As KendalJames pointed out yesterday, Chris Christie has no problem with $800 million in government bailouts for Xanadu at the same time as he claims that government is broke and we need extreme austerity measures that dismantle our schools, hospitals, and state government, and increase our local property taxes.
He has company, according to this New York Times story on Rick Perry’s state funds for campaign donors down in Texas. Apparently, Perry has steered hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and investments to companies run by his close friends.
This is the real mainstream Republican version of the American Dream today, as KendalJames pointed out. And it’s what has the Paul Mulshines and Ron Pauls of the world mad, for good reason. If you’re really for “small government,” how can you support taking hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money and redistributing it to a favored few businesses? Including money from small businesses and existing malls that lose out when places like Xanadu open?
It’s also what makes both Perry and Christie such desirable presidential candidates for Republican donors. They are both seen as having appeal to the Tea Party, but at the end of the day still being willing to dole out big government dollars to big business. Don’t take it from me – take it from a top Bank of America lobbyist. The other candidates either are not reliably going to fork over the cash to business (see, e.g., Paul) or are but the Tea Party grass roots already knows that (see, e.g., Romney).
This suggests that in a national race against Perry, or Christie if he runs, there may be some play in targeting them with these kinds of bailouts. But of course there will be lots of money from our friends the Koch Brothers and others to paint them as on board the Tea Party express.
In the meantime, back on the ground here in New Jersey, I just got my property tax bill for next year. It’s gone up a little bit, because we’re not getting as much school aid in my older suburb as we would have if the School Funding Reform Act had been fully funded. That $800 million could have closed the gap.
So thanks, Gov. Christie – for increasing my taxes to pay millionaires to build a mall. Check your tax bill too and see if you also have a little extra on there for Xanadu.