Ever since the original inkling that the St. Paul Ford plant might be closed, various elected officials have been meeting with Ford in an attempt to change their mind. Financial incentives (read that: tax reductions) had been discussed with Ford in an attempt to change their mind about closing the plant but none had appeared to provide enough incentive to keep the plant open.
On Thursday of last week, the city of St. Paul and the State of Minnesota received some very welcome news. The St. Paul Ford plant which had originally been scheduled to close in 2008 got a reprieve until 2011. The St. Paul Ford plant makes the Ranger truck for Ford and while sales had been down, the increased price of gas had created a resurgence in demand for the vehicle.
In the article that covered the closing reprieve, even one of the most notorious Minnesota tax and spenders (read that DFL/Democrat) is wanting to be on the “financial incentive” band wagon:
“This decision gives us a little breathing room to address the long-term viability of the plant,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, chairman of the Minnesota House Transportation and Transit Policy Subcommittee.
“We must act decisively on a package of incentives that enables Ford to produce the kind of fuel-efficient vehicles in St. Paul that will keep the plant thriving now and in the future,” Hornstein said. “We have been in conversations with Ford and we are confident that we can work together toward both short- and long-term solutions to keep jobs in St. Paul.”
So far, Ford has only indicated an interest in short-term incentives, Hornstein said. “They would like to see something similar to what exists in Kentucky and Michigan, which is kind of a payroll tax deferral,” he explained.
So here’s my question:
Rep. Hornstein has concluded that lowering taxes for Ford might cause them to keep jobs in Minnesota. What part of that and being the Coauthor of the bill that provided for the largest tax increase in the State of Minnesota’s history make sense?
Wait, there’s more….From his website under “Priorities” Rep. Hornstein gives us these:
2008 Budget Debate
- Promote more progressive income tax policies and roll-back tax breaks for the most wealthy.
- Close corporate tax loopholes.
Rep. Hornstein is a Democrat so we all know that by definition he wouldn’t do anything to take jobs away, right?
Rep. Hornstein coauthored and was committee chair for the largest tax hike in Minnesota history.
Rep. Hornstein believes income taxes should be higher, dramatically so for higher incomes.
Rep. Hornstein believes “corporate tax loopholes” should be closed.
Obviously Rep. Hornstein doesn’t think any of the above negatively impacts jobs but yet….
Rep. Hornstein believes Ford Motor Company should receive tax incentives (lower their taxes) as a way to keep those jobs here.
Rep. Hornstein’s positions leave me with one of two conclusions. Either
Rep. Hornstein is logically unsound to the point that he is unable to see the severe inconsistencies in very simple positions.
Because the Ford Plant is in Rep. Hornstein’s district he is willing to bypass his principles to pander to his constituents.
Neither of the above options should make constituents of Rep. Hornstein supportive of his reelection.
Rep. Hornstein is not the only Democrat with this problem. Every one of them run to providing “incentives” the minute they hear that jobs are leaving. I’m beginning to think that Democrats have some kind of a debilitating genetic mutation that allows them to choose government greed over an expanding job base. If only they would recognize that the high taxes that they are all in favor of, are removing jobs from Minnesota each and every day.