Thursday, June 11, 2015

Billionaire Bucks Arena gets funding from Debt Collections and Penalty Fees from the Poor.

Corporate welfare has now completely displaced public funding for the common good. Like our public colleges. Although not a direct exchange of money, it's awful close, and highlights what really matters now in our Republican hellhole of a state.

Now word is getting out that the poor and fiscally strapped Wisconsinites will be the ones paying for the Buck's arena. As WPR's Shawn Johnson explains, the idea is ruthless:

This is outrageous beyond words, so I'm glad Think Progress saved me from having to write about this:
Wisconsinites Blast Scott Walker’s Stadium Deal As ‘Outrageous’: Building a new, publicly financed basketball stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks is either a horrendous example of corporate welfare and official corruption, or a chance to reinvigorate an economically depressed city. Several local officials are also speaking out against the county’s promise to collect $4 million per year in unpaid debts from residents, plus a penalty fee of 15 percent, to contribute to the stadium. For example, a woman who owed $1,000 for an old traffic ticket would be charged $1,150.

Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr. called the proposal to go after unpaid ambulance rides, delinquent property taxes and court fees “crony capitalism.”

“This plan shifts the cost of the new arena from the state and the Milwaukee Bucks’ new wealthy owners to the poorest in our communityI will not foreclose on someone’s home or shake down a senior for unpaid medical bills in order to build an arena for millionaires and billionaires.”

Whether or not it’s morally right to collect these debts to pay for the stadium, some county officials say it may not be possible, because most of the residents that owe that money are indigent.
Really Bad for other Local businesses: Redistributes wealth upward:
Economics professor Michael Rosen at Milwaukee Area Technical College said, “People have a fixed entertainment budget. So if they go see the Bucks and spend $60 or $80 on a ticket, that’s money they’re not using to go to the theater or movies or out to eat. It’s not new money, it’s just redistributed. That’s why stadiums have no positive impact on economic growth.” He also noted that most Bucks player don’t live year-round in Milwaukee, so “millions of dollars in their salaries will leak out of the community.”
Walker's corporate Socialism; otherwise known as neo-fascism: The major media is now sounding the alarm as well:
Scott Walker, Our First Socialist President: First, the Communists: Socialism is "a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government." It's the state of Wisconsin using tax dollars to build a sports arena for the billionaire owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, and its main proponent is Governor Scott Walker.

If Gov. Walker is to be the candidate of the true believers, the free market, Ayn Rand, and austerity bugs, he's got some explaining to do. What's going on is something of a hypocrisy test. If socialism is bad, if Obamacare is bad, if income redistribution is bad, well, how can two hundred million in corporate subsidies be good? Obama, by the way, has jumped onto the sports as socialism issue and proposed an end to federal tax subsidies for sports facilities. He's absolutely right as a matter of economic policies. We can't get our roads fixed, but we can subsidize the richest and most successful corporations in America. I don't think so.

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