Posts Tagged ‘corporate welfare’

Corporate Theft

Corporate Theft

Remember Hemlock Semiconductor? That’s the company that hauled in a massive taxpayer subsidy to open a solar installation plant in Clarksville. Not long after, the company shuttered the plant and laid off most of its Tennessee employees due to “volatile” markets in China.

To date, about $95 million of the corporate welfare doled out to the company is still outstanding and can’t be recouped by taxpayers. Despite the setback, state and company officials said they were committed to eventually opening the plant and following through with the jobs promised in exchange for the taxpayer handout. Wrong. The company just announced that it is closing the plant permanently. Unfortunately for Tennessee taxpayers, they took that whole “take the money and run” song too literally.

-Justin Owen

December 17th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

Vote Now in the 2014 Lump of Coal Poll

Vote Now in the 2014 Lump of Coal Poll

Over the past year, a number of government and other entities have been very naughty. In response, the Beacon Center is giving you the opportunity to send them a lump of coal for their dirty deeds that were done very expensively. Below are the four finalists who have done the most egregious things with taxpayer money in 2014.

Between now and Friday, December 19th, cast your vote for the “winner” of our infamous Lump of Coal Award. Once voting is complete on the 19th, we will announce the “winner” and send them a big fat lump of coal for being on the naughty list when it comes to the principles of individual liberty and limited government.

Here are your 2014 Nominees:

The UAW and VW Chattanooga

The United Auto Workers and Volkswagen Chattanooga are basically one in the same at this point anyway, so we might as well lump them together for this poll. Even after workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga firmly rejected the union by a legally binding vote, the UAW has continued trying to backdoor its way into the plant, and VW has seemingly been more than happy to comply. Not honoring the will of your workers is one thing, it’s completely another to do so while also accepting taxpayer money. While the UAW shenanigans took place, VW Chattanooga received $230 million from state and local taxpayers in the form of handouts to pick Tennessee over Mexico for its SUV line. Vote for the UAW/VW combo if you think they should receive a lump of coal instead of a lump of taxpayer money.

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has the distinct honor of being on our list for a second consecutive year. You would think that after being blasted last year on this same poll for giving out unemployment benefits to gainfully employed government workers and dead people, the department would try to be more careful this year. Amazingly, the exact opposite happened. This year, the department’s erroneous unemployment giveaways ballooned to a whopping $181 million dollar, almost three times larger than what auditors originally uncovered. It also added a new demographic of people to wrongfully receive our tax dollars: felons. It’s not too often you can say it pays to go to prison, but in Tennessee it sure does. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development is like the anti-Santa, giving gifts away to the people who don’t deserve it. Vote for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development if you think Santa should give it coal instead of presents this year.

Cleveland Jetport

The Cleveland Jetport is another example of the misuse taxpayer dollars, which we roasted in this year’s Pork Report. The taxpayers of Tennessee subsidized the high-end Cleveland Regional Jetport to the tune of $42.2 million. Some of this money went towards making sure that private jet owners had access to all of the absolute necessities, such as fireplaces, nice furniture, and quiet rooms where they can take a nap. Apparently, it’s only fair that the taxpayers subsidize this private airport with money they don’t have for an airport they aren’t allowed to use, unless of course they have a private jet. To make things even worse, Cleveland mayor Tom Rowland actually wrote on our blog and defended this complete misuse of money. Apparently, he thinks that taxpayers across the state who will never use his jetport should still be paying for it, so that multi-millionaires can use it at no cost to themselves. Vote for the Cleveland Airport if you don’t think normal taxpayers should be forced to buy gifts for the super rich.

The City of Memphis

The pork capitol of Tennessee, Memphis has once again outdone itself when it comes to wasting taxpayer money. Beale Street Landing was a complete disaster and yet another example of why the government should not get involved in private industry. Beale Street Landing was supposed to be a thriving riverboat dock in downtown Memphis, but instead has just turned into taxpayers essentially flushing $33 million dollars down the toilet. On top of that blunder, Memphis has also given Bass Pro Shop a ridiculous $30 million to open up shop in the Memphis Pyramid. Nothing like giving $30 million of no-strings attached taxpayer money to a private business, which has already delayed its opening date numerous times without any accountability from the city. Memphis’ nickname is “Bluff City,” which is appropriate since they are bluffing taxpayers out of a lot of money with broken promises. Vote for Memphis if you think the city should stop forcibly taking your money to buy gifts that no one wants.


December 4th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

UAW Shows the Ugly Face Behind Its Friendly Mask

UAW Shows the Ugly Face Behind Its Friendly Mask

News broke yesterday that the United Auto Workers has begun aggressively bullying workers at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The union released a list of “scab” workers and called on union members to confront those workers to get them to fall into line.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the statement that accompanied the list of names read as follows:

“The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits,” the sign says. “If you work near one of these people listed please explain the importance of Solidarity and the power of collective bargaining.”

While this is unsurprising given the UAW’s history, these tactics prove that the only way the union can bilk money from workers is to use force and intimidation. And it’s using its own members as its henchmen. This disgusting display should be brought to an immediate end by the GM plant’s leadership.

This further shows that workers at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant better watch out. We’ve been sounding the alarm that the UAW will stop at nothing to fund its radical political agenda. While it may try to mask its true intentions at the Chattanooga plant by creating a voluntary, dues-free union, what is happening in Spring Hill let’s us see the ugly truth behind that mask.

-Justin Owen

October 8th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Recent News