Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bombardiers or Babies?

Hope the title was catchy enough! When I think of Bombardiers I think of black and white war stills, and, of course, Yossarian in Catch-22.

Our diligent Senators are “working pretty much around the clock,” to create a package to bring the Montreal-based Bombardier Aerospace to Kansas City. With a hurting economy, no one can deny the value of an economic tax credit to create jobs and bring new industry to Missouri. But the entire situation strikes me as odd. They are working around the clock to make Kansas City look sexier than Bombardier’s first choice—a city outside of Montreal—possibly to meet a deal-breaking deadline. While we’ve been told that this tax credit will create lots of secure jobs, there are some small voices cautioning that it may cost the state more than it benefits. Senators have pushed the bill through quickly and left little time for scrutiny.

This push has left Missouri’s scholarship tax credit in its wake, and that has made me wonder about the priorities of our Senators. Tax credit to tax credit, economic development and education are both important—vital—to Missouri. We’re offering more choice for a sector of our economy that is struggling, so I’m wondering what is different about offering more choice for a sector of our education where some children and families are struggling. Why aren’t Senators working around the clock to open up education opportunities for special needs children? Why isn’t there a bipartisan rallying cry for an education tax credit like there is for the Bombardier facility?

Personally, I’d like to make sure the next generation has the chance to develop their skills and work at one of these 2100 new jobs that will be created.

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