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Welfare Alive and Well in Idaho
(Aug 12, 2008)
In 2007, out of 1,982 recipients of the Byrd Amendment’s protectionist law
that allows U.S. businesses to share in protectionist tariffs against
foreign companies, Idaho’s Micron semi-conductor company “won the jackpot”
ID – Remember a couple of years ago when the Idaho state legislature granted
Micron Technologies hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks on the
premise (and promise) that Micron would build another multi-billion dollar
computer chip fabrication plant in Boise, hire a zillion new workers, and
thus boost the local economy to the Moon and back? And the Idaho legies and
Gov fell for it? And then, about 6 months later, we discovered that Micron
was cutting the ribbon for a newly built fab plant in Singapore and another
one in China?
Was we twicked again or did all the key players already know the scoop?
Like, for example, how could the Idaho legies not have known when they
granted Micron their million dollar tax breaks that Micron was about to
open two new fab plants in the Far East? Didn’t anybody check? Didn’t
anybody ask CEO Steve Appleton for an implementation timeline for a Boise
fab plant? I guess not. Does that mean Appleton – busy racing his souped-up
dune buggy in the Baha California dirt cross country races – lie to the
state legies? Gosh a-roonie, I don’t know. What do you think?
not the first or the last corporate welfare cookie that Micron has pilfered
from the unsuspecting taxpayers of America. According to the Wall Street
Journal’s Op Ed piece on Aug 11, 2008, Senator Byrd (Liberal – W. VA) has
just re-snuck into a new spending bill his previously-repealed protectionist
trade law that allows U.S. businesses to share in protectionist tariffs
against foreign companies.
exist two main problems with the Byrd Amendment.
economists – including socialists -- have known for the last two hundred
years that protectionist tariffs harm both the exporting nation and the
importing nation, raising the cost of goods for both recipient and exporter,
on net, as more capital is expended for that which could be produced and
traded for cheaper prices. Protectionist tariffs are based upon economic
sophisms and don’t work.
protectionist tariffs always encourage both traders to engage in reciprocal
tariffs, thus creating an escalating trade war. And this is exactly what
the Byrd Amendment accomplished the first time around. Not only that, the
World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the Byrd Amendment was illegal,
after which 11 of America’s trading partners, including the EU and Japan,
were authorized to impose retaliatory tariffs on American products. As the
WSJ reported, many of our trading partners “duly slammed us.”
benefited from the first Byrd Amendment? A GAO report found that between
2001 and 2004, more than half of Byrd money went to five big businesses,
with 20% going to Timken, an Ohio ball bearings manufacturer. As of 2007,
$1.9 billion had been handed out to thousands of U.S. corporations blowing
whistles against real and imagined below-market “dumping” of foreign
In 2007, of 1,982 recipients of the Byrd
Amendment’s protectionist law that allows U.S. businesses to share in
protectionist tariffs against foreign companies, Idaho’s Micron
semi-conductor company “won the jackpot” receiving $37,938,402.
losers in this protectionist gift scam are all U.S. taxpayers, including
Idahoans, AND American companies who suffered or collapsed because they
could not compete with domestic rivals flush with Byrd tariff money.
Another unintended economic consequence of government intervention in the
hasn’t stopped the new Byrd Amendment supporters. Leading the pack of
corporate pork supporters is Idaho’s retiring Senator Larry “Bathroom Stall”
Craig (R-ID) who unabashedly brags on his Web Site about steering millions
in protectionist tariff money to Micron Corporation. So much for Idaho
being a fiscally Conservative GOP state. In reality and on net, Idaho is a
welfare redistribution recipient, brought to you not by the
socialist-fascist left Liberals but rather by the socialist-fascist
Republicans. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two major
political parties today.
Micron is not the leading free market private employer in Idaho. Rather,
Micron is one of the leading participants in our U.S. Congress’ Fascist
Business Model of Pork Barrel Economics. – FM Duck
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