama. The corporate hand is out everywhere across the nation. Federal corporate welfare to AIG, Chrysler, GM and the nation’s largest banks in recent years came to $27 billion. States trampled all over one another offering scratch to Boeing, an exercise that succeeded only in giving the company leverage to cut worker pensions.
It is time to end the dependency.
As Bentley said:
“Freedom is only found in the land that offers opportunity. That comes from hard work and sacrifice.”
And since Alabama played a big role in helping to inflate these incentive packages and subsidies in the first place, Alabama should be the first to say … enough.
It’s for their own good. These companies, you know, will thank us one day.