February 23, 2009

City Council Plans Almost $12 Million in Corporate Welfare

     A winter of economic and budget meltdown seems like a peculiar time for the city council to be spending this kind of money on projects that are far from essential, when it could instead use that money to save perhaps 120 jobs for next year (or 60 jobs for 2 years), rather than slashing almost 300 city staff as the Bee reports is expected tomorrow night.
     Claims that moving the Greyhound terminal will improve inter-city transit services are sabotaged by the fact that RT bus service there is spotty, the eventual light-rail station may be a 10-minute walk away from the new location, and there's nothing to stop Greyhound from staying in this 'temporary' location for 20 years. This will not improve services for those actual passengers who don't have cars or money for taxis. The $6 million plus destined for this project would be much better spent on things that are more essential for the unemployed, like food and shelter.
     The plan to spend $5.7 million on developing 4 entertainment venues at 10th & K, while selling the properties to the developer for $1, only adds insult to injury for citizens and taxpayers who might prefer something a little more useful for their money. Perhaps the reason this item was postponed to March 3 was that even the council was too embarrassed to approve a whole $12 million in corporate welfare Tuesday afternoon before slashing city staffing Tuesday evening.
     The class war is alive and well, unlike capitalism.

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