Volvo Spitball Fight In SC

IS SOUTH CAROLINA ABOUT TO GET IN A CRONY CAPITALIST BIDDING WAR … WITH ITSELF? || By FITSNEWS || S.C. governor Nikki Haley and state legislative leaders are involved in yet another spitball fight … over yet another borrowing bill. Haley – who previously supported such deficit spending – has…


|| By FITSNEWS || S.C. governor Nikki Haley and state legislative leaders are involved in yet another spitball fight … over yet another borrowing bill.

Haley – who previously supported such deficit spending – has been strident in her opposition to such proposals this go-round.  In fact her veto threat helped carve out a $500 million borrowing bill from the $25.7 billion budget which passed the S.C. House of Representatives earlier this year.

Now the budget is in the State Senate, though, where liberal “Republican” leader Hugh Leatherman has revived the deficit spending proposal.  Not only that, he’s cleverly linked it to the state’s big push to land a Volvo automotive manufacturing plant.

The Palmetto State is one of two finalists for the $500 million plant – along with Georgia.  Initial estimates are that the facility would employ 4,000 people within the next decade.  North Carolina was in the running for the plan, but Reuters reported last week that the Tar Heel state was no longer being considered.

Anyway, Leatherman is reportedly earmarking money for the plant in his version of the Senate bond bill … part of a “game of chicken” with the governor, who previously supported deficit spending as part of the state’s push to land aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

“Haley wants Volvo and so does Leatherman, but Leatherman is pissed at her about her stance on his gas tax bill and his bond bill, so he has decided to throw Volvo into the bond bill – hence the game of chicken,” a source familiar with the debate tells FITS.   “He wants to force Haley to accept the bond bill.”

Haley won’t accept it, though … insisting her administration can go around the legislature to get the taxpayer money it needs to lure Volvo.

Wait … is our state about to get in a bidding war … with itself?

Sure seems that way … and Haley has been given all sorts of mad stacks of taxpayer cash to play with.

“It is a real gamble,” one state official told FITS.  “I don’t much care for incentives, but if they are going to do incentives, Volvo is one you do.”

We disagree …

South Carolina’s “command economic” approach to bribing companies to come to our state clearly hasn’t worked.  Our labor force remains among the nation’s smallest (and dumbest) – and our income levels remain among the nation’s lowest.

Landing “big game” with borrowed billions isn’t how you grow an economy … it’s how you reward select corporations.  And it’s how you get taxpayers on the hook for “economic development” – which last time we checked was not a core function of government.

Actually growing an economy requires broad-based tax relief with an eye on empowering consumerism … which is why we’ve consistently argued for individual income tax relief as opposed to more of the same failed corporate cronyism.


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Rocky April 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

$500 million plant, built with $300 million bond funds to be repaid by taxpayers, and an additional $150 million to help entice Volvo with tax breaks and state resources to help attact and relocate midwestern employees from Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to staff the plant. And a promise to improve roads (well the one from the plant to the nearest interstate anyway). yeah, this sounds pretty good.

SynTwist April 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Assuming Volvo doesn’t up and move as soon as they get incentives. I hope the contract is tight and we have learned something from previous experiences.

Matt April 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Volvo will be heavily invested here. For once, I agree with incentives.

Rocky April 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

And it will be upstate, and have zero impact on the poorest counties. And the jobs will go to out-of-state people who get hired. Volvo don’t hire dumb.

Karadion April 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Wrong, Project Soter is set in Berkeley County.

Learning Experiences April 22, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Judging from our ranking in education, I’m not too optimistic on that.

Source April 22, 2015 at 1:07 pm

There is no Volvo plant in the United States. This will be the first. Volvo is not relocating anyone they currently employ, other than a handful of executives.

Rocky April 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Right. They recruit up north where the skill sets are. Sorry for any confusion.

Kelly April 22, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Leatherman wants what he wants. We all bow down to Leatherman, especially 45 other Senators.
Haley is right. Volvo is more important than a Christmas tree bond bill giving something to everyone with their lobbyist’s hand out.
Do Volvo.

FastEddy23 April 22, 2015 at 3:40 pm

One thing about a better break for low income workers ala a permanent income tax cut:

It will absolutely attract high tech industry to South Carolina.

One good example is Hewlett Packard. HP has been scrambling to ID worker friendly states to set up and expand. (Shortly HP will be almost totally gone from Taxifornia, leaving their Palo Alto HQ behind as a recruitment center for potentials from Stanford, UC Bezerkley, et al.)

Another might be Tesla, which has yet to name the location of its east coast battery distribution and possible manufacturing.

The deal maker for high tech is a better bottom line for their high paid employees and management, which ultimately reflects positively for stock holders, to.

This is why Apple moved to Texas = lower taxes on employees. Oracle/Sun Micro, HP, IBM are all scouting …

South Carolina would not have to give up any taxpayer revenue to tease those folks here, just follow through on keeping taxes low for the working classes.

(There are even some rumors re: NC companies looking south for expansion.)

SynTwist April 22, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I don’t entirely disagree Eddy, but the problem we face if multi-faceted. We don’t want to hurt our neighbors, yet at the same time, we compete them. It’s all a lot of political BS. I’m sure the same in your area, but TX is much bigger ;)

FastEddy23 April 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

In real business, the good, the bad and the ugly, compete on a vast playing field. In the private sector what is good for one industry is really, in the long run, good for all.

North Carolina will not suffer because South Carolina gets Volvo. It is after all just down the freeway for potential subcontractors who reside in NC.

Most businesses really have no competitors, only government, which tries to tilt the playing field toward those who must pay to play (like here in Taxifornia).

In business what the “loyal opposition” does is almost always good for all of the ganders too. Opportunities abound.

Its Time April 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Yall are so stupid….folks has deliberately implied….and disengenuously led you sheep to the conclusion…that the whole bond bill is directed at Volvo.

Its not. Only a small part of that bill ifs”for” volvo…and that part is in fact a training and school facility.

Which folks proves the need for by talking about how uneducated we are.

Of course, he is actually talking about y’all who believe him.

But you really are too stupid to realize how deep his disdain is for you.

Folks also…as he deliberately does…fails mention how much volvo will pay in taxes and fees to come here.

And since they have no US car manufacturing facilities, how do you idiots conclude that all these union members are going to transfer in from the midwest??

Native Ink April 22, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Maybe a South Carolinian working at another factory can find a better wage at Volvo. Although Boeing has “instructed” us about the wisdom of asking for nothing more than the prevailing wage. Maybe high school graduates can work at Volvo, which will pay no more than any other blue collar job they might have found without Volvo. Other than that, we’re just throwing money at Volvo so more people from out of state can move here.

We might as well just throw our tax dollars toward building a plant in Ohio. At least then the workers won’t have to leave home.

Karadion April 23, 2015 at 12:22 am

And what is the “prevailing wage”? Average machinists STANDARD salary is $43,500 at Grade B which isn’t counting the benefits Boeing gives or overtime that they work. Then you got 10% coming from Boeing for your 401K VIP if they do the 75% match so that’s about $4350. HSA – $1250, EIP was 14.1 days if I recall correctly which is about $2350, last year additional bonus was 8% so that was $3500 (not counting overtime). Then most assemblers do about 1 weekend a month of overtime for catching up on JBS. Then assuming one spends $5000 a year on medical (2600 for family on deductible), that means Boeing paid out up to $24,000 on medical since after deductible is 10%. All that together, you’re talking serious money in the $80,000 range.

Jason April 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Volvo Car Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China.


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