That’s the one in this morning’s paper concerning transparency in the field of economic development.
The writer supports new legislation requiring publication of information concerning the true effectiveness of deal making by a state agency - the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC).
That agency is allowed to make deals on incentives, including tax breaks, and the proposed legislation would require companies receiving those breaks to publish actual economic results, such as jobs created, etc..
A part of the editorial reads as follows: "...transparency in government - and with it accountability - shouldn’t be pushed aside easily." We couldn’t agree more.
Question. Does local government require less transparency?
For some years now, officials in Indianapolis - home of the paper - have handed out direct subsidy payments in the millions of tax dollars to a basketball franchise.
The sole basis for this questionable generosity is the completely unsupported claim by that corporation that it is losing money in its operation. Surely, by the time we have reached a total of $40 million, some sort of audit should have been required.
Without the benefit of legal training, we wonder whether the authorization of such expenditure by any official, with no justification having been presented, might come perilously close to malfeasance. And even if not, isn’t it reasonable to tell the people providing those funds why they are being disbursed? Isn’t the alleviating of poverty by use of public funds generally called "welfare?"
We strongly support the concept expressed in the editorial. We do, however, suggest the paper narrow its focus down from state level, to a much more comprehensive study of what is happening right under its nose!
$40 million may not be much in state terms. (The Lord knows it is infinitesimal in Washington!) But local folks might consider it better spent on public safety if they could learn the true financial situation of the recipient.
You know, Mr. Editor. Like the result of "transparency."