By Associated Press • 

Carrier Corp. deal differs from common incentives in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — The $7 million incentive package Carrier Corp. will receive in a deal with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a departure from how tax credits are commonly used in Indiana.

The furnace and air conditioner manufacturer will receive $5 million in tax credits over the next decade in exchange for keeping hundreds of jobs at its Indianapolis plant, the Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/2gIkhHZ ) reported. It will also get $1 million in training grants and up to $1 million in additional tax credits based on its planned $16 million investment in the factory.

The deal differs from most other economic development agreements in Indiana, where incentives are usually aimed at bringing in jobs, not retaining them. Trump has criticized the use of such incentives in the past.

The deal was an early victory for the incoming administration and was mostly welcomed by the plant's 1,400 employees, who were told in February that their jobs would be dropped as the work moved to Mexico. But the deal will only save about 800 jobs that were initially slated to be outsourced. That means an estimated 400 to 500 workers at the plant, as well as 700 employees at another plant owned by related company in Huntington, Indiana, will still lose their jobs.

Some economic development experts said the agreement is troubling.

“It's a potentially dangerous policy where you reward a company that threatens to leave. ... In this case, you're rewarding a company that is actually cutting a lot of jobs in the state,” said Steve Weitzner of site selection firm Silverlode Consulting.

Mitch Roob, who led the state's economic development agency under former Gov. Mitch Daniels, said economic development needs to be handled on a case-by-case basis. He said awarding incentives for retention wasn't common.

“But there were certain circumstances when that became the best option for us, and we went ahead and did it,” Roob said.

The board of Indiana's economic development agency must still approve the deal. As governor of Indiana, Pence is chairman of the board and appoints its members.

___

Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

Comments

Mudstump

What Trump did was the complete opposite of what he promised to do on the campaign trail. He said he would impose tariffs when manufacturers offshore jobs. Instead, he gives in to their demands with 7 million dollars with of taxpayer money. It's kind of like giving ISIS money for the promise they won't attack us. I'm sure someone will analyze just how much we will pay for each of the 800 jobs that will stay in the US. Is the cost worth it? Or are tariffs a better way to go as Trump suggested during the campaign?

tagup

C'mon Mud....Carrier only made 7.5 billion in profits last year.....they have 6 billion in defense contracts, and they paid their top 5 execs 50 million.....they need some help!
Trumps gonna improve the economy one company at a time.....:)

Mudstump

tagup - I read an interesting article by David Cay Johnston a few years ago titled, Assisting The Good Life, that covers the perks corporations get from the American taxpayer. He mentions our own Bandon Dunes golf course owned by Mike Keiser in Bandon, OR. I question why we must give so much to corporations without really thinking about what the ultimate costs are or reviewing the efficacy of the practice altogether. The average American is asked to pledge our loyalty to this country and voluntarily serve our country so, why do we not ask the same of our corporations? It seems to me that they want all of the benefits of taxpayer supported commons with little regard for what they owe us for the privilege of operating here in the US. Tariffs would be a good way to level the playing field.

Assisting The Good Life - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/business/15subsidy.html

Don Dix

Let's compare Indiana's offer with an Oregon idea:

Carrier's deal -- $7M in tax credits over 10 years -- $1.4M per year. 800 - 1100 jobs saved.

Oregon's BETC program -- from 2006 - 2014, investors bought green energy and efficiency tax credits worth $703.6M (face value) -- and paid $494.2M. $209.4M in free tax credits to investors over 9 years -- $23.3M per year (on BETC alone). In addition, many of the companies selling those credits used the system to gain more credits than allowed and are now defunct or are just a skeleton work force (job losses).

Indiana gives a corp. $1.4M per year in tax credits (10 Years) and an Oregon program that bleeds three times that much yearly (9 years).

By buying BETC credits, U.S. Bank saved $14 million, Wal-mart saved $12.9 million, Costco saved $12.1 million, Comcast saved $9.2 million, Umpqua Bank saved $6.8 million, Union Pacific saved $6.2 million, and Kroger saved $4.9 million. Other major tax savers include Nordstrom ($5.3 million), Walgreens ($3.2 million), Dish Network ($2.3 million), Standard Insurance ($2.0 million), and Nestle ($2.0 million).

So which 'deal' would you like to be the recipient?

kona

Mudstump and Tagup, you continually illustrate the mindset of why Hillary Clinton lost the election and why there were over 900 state legislative seats that turned Republican during the Obama Administration. Or, why there are 34 Republican governors and only 16 Democratic governors. Or, why the Senate and House of Representatives are controlled by Republicans.

tagup

Not sure how you can tell what my mindset is from my statement, but the deal with Carrier is just another taxpayer subsidy for a company that doesn't need it......first of all, Mr. Trump didn't do what he said he would do on the campaign trail (I think we'll see a lot more of that)and he still has jobs leaving the country.....This was a publicity ploy and nothing more.....by the way...Clinton won the popular vote by a pretty wide margin (in case you didn't notice). That says more about the will of the people than the number of republican governors and congress members......

Don Dix

tagup -- Clinton won by nearly 5M votes in 2 states-- NY and California! That pretty much reveals where the sentiment rested in the remainder of the country.

Mudstump

Don Dix - "Let's compare Indiana's offer with an Oregon idea."

What does any of that have to do with the fact that Trump did the opposite of what he promised on the campaign trail? He said he would impose tariffs and instead have Carrier taxpayer money to save a small fraction of the jobs that will still be outsourced. It was a losing deal for everybody, but the Carrier corporation. If tax incentives and cuts worked as republicans promise we should be rolling in jobs. Where are the jobs? Where are the tariffs as promised? Where is corporate loyalty to America? If corporations are people as the Supreme Court ruled then why don't we require the same level of patriotism to the country and the American worker?

tagup

So the votes in California and NY mean less somehow?.....

kona

tagup, are you new to this country? You asked, "So the votes in California and NY mean less somehow?"

The easy answer is "yes" and that is why Hillary Clinton lost the election. We have an Electoral College in the United States that decides our elections.

kona

Mudstump, the election is over, but President Obama is still our President. If you have complaints, direct them to the Obama Administration. You are hung up on this "promise thing". Politicians don't keep all of their ideas intact. All of their ideas are not "promises".

tagup

Kona....Mr. Dix was making a point of where the "sentiment" in the US was geographically..it's not a discussion of election validity. Hard to say the president has a mandate when the majority of Americans didn't vote for him....

Interesting that you're ok with political positions that are used to get elected then suddenly changing before he even takes office....so "draining the swamp", or building a wall, or eliminating government pay for play tactics weren't really promises?....hmmm....so why did people vote for him again? His good looking wife maybe?

kona

tagup, people voted for Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton was a such a flawed candidate. Across the country people are rejecting liberalism/socialism/ progressive or whatever label is appropriate. How else would you explain the politics if not a
"mandate"?

The only people complaining about these "promises" are liberals. You don't hear any conservatives complaining. The election is over and a lot of people will need to get over the results.

Mudstump

kona - "Mudstump, the election is over, but President Obama is still our President. If you have complaints, direct them to the Obama Administration."

It would defy logic for me to hold Pres. Obama accountable for Trump's Carrier deal. That doesn't even make sense. If I remember correctly I saw Trump at a podium gloating over his "great" deal with Carrier. No mention of the tariffs he promised btw. He lied about the number of jobs he "saved." Go ahead and blindly follow your leader. At least I can criticize my own side when I see they are not doing right by the American people. What's your excuse? Those who voted for Trump are going to find out just what a con man he is and unfortunately the rest of us will suffer the consequences. I hope with all sincerity that isn't going to be the case, but so far he is off to a very bad start.

tagup

Kona,....There can be no real mandate for Trump when the MAJORITY of people in the US voted for Clinton....which undermines your statement that liberism.. etc. etc. is being rejected across the country. I think you are mistaken about liberals being the only ones complaining, there are many Republicans in congress that have expressed concern about the policies and transition....Paul Ryan a liberal?...guess not....

kona

Mudstump, what is wrong with the Carrier deal? Would it have been better if all of those jobs went to Mexico as planned? Your perspective needs some adjusting because you are not making sense.

kona

tagup, Paul Ryan is not complaining. Everyone has disagreements/"concerns" ... that is life and especially political life. Is he complaining that Donald Trump won the election rather than Hillary Clinton ... not a chance.

There was more to this election than just whom was to be President. Congress is majority Republican, there are 34 Republican governors, more than 900 state legislative positions were lost to Republicans during the Obama Administration. The Republican Party is in the strongest position since the 1920s. That is a mandate.

Mudstump

kona - you can try to spin it any way you like, but the facts are that over 2,500,000 people voted for Hillary over Donald Trump.

kona

Yes, over two million more people voted for Hillary Clinton. So what? I drank more glasses of water than my wife did yesterday.

tagup

Wow!.....That statement certainly lacks logic and substance....guess the conversation is over....

kona

tagup and mudstump, you two must be new to the United States. We have adhered to the results of the Electoral College for over two hundred years. Nothing else matters. Forget the election, it is over. Now we do the best we can to make this President successful. Remember,I don't like Donald Trump but his success is what is best for the United States.

Don Dix

tagup & Mudstump -- the comparison of Oregon's BETC with the Indiana/Carrier deal is just that. Both are 9-10 year programs. Both reduce tax liability for those time periods (and those involved corps). Oregon's deal is much more costly and includes many more of those 'evil corps' getting incentives.

So, as it appears, this is more about who won the election than how states deal with tax incentives and structures.

The popular vote -- This is the classic example of why we use the electoral college. If the election was popular vote, NY and Calif. would have elected the president, even though more than 60% of the states voted differently. The founders felt that small (pop.) states would be controlled by the wishes of states with larger populations (brilliantly insightful).

Hillary had too much baggage and very little in the way of actual accomplishments -- titles only. Her 'public service' was in name only going back to Watergate. The DNC propped her up and secretly undermined Sen. Sanders campaign (like knowing debate questions in advance). And her attitude of 'above reproach', hanging out with the elite to increase rally numbers, and general disdain for the blue collar Americans failed to impress.

America spoke, and those that can't accept the results suffer from the same disconnect that that was clearly evident within the Hillary campaign. Bottom line -- some things just don't work out -- especially when all the 'deplorables' got their dander up!

tagup

Don,
I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't dispute the election results. What I do dispute are comments like "America spoke"....when the majority of votes went to a different candidate. Trump has the office, no dispute, but ignoring his changing positions on his campaign promises, his obvious conflict of interests and his Twitter tactics, should be a concern for all Americans. I'm not interested in supporting a person that will not take a thoughtful approach to the issues of the country and cannot rise above negative comments that come with the job. I want a leader that studies the issues of the country, not the quality of the television programming on Saturday night!

kona

Tagup, you said, "I want a leader that studies the issues of the country, not the quality of the television programming on Saturday night"! That is why he appoints a cabinet. What are you going to do, sulk/complain for the next four/eight years?

kona

Tagup, Donald Trump is not our President yet.

tagup

Kona--So you're expecting his behavior to change?.....sorry, but his ego and thin skin are consistant.....he doesn't study the issues, he has shown little interest in intelligence briefings......so he gathers information to make decisions from where?.....his son in law? You're right, he isn't President yet, but it would be nice if he made an attempt to get informed before January 20.
I am willing to give him the same level of support that the republicans gave Obama.....

kona

I agree, "it would be nice if he made an attempt to get informed before January 20". I think that is happening with the cabinet that he is choosing. They have already influenced his thinking. There are quality people advising him.

tagup

Unfortunately, the important decisions need to be made by him....and if he is not up to speed on all of the implications than poor decisions are the result. Advisors only advise, and much of that will be conflicting......he needs to understand the impact.....and tv is not a valid resource!

treefarmer

Interesting perspectives in this thread. Seems to me that partisan bickering is the norm for the election process but when that ends we should unite as AMERICANS to move forward. The President-elect has made it crystal clear that his campaign promises mean NOTHING, he pointed that out when he commanded his fans at a rally this week to shut down the “lock her up” chant, (“That plays great before the election. Now, we don’t care, right?”) and stated unequivocally that “I won and I don’t need you anymore.” No one should be surprised that his lies about his plans for Carrier have been exposed. The taxpayers in Indiana had NO say (Gov. Pence had complete control of the tax funds) in the bait and switch, they just got to pay for it. The subsequent vindictive twitter attack on the Indiana workers just puts the exclamation point on the scam. Who’s next?

This week we are learning about the scope of Russian influence on the election. (And just this morning it appears that Putin pal Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is being proposed as our next Secretary of State.) The attitude of an American citizen should not be “Russia helped my side win so I don’t give a crap.” We are all in this together. Who is going to hold this dangerously inept and unstable egomaniac to account before it is too late? Our national security and democracy itself is at stake. I will continue to hope the Electoral College will execute its Constitutional duty and make the welfare of America the first priority.

( https://electoralcollegepetition.com/#gs.I9_aqv8 )

kona

treefarmer, You said, "I will continue to hope the Electoral College will execute its Constitutional duty and make the welfare of America the first priority".

What "Constitutional duty" are you referring? Whom are you suggesting they choose for President and Vice President?

kona

tagup, since you can't handle the results of the election, what are you proposing?

Mudstump

The American people didn't make a mistake. They voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. I agree with tagup....the electoral college should put the welfare of the country first and vote for the person who won the most votes. More evidence is coming out that Russia not only hacked the DNC, but Mitch McConnell suppressed the information during the campaign, and now we are hearing reports that Russia may have hacked into the voter database. On top of that, we have the FBI's last minute meddling in the election as well. I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton, but at the very least we all deserve to have fair elections or our vote is worthless. Without honest and fair elections we don't have a democracy...and that is what we are facing if we do nothing about the interference in the last election.

kona

Mudstump, we had a fair election. Your side lost.

You said, "... the electoral college should put the welfare of the country first ...". That is exactly the reason for the Electoral College. It puts the welfare of the country first, not just the population centers in the United States.

Mudstump

kona - Are you suggesting that people who live in "population centers" should have less than one vote?

Mudstump

kona - Where is your concern about elected politicians who swore to uphold the Constitution neglecting their duty to investigate a foreign government's interference in our election? Why did Mitch McConnell, Jason Chaffetz, and FBI director, Comey not immediately call for investigations during the campaign? This is the hacking of our government, but they ignored their oath to the Constitution. Its treasonous.

kona

1) "Are you suggesting that people who live in "population centers" should have less than one vote?" No, but the vote of one or two population centers should not nullify the votes of several states and that is one of the prime reasons why the Electoral College has been accepted by both parties for more than two hundred years.

2) "Where is your concern about elected politicians who swore to uphold the Constitution neglecting their duty to investigate a foreign government's interference in our election"? I have no problem with the investigation. The United States does the same thing to other countries.

3) You are over-reacting. There is no hard evidence (that I am aware) that the Russians had any influence on our elections. If you know something, what is it?

treefarmer

Re Constitutional Duty

To quote electors Polly Baca and Levi Guerra (published in “The Hill”)

“In Federalist (papers) 68, Alexander Hamilton tells us why the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College: to prevent an unqualified demagogue who is under foreign influence from taking over the nation’s highest office. Trump fails the Founding Fathers’ three part test for the presidency — he is unqualified, he is a dangerous demagogue, and he cannot prove his independence from foreign nations.
This means Trump as commander-in-chief is a clear and present danger to national security, and he will likely do permanent damage to the Bill of Rights, if inaugurated. Men like him are why the Electoral College exists as a Constitutional check and balance against popular, but unqualified, leadership for our country.”

These two electors close their comments with this:
“We take our oath to preserve and defend the Constitution seriously, which is why we’re willing to use the tools that it gives us to defend our country and it’s future.”

I will continue to hope for the future of America.



Mudstump

kona - "3) You are over-reacting. There is no hard evidence (that I am aware) that the Russians had any influence on our elections. If you know something, what is it?"

17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed the hacking. I'm not over-reacting.

Mudstump

kona - The Russians hacked the DNC and the RNC. They released the DNC information through Wikileaks during the campaign. They are holding the information on the RNC. Do you want the Russian government to hold this information over the heads of our elected representatives (republicans who now will control everything) to extract whatever they want? This is very serious stuff. Why no investigations?

Mike

I think the Electoral College will vote "The Donald" and the 45th POTUS. The Rs in Congress are Happy, as Kona seems to be. I'm old and the safety net of Social Security and even Medicare I will hate to see transformed into privatized sources for Wall Street gamblers to have more money to bet with. But Mr. Ryan and the Rs have been trying to take out the safety net for years. Now is their chance. They are happy about it. Everyone is focused on "The Donald", but the policies of his cabinet selections so far fit nicely with the Congressional Rs long term agenda. I hope the discussion about policy shifts and privatizing will be balanced and fruitful. I'm kind of depressed that no one wants to talk about policies. Not to say I'm not also concerned about what Donald might do as POTUS.

kona

treefarmer, I guess we will see what happens. It sounds like your suggestion is to have the Republican controlled House of Representatives decide whom shall be our next President. Is that correct?

kona

mudstump, there is no hard evidence that it was the Russian government that hacked our systems. The United States attempts to do this continually to other countries. Nothing new there. The FBI also has found no evidence that our election was tampered with by the Russian government. How do you think the election was influenced by Russia?

kona

Mike, you said, " I'm old and the safety net of Social Security and even Medicare I will hate to see transformed into privatized sources for Wall Street gamblers to have more money to bet with". What makes you think this will happen? Are you suggesting we just let Social Security continue toward insolvency as it is now?

tagup

Kona
You need to get informed. Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas has begun a discussion about his plan to "permanently save Social Security".....the goal is archived entirely by benefit cuts without any new revenues ( like increases to the payroll tax for the wealthy).....Google is your friend....

Mudstump

kona - http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gop-introduces-plan-to-massively-cut-social-security-222200857.html

Rep. Sam Johnson, R-TX, already introduced a bill to gut social security last Thursday.

kona

tagup, you said, "the goal is archived entirely by benefit cuts ...". I have no problem with benefit cuts. The Democratic Party usually screams in unison whenever benefit cuts are discussed.

kona

tagup and mudstump, your comments seem to present opposite points of view from the same person (Sam Johnson). Do we reform Social Security or not?

Mudstump

kona - mudstump, there is no hard evidence that it was the Russian government that hacked our systems.

The USIC (United States Intelligence Community) made up of 16 agencies plus the office of the director of National Intelligence issued a report on, Oct. 7. Here's an excerpt:

"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

tagup

yes, I'm sure all the republican retirees will be happy to have their benefits cut..... Along with Medicare....while business and the richest tax payers receive tax cuts.......you see no problem with that scenario ?

kona

Mudstump, all governments are involved in hacking. There is absolutely nothing new here to discuss. The United States has been involved with similar activities for as long as I can remember. It really shows how careless Hillary Clinton was in using a private server and ignoring very basic security protocol. There is nothing alarming about what the Russians did, if true.

kona

tagup, what are you talking about? You said, "yes, I'm sure all the republican retirees will be happy to have their benefits cut". Who has said anything about all Republicans getting their benefits cut? You are exaggerating the situation.

Who said "while business and the richest tax payers receive tax cuts"? Both Republicans and the majority of Democrats agree that the highest in the world U.S. corporate tax rates should be cut. Those tax rates are why many business choose to do business outside of the U.S.

Mudstump

kona - "Mudstump, all governments are involved in hacking. There is absolutely nothing new here to discuss. The United States has been involved with similar activities for as long as I can remember. It really shows how careless Hillary Clinton was in using a private server and ignoring very basic security protocol. There is nothing alarming about what the Russians did, if true."

It laughable that you would use this hacking breach as a way to blame Hillary Clinton. Yeah, nothing to see here folks...right? Sounds like you are on board with behavior that puts party loyalty over your country's security and the Constitution. You can rest assured that your new president feels the same way. He finds security briefings a waste of time.

kona

So, how did this presumed hacking affect our elections? Are you trying to make the correlation to Hillary Clinton losing the election? Are you trying to suggest that the DNC was sloppy with security, or what?

kona

Mudstump, you need to get over this obsession of yours, Donald Trump will be your President too unless you are ready to emigrate.

tagup

Kona....forgive my sarcasm....social security and Medicare benefit cuts will impact both republican and democratic retirees.....do you think they will be happy about that, while at the same time business and the most wealthy receive tax cuts? That is exactly the proposal put forward by Rep Johnson. if you think that is a positive step for the country... fine... I don't.

kona

Not going to happen.

tagup

I guess we'll see ....if Trump' s campaign position on this changes,....then it will illustrate again that what he said to get elected was meaningless.

Mike

Privatization of Social Security was floated and got sunk. Paul Ryan has be anxious to privatize SS and Medicare. The bill to cut benefits on many many folks who have no way to make up for what is cut is not a happy thought. Kona it sounds like you are lucky and do not need or expect to use a social safety net program like Social Security, which by the way, if it had not been borrowed from by both Rs and Ds in Congress, it would be solvent. How about cutting some military to pay back what was borrowed?

kona

"... then it will illustrate again that what he said to get elected was meaningless". You are most likely correct, just like every other politician.

tagup

Kona,
I think most politicians have ideas that are turned back by congress. Not many change their positions on their own before taking office.....

And Mike, I couldn't agree more!

Mudstump

Mike - well said and I agree. Another option is to eliminate the cap of $106,800 to allow high income earners to pay a more fair share of their income into Social Security. Currently middle-class employees pay a higher share of their income compared to higher earners. After all, almost all of the growth has benefited the top earners while the average worker has seen their income stagnate. There is no need to cut social security.

kona

Mudstump, I agree. You said, "Another option is to eliminate the cap of $106,800 to allow high income earners to pay a more fair share of their income into Social Security". And, that will most likely happen. Unfortunately that will not make a small dent in the problem.

The Social Security Administration with the help of Congress has morphed into an unsustainable financial condition. It is much more expensive due to all of the additional programs tacked on since its inception.

You said, "Currently middle-class employees pay a higher share of their income compared to higher earners". Welcome to the real world, "middle-class employees pay a higher share of their income compared to higher earners" in almost every phase of our economy (and life) including food, energy, health, entertainment etc. Absolutely nothing new there. It has been that way for several decades.

kona

Mike, Mudstump and tagup, privatization of Social Security was first promoted by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.). This is not a radical idea to make Social Security sustainable.

(March 24, 1998) "The president is in Africa, the Republican Congress is AWOL, but at least one politician has been working. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) last week announced a plan to change Social Security for the better by cutting the payroll tax and letting Americans use the money for private retirement accounts – or for whatever else they want.

It is a courageous idea and a powerful combination – lower taxes for overburdened workers plus more personal choice and responsibility.

Moynihan's credentials as a liberal social reformer can't be questioned. So when he advocates privatizing even a portion of Social Security, it's big news. It's also why his idea is panicking advocates of the status quo."

tagup

Not sure why we need the history lesson... Rep Johnson's proposal has nothing to do with privatization....only reduced benefits.

kona

Mike and tagup brought "privatization into the discussion, not me. I extended the conversation by saying that this was originally an idea from a very liberal Senator.

So, what Social Security benefits will I have cut? Why get so wound up about a Senator's proposal? Senators make proposals all the time. Some stick but most never happen. And yes, that is the case for Democrats as well as Republicans.

kona

I apologize, Mike and Mudstump brought up the "privatization" subject. History is not a bad thing.

Mudstump

kona - removing the cap would keep Social Security solvent 30 years beyond what is currently projected. No need to cut benefits that Trump himself promised wouldn't be touched.

tagup

Mud, I recall that one of the sticking points with increasing/removing the salary cap is that there is a maximum benefit limit... so the highest earners will pay additional tax without any increase in payout....

Mudstump

Regarding the hacking by Russia, Former Acting Director of the CIA, Mike Morell tells Suzanne Kelly of the Cipher Brief this (12/12/16):

"I think, an existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11. It is huge and the fact that it hasn’t gotten more attention from the Obama Administration, Congress, and the mainstream media, is just shocking to me."

kona

What is "shocking" about it. It has been going on for decades and we (the U.S.) has done it for decades. Just in this last year President Obama flew to Great Britain to do his best to influence the vote on BREXIT which was one of the most significant votes that they have ever had in Britain.

treefarmer

Existential threat to our democracy, NO doubt about it. And far worse than 9/11. The czar-elect will soon be unstoppable. As the Electoral College prepares to meet, our only hope is for them to recognize this for what it is and apply our Constitutional protections. If not, we can all sit back and watch as America is completely dismantled. Vladimir Putin is surely salivating and measuring the drapes. (Guess he knew a little something about “The Art of the Deal” too?)

Mudstump

kona - If the Chinese or Russia or any country hack the election before Pres. Obama to help him win you wouldn't be so blasé about this. Anyone who thinks its, business as usual, for a foreign government to interfere with our elections hasn't been paying attention. I'm 59 years old and I have never witnesses the tampering of our elections by one of our enemies. Have you? Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov just stated that the Russian Embassy met with members of the Trump during the 2016 election. Today, Trump has nominated CEO Rex Tillerson of Exxon for Sec. of State. A man who received an Order of Friendship Award from Putin in 2013. Do you not see how this could put our country in danger?

kona

mudstump, you said, " If the Chinese or Russia or any country hack the election before Pres. Obama to help him win you wouldn't be so blasé about this".

Mudstump, there is no evidence from any of our intelligence agencies that the Russian government hacked anyone "to help him (Trump) win" the election. You are passing on incorrect speculation. Again, the U.S. government does this (influences elections). There is nothing new here. It is not the reason Trump won the election. You need to get over this (the election is over) or spend the next eight years in political misery.

Rex Tillerson is a quality choice for Sec. of State. He should do well if accepted. It will be an interesting hearing process.

kona

treefarmer, you have been reading/watching too much hype about this. It will not be a problem.

treefarmer

Well, Kona, I find your observation about my reading/watching habits to be both presumptuous and ironic. As a matter of fact, I cast a wide net in my research and place a premium on what I see with my own eyes. Conversely, it seems that many of our fellow Americans have been buying the lies, denying the facts, and embracing willful blindness in an effort to justify how things are unfolding. I recall vividly the prophetic declaration of the candidate, “I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and I wouldn’t lose a vote.” Not long afterwards he gloated to his voters that he doesn’t really need them anymore. Chilling truth in both proclamations, no hype or interpretation required.

We are entering an alternate reality where every destructive action is either ignored, or defended in the name of loyalty. The “ANYTHING would be better than what we had before” (so-called) logic is going to finish off our noble 240 year experiment in democracy. Our values are being corrupted daily, our rights are being eroded with every new appointment, and our national security has NEVER been more at risk. We must steel ourselves for life in a defiled environment, and through it all, the new “leader” remains power-drunk as he prepares to destabilize and re-shape his new AmeriKa. Some can see this clearly, while others, in your words, have definitely bought into the (fact-free) hype. Sad to say that we are all in the same boat regardless. But by all means, fiddle while Rome burns if that makes you happy. Who can say which perspective best serves us as we continue down the rabbit hole? You know what they say about what constitutes bliss.

kona

treefarmer, I have not cared for Donald Trump for the last twenty years that I have followed his career. I think it is encouraging that he is surrounding himself with some very quality people. I hope the Trump Administration does very well and our country turns around this downwardly spiral that we have been on for a few years. Naturally if you have a differing ideology everything looks warped.

kona

Treefarmer, I do agree with what you said, "it seems that many of our fellow Americans have been buying the lies, denying the facts, and embracing willful blindness in an effort to justify how things are unfolding". Were you referring to the last few years with the Obama Administration?

Treehouse

One way Oregon can advance public confidence in our Democratic processes is to pass the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in the next legislative session. www.nationalpopularvote.com
Contact Sen. Boquist's office. We can get this done.

kona

treehouse, you are about 200 years too late. The Electoral College is accepted as the fairest method for determining our Presidential elections. It could easily pass for Oregon (Oregon is out of step with the rest of the United States), but that would change nothing.

Treehouse

Kona, I think you are confusing Article II, Section 1, clause 2 of the United States Constitution with the 48 different state laws awarding Presidential Electors on a "winner-take-all" basis.
National Popular Vote leaves the U.S. Constitution unaltered. It only changes state laws. I'd encourage anyone wanting to learn more about these things to visit www.nationalpopularvote.com
Oregon should join with eleven other states and restore the electoral college.

kona

treehouse, I'm not confusing anything. The national popular vote is not the same as the present Electoral College voting that awards the Electoral College votes individually by state. It was established that way for a very good reason. This "movement" is being pushed by liberal/progressive/Democratic states to make the centers of populations in the U.S. (which are all Democratic) as the deciding factors in national elections. That is contrary to the purpose of the Electoral College.

Treehouse

Kona, there may be valid and honest reasons to defend the array of 48 individual state "winner-take-all" laws dating to the late 19th century. But I don't believe that claims of partisanship or urban favoritism are among them.
NPV is backed and supported by a very broad bi-partsan coalition of nationally respected lawmakers, statesman, academics, business leaders and citizens. The 50 largest U.S. cities make up only 15% of the nationwide popular vote. The 100 largest cities make up only 17%. Currently, under the system of 48 state "winner-take-all" laws and within the battleground states, there is no detectable bias in favor of urban areas by the campaigns. For example, in Ohio where the vote is split nearly equally between rural voters and urban voters, campaigns run by the most astute experienced campaign professionals distribute resources equally. No credible Presidential campaign from any party expects to win the statewide popular vote in such states by ignoring half the voters.

kona

treehouse, You said, "NPV is backed and supported by a very broad bi-partsan coalition of nationally respected lawmakers, statesman, academics, business leaders and citizens".

NPV is NOT supported "by a (larger) very broad bi-partsan coalition of nationally respected lawmakers, statesman, academics, business leaders and citizens". The only states subscribing to NPV are liberal/progressive/Democratic states (CA, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA). Naturally these liberal voting states would like to change the system so they could pick the winner of the Presidential race. Thankfully, that is not the way it works in the United States.

Treehouse

kona, this exchange is becoming argumentative, and I have no interest in that. My intention is simply to clarify and where possible inform with no partisan agenda.
If we look at the past results for popular vote in the eleven states you list what we see is that in almost all of those states as many as half of the voters cast a ballot for a candidate other than the winner of that state's "winner-take-all" contest for electors. In 2016 in Oregon half of all the votes cast in the Presidential election were for a candidate other than Secretary Clinton. Yet because of our state's "winner-take-all" law, all seven of our state's electors came from the list provided by the Oregon State Democratic Party and pledged to cast their votes for Secretary Clinton. Half of all voters in Oregon were disenfranchised by the "winner-take_all" state law. Nearly identical patterns emerge for most of the eleven states you list. Because of state "winner-take-all" laws vast numbers of voters in every single state are effectively disenfranchised. The professional politicians and political campaign managers know this very well. And for this reason they deliberately decline to campaign in most of the 50 states. All those votes, and all those voters (along with their diverse issues and concerns) are entirely ignored in each and every nationwide Presidential campaign because of state "winner-take-all" laws.
It is for this reason that in almost every single one of those eleven states, in dozens of others, and in Oregon as well, Republican state lawmakers sponsored National Popular Vote legislation. They understand that a system which most of the time intentionally ignores half of all voters is an unhealthy one which erodes public trust over time. This steady erosion of public trust occurs regardless of whichever political party is in power.

kona

treehouse, you said, "this exchange is becoming argumentative .... ".

Were you expecting not to get the other side of the discussion? There are no conservative states at all interested in signing on to this liberal state proposal. And, there are 34 Republican governors and most states have Republican dominated legislatures. There will always be about half of the voters "disenfranchised" by a presidential election. Nothing new there.

Treehouse

kona, I welcome the other side of the discussion about the National Popular Vote. I'm confident that a majority of voters in most parts of the United States support finding a way to eliminate the undemocratic state "winner-take-all" laws. When I say "argumentative" what I mean is that I have no interest in a purely partisan exchange. I believe, and I think I can support the belief, that elimination of state "winner-take-all" laws does not confer partisan advantage. For example, your insistence on the existence of what you call "liberal" or "conservative" states, insofar as national Presidential elections is concerned, is entirely an artifact of the 48 "winner-take-all" state laws. Do away with such undemocratic laws and the distinction you insist upon disappears. As I've already pointed out, half of all Oregon voters in the 2016 Presidential election cast a ballot for a candidate other than Secretary Clinton. Likewise Washington. More than a third of all voters in California. More than a third in New York. These "winner-take-all" state laws distort not only our Presidential election campaigns, they distort the way we as voters think about these elections. Without these laws most states, including our own, would immediately be regarded by all parties as battlegrounds. And all states would be contested since all states would have equal potential to contribute to the election outcome. The campaigns would operate entirely differently. They would campaign in all 50 states. They would compete for voters in all 50 states. And the distribution of popular votes for any given party or campaign would come from all 50 states. The massive advantage conferred upon a small handful of states by the "winner-take-all" state laws would disappear. But no partisan advantage would follow.

kona

treehouse, you must think it is a coincidence that the only states that have signed into this are liberal voting states. Clearly you don't understand why our system is the way it is. This is a liberal vs. conservative issue even though you don't understand it. It is significantly about changing demographics and the rapidly increasing Hispanic vote as well as the solid block of Black voters who are very liberal as a block. Liberal/progressive/ Democratic Party voters are well aware that by using the popular vote they can sway the Presidential elections and completely neutralize many states.

You said, "I have no interest in a purely partisan exchange". That is because it is a "purely partisan" issue and you are on the wrong end of the discussion.

kona

treehouse, I have a question for you. Who would have won this last election if the National Popular Vote would have been in effect? The answer should satisfy you that this issue is partisan. The election is over and your side lost. You need to let it go.

Treehouse

Kona, I'll answer your question at the risk of being repetitive, since that seems to be required here. Had NPV been in effect prior to the 2016 Presidential election, all we can say is that the campaigns would have operated very, very differently than they did. Instead of concentrating events and resources in about 12 states they would have campaigned in all 50 for every single available voter regardless of what state they lived in. We can't predict with any certainty what the popular vote outcome of such a race might have been. But we can extrapolate from the battleground states where the campaigns actually did compete for every vote. In that case, Donald J. Trump would have won the nationwide popular vote. Perhaps unlike you, I don't consider Mr. Trump's victory to be a black swan peculiarity. But rather, I consider it to be the result of a very well thought out and carefully crafted strategy overseen by some of the most astute and experienced campaign professionals available, regardless of how the national media might have portrayed them. I believe his victory to also be reflective of long term trends among voters in all states, not just a handful of unrepresentative states. This judgement is the result of studying the information available and not the result of partisanship. In this case I have no "side", other than to advocate for restoring public trust and interest in national elections.

kona

treehouse, can you imagine the problems/logistics of candidates campaigning in all 50 states as you advocate? It was a repulsive experience for everyone the way it was. I am so thankful that candidates didn't spend any more time than they did in Oregon. With the minute by minute media coverage it was impossible to escape the campaigning. Why would you want more? Should our vote be as shallow as a fly-in and fly-out stop by candidates?

Again, you must think it is a coincidence that the only states that have signed into this are liberal voting states. Is that correct?

Treehouse

kona, once again at the risk of being repetitive, if you study the voting patterns in those states you steadfastly insist on characterizing as "liberal" states you will find that many are close to being evenly divided by party, and most contain very substantial numbers of conservative and moderate voters. The eleven states that have passed the NPV have done so because the legislatures in those states, including the Republican sponsors of that legislation, want to end the disenfranchisement of so many of their state's voters every four years.
I do not agree with you that a more democratic process for selecting Presidential electors would be "burdensome" for voters. It would just be more democratic. Every vote should count. Every voter should count. And I am very confident that the overwhelming majority of American voters everywhere want their vote counted, not ignored, and that they consider that a privilege and not a burden.

kona

treehouse, I don't know if you can follow a football analogy but I'll try. Do they count every yard passing or rushing for who wins the game? No, they determine who wins the game by the number of points on the scoreboard. It doesn't matter if a team gets more yardage than the other team who has more points. It doesn't matter which team has the best looking yell-leaders. The United States has accepted for over two centuries the scoreboard (Electoral College) as the best and most fair way to score the election.

You keep saying "every voter should count". Every voter does count within their state.

At the risk of being repetitive (your words), you must think it is a coincidence that the only states that have signed into this are liberal voting states. Is that correct?

Treehouse

kona, as even the most avid football fan will at best characterize a football team as a benign dictatorship, we should all be very grateful that our Constitutional form of government was not founded on such a model. The President of the United States is elected, and empowered, to exercise uniform Constitutional authority over every voter in every state. Every vote, and every voter should count uniformly. No vote and no voter should count more than any other. Under state "winner-take-all" laws the Presidential preferences of many voters in most states are completely ignored. While a relatively small handful of voters in a small number of states are focused on to the near total exclusion of all other states and voters. The effect of this is a steadily growing cynicism about national politics and growing disinterest in democracy. Authoritarian dictatorship may be an effective and efficient means of operating a football team. But football is voluntary. Citizenship and obedience to our laws is not. Preservation of respect for our system of democratically created laws depends upon faith in and respect for our elections and elected lawmakers.

treefarmer

Interesting discussion, food for thought. Kona, you seem to be hung up on the idea that someone who disagrees/has a differing opinion to yours must be a “liberal” who doesn’t “understand it.” (the issue.) I believe you have made that incorrect assumption about my comments in the past. As reflected in this thread, our little piece of rural America seems to illustrate a bigger picture: Us vs Them. If ever there was a time when the citizens of this imperiled democracy needed to put aside partisan labels and pull together it is NOW.

Our Narcissist-elect has made his agenda crystal clear. He does not care about YOU, he does not care about ME, he does not care about our NATIONAL SECURITY, he cares only about himself and damn the consequences. This could not be better exemplified than his attitude about the Russian intervention in the election. He denies the facts, and demeans the dedicated work of our intelligence community because it might threaten his absurd claims that he “won in a landslide.” Praising Putin, denigrating the USA, and proudly declaring himself too smart to need daily national security briefings is not just anti-American, it is traitorous. Our only hope now is for the Electors to do their Constitutional duty and protect us from this impending cataclysm. “…..get over it” is not an option.

I am not generally a fan of Nancy Pelosi but she is working to delay the Electoral College vote to allow for the electors to be briefed on the full extent of corruption in our recent election. Time is of the essence. Here is an article that contains a link to contact Pelosi’s office in support of delaying the vote:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/14/1611018/-Nancy-Pelosi-to-ask-Obama-for-delay-of-the-Electoral-College-vote

Hail Mary

Treehouse

treefarmer, that any of us should identify those who disagree with our point of view and thereupon label those who disagree with us as "other" ("liberal", "conservative", etc.) is I believe a very lamentable result of these arcane and undemocratic state "winner-take-all" laws. As this system of state laws has pre-ordained that most of the 50 states will be ignored in our Presidential elections, and that our media as well as voters will come to reflexively view every state in purely partisan terms ("red" state, "blue" state, etc.) over time I believe we abandon our sense of empowerment as individual voters. Instead we seem to resort to partisan tribalism to gain a sense of control or empowerment over our national political destiny. We see this in the growing polarization of all politics, national and local. Issues that ought to have nothing whatsoever to do with partisan leanings become infused with an urgent defensive partisanship that cripples government, weakens democracy, and gradually drives the voters into conflict for conflict's sake. I truly believe one very good step toward reversing this sad trend is to continue to work toward a National Popular Vote interstate compact.

kona

treehouse, you did totally miss the football analogy. You also don't seem to acknowledge that all votes do count in each state as they contribute to the Electoral College votes. The Electoral College is what determines who wins the election. It is the fairest method of determining who shall be our President. It gives all of the states representation.

Maybe we should let each county deliver a vote. That would really upset the liberal/progressive/Democratic Party mindset. You are "cherry picking" to only method that might help the liberal voting blocks.

kona

treefarmer, you said, "Interesting discussion, food for thought. Kona, you seem to be hung up on the idea that someone who disagrees/has a differing opinion to yours must be a “liberal” who doesn’t “understand it.” (the issue.)

For me to support the Electoral College as the determining factor for our President is not a unique stance. Yes, it is the liberal wing of the Democratic Party who wants to disregard the Electoral College votes.

Question treefarmer, do you consider yourself a "liberal" or "progressive" or a Democrat?

Treehouse

kona, half of all votes cast in Oregon and many other states in the 2016 Presidential election did not contribute to the selection of the state's list of Presidential electors. This was not always our system. Early on in our Constitutional history in most states electors were chosen by district wide popular vote. In some states the legislature alone chose electors. It wasn't until the 1890s that partisanship and regional power struggles resulted in most states adopting winner-take-all. There is nothing original about it. And the notes and writings of the Founders make it very clear that this was never their intent. NPV does absolutely nothing to change the electoral college in any way. It simply does away with the state law scheme of assigning winner-take-all electoral party lists and more closely reflects the Framers original intent.
Declaring something doesn't make it so. Whatever these so-called "liberal voting blocks" might be, if you insist on declaring that they would be favored in a national popular vote you ought to at least support that declaration with an actual argument - that being a series of logically consistent statements of evidence supporting the conclusion. "Big cities" are not favored in a popular vote. "Large states" are not favored in a popular vote. "Big counties" are not favored in a popular vote. All NPV would do is more closely reflect the basic democratic principle of one voter - one vote.
I didn't "miss" your football analogy. I chose to ignore it. To reason from analogy we must first choose an analogy that adequately reflects whatever it is we wish to understand. The national Presidential election bears no resemblance to a football game. The Presidency is not a dictatorship, benign or otherwise. If you must, please choose a better analogy.

kona

Good luck. It will be an exercise in futility for you. There is not one "red state" that is interested. Naturally the "blue states" will be entertained but there aren't many of them.

treefarmer

Kona – I wonder, are we are reading the same thread? Absolutely NO ONE is suggesting that we “DISREGARD” the Electoral College vote. I am at a loss to understand how you gleaned that impression from anything posted here, or anywhere else. On the contrary. We desperately want and need the Electors to DO THEIR DUTY and vote to protect us as the Founders intended. In case you missed it, here is what I posted earlier, part of the quote from electors reaffirming and validating their Constitutional mandate:

“In Federalist (papers) 68, Alexander Hamilton tells us why the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College: to prevent an unqualified demagogue who is under foreign influence from taking over the nation’s highest office. Trump fails the Founding Fathers’ three part test for the presidency — he is unqualified, he is a dangerous demagogue, and he cannot prove his independence from foreign nations. …….Men like him are why the Electoral College exists as a Constitutional check and balance against popular, but unqualified, leadership for our country.”

Re my political leanings, I find labels to be divisive and counterproductive, but if it is of interest, I consider myself a moderate. I value and/or disagree with philosophies from both “sides.” But first and foremost I consider myself an American. (I wonder why you would ask since you seem to have already decided I must be one of those atrocious ill-informed “liberals.”)

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