Within 24 hours, I learned about a one-word clerical error that can potentially cost $38 million in energy-efficiency funding, and a tax loophole that allowed out-of-state “investors” for Great Northern Paper to receive $16 million for producing no new jobs.

Not a tax break against taxes owed, but an actual payment. The $16 million is to be paid, despite the fact that the mill is closed. These are measurable facts and results – precisely the results we expect government to prevent – and protect us against.

Yet, I continue to learn that our elected officials wish to protect me from purchasing an undersized pint of beer, tell me which breed of dog should become the state dog, prevent someone with an EBT card from purchasing a pack of cigarettes in Florida, making it a crime to use Styrofoam and other “little” things requiring much effort and mindless debate.

How many new jobs need to be created and how much tax revenue will need to be raised to regain the $16 million payment for which we are now obligated? Unfortunately, there is not a single act of legislation or initiatives, by either party, that can correct this egregious/embarrassing performance.

Chris MacKenzie


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