We cannot afford to be ‘hoodwinked’Published 10:37pm Monday, April 30, 2012
“You been had, you been took, you been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok.” You have been continually told the legislation introduced is in the best interest of educating our children. You have also been bombarded with legislation supposedly geared towards creating more jobs in Alabama. In fact, you have been continuously informed the unemployment rate is decreasing due to legislation over the past two years. Yet, when we uncover these comments and legislation, you will discover that you have been hoodwinked.
This past Tuesday, the Republicans in the Alabama House attempted to hoodwink us again.
House bill 286 was introduced and passed. This piece of legislation will continue the onslaught on education and the invasion of the Education Trust Fund. As passed, this bill will divert funds from the ETF by doing the following: (1) giving corporations operating in Alabama incentives to move jobs to foreign countries, (2) reopening tax loopholes that were closed last year; (3) giving tax credits for companies with foreign operations; (4) giving tax benefits to corporations within Alabama who also have corporations in foreign countries, yet corporations operating solely Alabama would not get tax credit; and (5) credit only for big corporations, nothing for small businesses. This legislation will cost the ETF $7.5 million.
We must ask, “why do Republicans want to encourage corporations doing business in Alabama to move jobs to a foreign county?” For small businesses, this legislation will increase taxes.
If there is going to be serious and meaningful educational reform, we must stop the invasion on the ETF. House bill 286 is incentivizing corporation for paying taxes they should, and are already, paying. They are paying 100 percent of these taxes in other states while they will now only pay 50 percent in Alabama.
One of the reasons behind the percentage decrease in Alabama’s jobless rate is the fact that thousands of individuals simply have given up and stopped looking for employment.
In order to fix this problem, we cannot continue to take from education. In fact, we need to strengthen our educational system. We all know that quality education lifts families out of poverty.
Alabama does not have to choose between improving the economy and making life better for its most vulnerable residents. It can do both.