The Business of Government Is Business

Two things from the SunCrest Call, a local free paper I pick up whenever the OB pats my beautiful wife on the belly and says, “Good job.” The first, an insert by the mayor of Sunset Hills:

Letter from the Mayor
Click for full size

The mayor took office in Sunset Hills after the previous administration approved a redevelopment proposal that would have depopulated a subdivision. Many of the residents bought new houses before the actual buyout occurred, and when the funding for the project collapsed, ended up with double mortgages. They were not pleased and threw that bunch out, but now the new bunch wants to redevelop a different area using all of its coercive government powers, and the mayor wants to let you know he’s a better big Keynesian wheel than the last guy.

Meanwhile, a columnist in the paper lauds another mayor for using coercive government power–the power to tax some, but to not tax others–on something the columnist likes:

“There comes a time when you have to back off on your principles and do what’s best for this community.”

We commend Crestwood Mayor Roy Robinson for putting aside his former blind hatred of TIF and trying to ensure that the city has all of its economic-development tools available.

When Crestwood Mayor Roy Robinson made this statement in January 2006, some of us held back laughter, wondering how this was possible.

But two years later, Robinson has shockingly lived up to this creed.

On Feb. 12, the mayor who once ran for office opposing tax-increment financing broke a tie vote among aldermen to protect the use of TIF and, in our opinion, also protect the city’s best interests.

That is, the government can give unfair advantage to new businesses in the region and can soak existing, loyal businesses who have been part of the community for years. And principles get in the way of doing what a select set of businessmen and newspapermen want.

Because those new businesses would buy ads in that same paper, don’t you know? Well, hopefully, anyway.

Lazy fare capitalism, it’s called. And it’s close enough for the Call Newspapers.

See also Krauthammer’s bit on rent seeking at the Federal level.