Stop the debt and doubt | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
March 31, 2012 · 10:20 AM
To the editor:
While at the 23rd Legislative District town hall held in Poulsbo on Feb. 10, I followed every word of Legislators Rolfes, Appleton and Hansen listening for discussion of private-sector jobs. Ample discussion was heard about gay “marriage” law, a call for Washington income tax, the need for more revenue and need for even more revenue. Private-sector job creation discussion was AWOL.
The Kitsap Sun report local unemployment rate spiked to 7.6 percent (9,200 identifiable unemployed). Local real-estate reports track a small increase in home sales but sharply lower sales prices. Local banks process thousands of foreclosed properties clouding the housing recovery.
As part of Phase I of my Restore Kitsap initiative (see www.YouTube.com search: Restore Kitsap~Restore Washington), I completed a recent small-business inventory around the highways and byways of Kitsap economic centers. My goal was to track the number of vacant commercial properties. My video clearly shows Kitsap small-business state is troubling. Each of these vacant properties represents lost opportunities for a start-up business or service employing thousands of employees. Furthermore, each vacant property is a liability dampening recovery because each vacancy must be fed by the landlord for taxes, insurance, maintenance and leasing costs.
Washington state clearly telegraphs that Washington is not a business-friendly state. Start-up businesses are convinced economic over-regulation, high B&O taxes, increasing sales taxes and fees, along with a bloated government workforce, are a toxic climate working against them.
Another negative is that our potential business owners see time after time federal, state and local government jump into the “job-creation” racket. Special “green” funding of politically connected businesses or crony-capital friends in Washington, D.C. and Olympia corrupt real job creation.
Case in point: The highly public $535 million Solyndra bankruptcy - President Obama’s “green miracle.”
Closer to home, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported another green-scam failure: 2010 saw Seattle Mayor McGinn securing a much-coveted $20 million federal grant to create 2,000 living-wage jobs and weatherize 2,000 low-income homes. Federal auditors discovered after one year three homes retrofitted and 14 jobs created. Even closer to home we have prominent Bainbridge Democrat Franz securing $5 million in federal grants for Re-Power Bainbridge to create jobs and weatherize. Close tracking of Re-Power reveals extensive PR expenditures touting “success” and local private-sector weatherization companies undercut. We also have a local Bainbridge mystery company, Summit Energy/Summit Texas Clean Energy with CEO Eric Redman, securing $1.5 billion and producing eight jobs. Summit Energy is located at 701 Winslow Way - $1.5 billion - who would have known?
The hard reality is government has an abysmal record in venture-start businesses. Government has neither the expertise or the sagacity to take borrowed federal/local money and give one company funding over another.
Until Washington, D.C. and Olympia truly eliminate redundant anti-business regulations, streamline government, and stop meddling in the free-enterprise market, we will see more and more private-sector businesses wither. My clarion call is for tireless support for creation of red, green, black, white and rainbow private-sector jobs. I decry government intervention in job creation. There is no reason to continue with our current D.C. and Olympia penchant for debt, doubt and decline.
James M. Olsen