Building Delaware’s Future, or How to Throw Taxpayer Money at Businesses

Filed in Delaware by on May 7, 2011

Governor Markell has spent the past three days rolling out his plan to spend newly DEFAC-found revenues of $320M. Links to the Governor’s Press Releases on this are below, and worth looking at in their entirety:

Part I — Building Delaware’s Future Fund, Infrastructure:

Part II — Building Delaware’s Future, Tax Cuts

Part III — Building Delaware’s Future, Education

This is all being billed as a jobs plan, and some of it definitely supports the creation of employment — the Infrastructure proposals look like old school stimulus and takes into consideration that some newly built plant here will need expansion or adjustments to current infrastructure to operate.

The disappointing part of this is Part II, in which we find the Governor doing something I don’t think I thought I’d see — actually buying into the fairy tale that tax cuts create jobs. They don’t, of course, otherwise the 2000’s would have been way more robust than they were. And this plan actually extends the fairy tale — while it is certain that the financial industry is changing, there is no way to look at this industry and not see that the changes we see here in Delaware are structural ones. Jobs lost at Wilmington Trust and HSBC (and others, really) are due to serious restructurings that tax cuts won’t undo to any great extent.

Tax cuts targeted at the Financial Industry are particularly galling — this industry has had the benefit of rivers of taxpayer funds in the form of TARP and multiple cheap lending facilities and now Delaware taxpayers are supposed to help support banks that are in trouble because of their own bad risk management. Again, without paying attention to the fact that there are quite a few of these jobs that won’t be coming back, no matter how healthy the economy gets.

Tax cuts targeted at the top rate make no sense at all. (Full disclosure, I would benefit from this tax cut.) We are still in an economy that is finding its sea legs. It will take quite a long time to get to 7% unemployment rate, much less 5%. And while Delaware seems to have some control over its previous revenue problem, it is not in control of the *real* problem of government budgets everywhere — health care. Deliberately letting go of revenue streams in the midst of all of this uncertainty with no idea what kind of risks will be present next year or the following year can only make sense if you expect that you can just cover any future shortfalls by asking state workers to finance the gaps. Again. Besides, one of the *principles* of using this money is supposed to be:

Limiting our dependence on less reliable sources of revenue, specifically abandoned property. The plan suggests the best way to accomplish this is to cap the amount of this revenue being used to fund the state’s operating budget, and to use any additional collections for one-time investments.

Unless these tax cuts are just for one year, you’ve just financed this tax cut for years assuming you’ll have this revenue on a recurring basis. And tax cuts of this kind are NOT an investment.

Reducing business taxes provides balance sheet support — not real incentives to hire. Because the majority of businesses on the planet will hire people because they can keep a pair of hands busy, cover the costs of that pair of hands and still make some money. Nowhere that *I’ve* ever worked has justified hiring based on the tax cuts available. (And yes, I hire people.) Tax cuts cover some of the costs of that pair of hands and/or maybe some of the profits. This is why lots of businesses who get a great deal of support from local governments can get up and go after that support sunsets. See this book and this book for the gory details.

It is possible that we do not have all of the details here, but there has to be a smarter use of found money than these tax cuts. At least a smarter use that still acknowledges that we are economically no where near being out of the woods. And if someone from the Administration wants to tell you that these tax cuts will pay for themselves, demand to see their calculations. Because this will be the first time that this has ever been true.

The recent budget submitted by the Governor reduced some of the grant funds available to service providers in the state. Groups that are doing extraordinary work in their communities. Groups that may be laying people off or not help others to become employable due to the reduced funds. And yet this doesn’t count in the employment calculation.

What is truly unfortunate is to see this genuinely smart man reduced to pushing the horribly false narrative about taxes, and basically work at reinforcing the republican-pushed idea that you can have All of the Government You Can Eat for Free. And provide a revenue stream to businesses too! Don’t expect leadership on this to come from the Dem Caucus, either. Because if Governor Markell can succumb to this fairy tale, there’s no chance the Caucus will get a sudden attack of responsibility.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (96)

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  1. pBaumbach says:

    I couldn’t agree more

  2. Bravo Cass. And thanks.

  3. anon says:

    I’m confused. I thought tax cuts for the rich were OK with the new PragmaDems. I know Obama got a total pass for his tax cuts. Has something changed?

    I’m looking at Obama, and looking at Markell… hmmm. What is the difference between these two Democrats, that would provoke such radically different responses to their tax cuts? There must be some difference; I’ll keep looking.

  4. jason330 says:

    When you are as smart as Jack Markell you think three moves ahead and assume that everyone else is only thinking one…maybe two moves ahead. So what are we really looking at here? I’m not as smart as Jack Markell, so this is just conjecture, but I’m thinking that someone as smart as Jack Markell knows that, as Cassandra points out, tax cuts are a bogus jobs stimulus.

    There is no stimulus effect, but someone as smart as Jack Markell knows that – so he would not concoct this plan unless there was payoff. I think, Jack Markell being smart, got the banks to play along in the near term by promising to make this look like a good “investment” for Delaware tax payers. So I’ll wager that there will be some bank offices moving into Wilmington. As a result there will be some small bump in DE commercial and residential real estate market. But that is only two step thinking.

    The smart, three steps ahead thinking leads me to believe that this is possibly about Jack Markell’s future fundraising operations. Being smart, Jack Markell is made for bigger stuff than to be the Governor of Delaware for two terms and then fade into obscurity. But running for Tom Carper’s seat when he kicks the political bucket, (or heck…I’ll go three…) running for President of the United States is expensive.

    Raising money is a grind, so I think the three steps ahead move here… the one Jack Markell is smart enough to know that people will not track on, is that he is putting his fundraising ducks in a row.

  5. anon says:

    Good insight J. You are probably right.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    I thought tax cuts for the rich were OK with the new PragmaDems.

    Your problem is that thinking isn’t exactly your strong suit. Nor is a fair reading of the people who write here one of your core competencies, either.

    You need to have something on topic to say or be gone.

  7. Crunchy says:

    First, raising taxes on the wealthy does not cause them to move to another state. Here is a link to an NPR story that summarizes the many studies that prove it.

    I believe the governor said that was one of the reasons why raising taxes on the wealthy would not work. I think he said that during the roundtable discussion he had with liberal bloggers.

    Cutting taxes forth wealthy only speeds up the growing problem of income disparity. This country’s wealth is in the accounts of a just a handful of people. A small number of people are stealing this country’s wealth, and my governor is the driver of their getaway van.

    If you want to see living proof of this, if you are not satisfied after reading a study, then look at the state of Mississippi. They have extremely low taxes for business and the the wealthy. So, how are their schools? What is their median household income? Their unemployment rate?

    Is that our goal to become another Mississippi?

    I thought that Jack Markell was committed to building up the middle class, and helping the least among us. That’s why I donated time and money to his campaign.

    Maybe he is just misinformed. I know that his staff reads this blog. Hopefully, they will see the light.

    Or perhaps some legislators will read the studies and stop Markell’s disasterous plan.

    More later, I have to go make Mrs. Crunchy a window box for her flowers now. Mother’s Day is tomorrow, so I better get cracking.

  8. jpconnorjr says:

    If the Democrats in the General Asembly are still Democrats they will not allow this to happen in a vacuum.At the very least Social safety net programd need to be funded or refunded before we start making BMW payments for the “Special people”. A good start would be to return Grant in Aid too 08 levels along with a 10% Increase the the general assistance the Gov was trying to eliminate entirely. Then and only then could some cuts be considered. This plan is regressive and mean spirited and can not go unchallanged!

  9. anon says:

    <i.If the Democrats in the General Asembly are still Democrats they will not allow this to happen in a vacuum.

    Democrats everywhere observed our reactions to the tax cuts in the US Senate and understood that they would not be challenged in the future either. The chickens are home to roost.

  10. Beth Miller published a funny on the Delaware Dialogue blog RE: how the legislature may be viewing Markell’s Building Delaware’s Future.

  11. anon says:

    Before Markell give tax breaks to the wealthy he better pony up some big bucks to cover the special ed programs and programs for over 21 adults in private provider situations. They havent had a raise in 8 years, and clients are living on a shoe string! Its simply nuts to think the wealthy would move out of state to avoid paying their share..who will buy their mansions?

  12. A former "Jack Packer" says:

    Why does the Delaware Liberal blogosphere provide justifications and rationales for Markell’s appalling failure to promote a progressive economic policy for Delaware? Jason, your “analysis” appears to give some kudos to Jack for his “smartness” when your “analysis” points to the simple fact that Markell’s proposal is pure political pandering. It’s not what’s in the best interest of the state, but what’s in the best interest of his reelection.

  13. A former Jack Packer says:

    Thank you Cassandra, for detailing how appalling this plan is. I neglected to express my appreciation for that in my comment above. I just hate it when Markell is given a break by the left when he comes out with this short-sighted, politically expedient, Third Way Democratic crap. I expected so much more, but that was probably my mistake. I’ll own it, but I won’t applaud any of this crap from Markell as a sign of how freaking smart he is. Smart but lacking both fortitude and courage.

  14. skippertee says:

    I ditto the Packer in his appreciation for Cassandra’s analysis.
    She blows me away!
    Who is this Packer-man?
    I want to party with you, dude.

  15. Venus says:

    Why does the surplus have to burn a hole in his pocket and be spent? Every year we hear about snow removal blowing the budget by December 15th, and the state can’t make up their mind what to do with the bill for energy from schools. Underwrite some of the slashed funding of some areas, and squirrel away the rest, for that rainy day we’ll be seeing this time next year. I wouldn’t even mind if he waived state park entrance fees for the summer, or the Route 1 toll for a month. Now, that’s a little perk everyone could smile about. What a break for the average Joe, and all the other kind of Joes too.

  16. A former Jack Packer says:

    The Packer is just someone who believed in Jack Markell and ended up sadly disappointed.

  17. jason330 says:

    I just calls ’em as I see ’em.

  18. anon says:

    All the dems will buy into this. They know there will be no challenge to them here in Delaware. After all, this isnt Wisconsin or Ohio where the citizens actually rebelled and fought back. I guess he is continuing to listen to the private industry think tanks, after all he wants to be re-elected too. Not too much concerned with the “useless eaters” in this State. There are literally NO jobs in Sussex county. People are being thrown off medicaid and have exhausted unemployment benefits. We should all be disapointed in Jack for this, but in reality the only heat he will get is from this blog. period. I see there is nothing for the private providers of the disabled again. More useless eaters!

  19. jpconnorjr says:

    if the leadership of the General asembly either has a pair of grows a pair the right thing can happen. This is not the gov’s personal piggy bank! No TAXCUTS without restoring Gran in Aid to 2008 levels! Any other worthy recipients before the Brie and BMW crowd get their paws on it?

  20. John Kowalko says:

    I know I shouldn’t take the musings on these sites personally but please don’t presume “all” (Dem. or Repub)) will “buy into this”.

    I am on the record as to my thoughts in other comment sections (this site and Kavips) and in the News Journal and it should be apparent that I haven’t bought into anything yet.

    I honestly think that with a little aggressive encouragement (letters, calls and emails—not just blog postings) you may find yourselves pleasantly surprised with the results of trying to influence your elected officials into considering alternatives. Remember we (the elected) have to vote for or against these proposals.

    John Kowalko

  21. jpconnorjr says:

    I don’t lump all elected officials together. For blogging purposes they are however a group. I have some faih that the proposals put forward will no be swallowed whole by the General Assembly. They are however deeply disturbing and disapointing and I encourage all who are concerned to contact their Sen. and Rep. personally and directly as suggested by Rep. Kowalko.

  22. Donviti says:

    is he really so smart. If he was he wouldn’t be doing this this to so many people. This has nothing to do with hs intellect. this is the disgusting side of politics. This is where we see where your interests lie and who they really work for. jack doesn’t work for us. he proved that when he cut state employees, froze salaries etc. and proving it again. now the question is how long we allow ourselves to keep thinking he cares about u.

  23. Donviti says:

    Nice post cassandra. Honest question though does this affect howe you would vote?

    To me it seems that ideologically he is not what I thought he was. Which signigicantly impacts my vote. I dont know what a Dem even is after seing this BS…what does Jack even stand for?

  24. A former Jack Packer says:

    What a great question: what does Jack stand for??? From observing him as Governor, I’d say it looks like first and foremost he stands for unfettered economic opportunity for Delaware’s businesses and business class, and a trickle-down philosophy of economic growth. A close second, close observation shows, is that he stands for his own political future. That’s not to say that he doesn’t genuinely care about other issues he’s championed – economic justice, environmental issues, etc. They just come in a distant place to Delaware business interests and his own political well-being.

  25. Crunchy says:

    A former Jack Packer,

    I’m afraid you might be right. Governor Markell, prove me wrong.

    Otherwise, prepare to lose some Democratic support in 2012. You will never get the Rethugs to vote for you, no matter how much you bow and scrape to them.

    In addition, if you cling to this Gingrich-style budget, stand by. Get your responses ready. At every opportunity, we will be asking you about your support of the wealthy. At public events, in letters to the editor, and in private meetings. We will want to know why you think it’s better for a millionaire to have another BMW, than it is for a poor kid to have a warm meal.

    The same holds true for every legislator who supports the tax cuts for the wealthy.

  26. cassandra_m says:

    Why does the surplus have to burn a hole in his pocket and be spent? Every year we hear about snow removal blowing the budget by December 15th, and the state can’t make up their mind what to do with the bill for energy from schools

    This is the thing, I think. The tax increase passed a few years ago is planned to sunset in 2013 (I think). The thinking on display when asking for this tax increase seemed to have made a pretty hard-nosed judgement on the real severity of our economic crisis. Plenty of other states did not take this same long-view. That crisis is not over by a long shot, yet the Governor proposes to destabilize revenues for the sake of a small tax decrease and throwing money at banks (!). If he has info that revenues for the next couple of years are going to be completely boffo, then he should share that information. I don’t have much of a problem with the spending in Parts I and III. Part II seems ridiculously short-sighted while we still have no idea of how well the recovery will be going here in the next two years. And short-sighted in handing more money to banks — who already get access to alot of taxpayer funds AND who are plenty profitable NOW.

    Of course, Delaware’s Ground Zero of Truthiness has come out in favor of the entire business. relying heavily on con-man words like “return a portion of it to the people it rightfully belongs to; that is, the taxpayers” and “More relief for small businesses, for example, could lead to new jobs.” And of course, their entire cheerleading stance is weasled back by lots of conditional language that will let them wag their finger in a few months if we have additional budget shortfalls or issues. This Doddering Bit of Truthiness isn’t much interested in the needs of the people who they want to spend money on their paper every day, much less any serious attempt at smart financial management. As we saw by their contradictory stances on resolving other budget issues.

    This time, though, the Truthiness is accompanied by a shot at the “Left”:

    Gov. Markell’s proposals for slight individual tax cuts, while not pleasing his critics on the left, actually would help spur job creation.

    without, of course, even understanding what the “left’s” issues with this might be. But then, it isn’t as though the NJ knows why they think that tax cuts spur job creation, other than they keep hearing other people say it. You are in no danger of the NJ editorial page turning its page over to *specific proof* that tax cuts spur job growth. Because if businesspeople are asking for taxpayer money (this is the same taxpayer money that they get their obvious on to note *belongs* to the taxpayer) for job creation, then,well, it must be so. Afterall, business people have no track record of shining on taxpayers to improve their balance sheets(*cough* Goldman Sachs *cough*). And while the NJ will be happy to wag its finger at budget problems, they apparently aren’t interested in any forward planning to avoid bits of the minefield still ahead.

  27. X Stryker says:

    Anon, I’m getting really sick of this blame the bloggers bullshit from someone too chickenshit to even come up with a screenname. If you don’t even have the guts to choose a pseudonym, you do not get to tell us we’re not fighting hard enough. Pot and the kettle, pal!

  28. The Markell Formula:

    Benefits for state employees=Unsustainable

    More Tax Cuts for Business and Delaware’s Wealthiest=Sustainable and Necessary

    At least he’ll get yet another favorable quote from Deborah Hudson.

    I AM at the point of rethinking my support for Markell. I think he’s jumped the shark.

  29. jpconnorjr says:

    The Walker of the East!

  30. cassandra_m says:

    xstryker is my hero.

  31. Who would the Republicans run against Markell? One of their perennial losers? I’m certain Governor Markell is not worried.

  32. A former Jack Packer says:

    Thats exactly right, UI. While Jack Markell has to get re-elected, he is facing a near certain re-election. He likely has room to be be more courageous, but doesn’t take advantage of it. It’s mystifying why not.

  33. I think he’s trying to make himself acceptable to Republican voters who might want to cross over. That’s my guess.

    Yes I’m puzzled why a surplus must burn a hole in the governor’s pocket and I think it would be a good move to restore cuts from the poor before giving back to the rich.

  34. jpconnorjr says:

    Of course he is a lock for reelection.Instead of using that power to lead he is using it to be 100% certain of that which is already assured. This strategy is utterly selfish. The only alternative is to look for political courage in the General Assembly. A pressing need would be to return Grant In Aid to its 2008 levels. The carnage on the streets of Wilmington needs more concerted attention that 10 random Troopers on overtime. I-Adapt is a potential administration success. It is a program to provide systematic assistance to re entering offenders. However it is working with existing funding and volunteer support. Putting a few dollars there would make our streets safer and stimulate the economy by creating tax paying citizens who no longer drain the system of services. I could go on.

  35. phil says:

    “There are literally NO jobs in Sussex county.”

    There are help wanted signs up all over rehoboth.

  36. Donviti says:

    I am amazed at the fact that even a blatant give away ro the richest of the rich doesnt evoke more outrage than someone rethinking their support/vote.

    I mean wtf does it take for a guy top lose his support around here? You fucking does really wonder why jack is doing this? Really? You guys will still vote for him no mater what he does. So go ahead and again act surprised with his next corporate sell out. Make sure you vote jack though….

    Look at how many peole are still supporting him. Jesus this place is depressing

  37. phil says:

    is that why you’re drinking?

  38. Donviti says:


  39. pBaumbach says:

    governor markell needs to realize that jobs don’t come from cutting taxes for the rich.

    businesses and business owners have money in the bank, plenty of money, easily enough money to hire people. what is preventing them from hiring more sooner? (hint, it aint 0.2% of additional state income taxes)

    what creates jobs at this point in our recovering economy is customers having money in their pockets.

    lower-class and middle-class relief hits the economy. upper-class relief hits wall street.

    lower-class and middle-class relief will create jobs in Delaware. upper-class srelief will create greater inheritances in Delaware.

    Governor Markell, what do you stand for?

  40. cassandra m says:

    And for those of us who are interested in a somewhat more grownup set of actions in response to this (besides getting mad, stomping ones’ feet and demanding that everyone else get mad too and stop voting), John Kowalko has an awesome suggestion:

    I honestly think that with a little aggressive encouragement (letters, calls and emails—not just blog postings) you may find yourselves pleasantly surprised with the results of trying to influence your elected officials into considering alternatives. Remember we (the elected) have to vote for or against these proposals.

    Not just blog postings! So start writing and calling your Rep, Senator and the Governor’s office first thing on Monday AM. If you aren’t sure about how to go about it, leave a note here and we’ll help you through it.

  41. Crunchy says:

    Here is a great article about the failed the results of our 30-year experiment of cutting taxes in order to increase economic growth.

    “For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supplyside economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity—so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates.”

    Here is the link:

  42. kavips says:

    Wow, that WAS a good article.

    (By the way, during seven of the eight Bush years, the IRS report on the top 400 taxpayers was labeled a state secret, a policy that the Obama administration overturned almost immediately after his inauguration.)

    I didn’t know that.

  43. kavips says:

    Here is a chart put together from ,here, here, and here….

    it shows the impact of low tax cuts upon an economy. It put to bed the myth that tax cuts stimulate the economy. In truth, tax cuts rob the economy requiring a recession to return it back to normal. The most productive times for the middle class, existed when tax rates were at their highest.

    This chart shows the year, the top marginal rate, and the level that rate went into effect. It also is cross referenced with historical recessions.

    1913 7 500,000 Recession
    1914 7 500,000 Recession
    1915 7 500,000
    1916 15 2,000,000
    1917 67 2,000,000
    1918 77 1,000,000 Recession
    1919 73 1,000,000
    1920 73 1,000,000 Recession
    1921 73 1,000,000
    1922 58 200,000
    1923 43.5 200,000 Recession
    1924 46 500,000
    1925 25 100,000
    1926 25 100,000 Recession
    1927 25 100,000
    1928 25 100,000
    1929 24 100,000 Depression
    1930 25 100,000 Depression
    1931 25 100,000 Depression
    1932 63 1,000,000 Recession
    1933 63 1,000,000
    1934 63 1,000,000
    1935 63 1,000,000
    1936 79 5,000,000
    1937 79 5,000,000 Recession
    1938 79 5,000,000
    1939 79 5,000,000
    1940 81.1 5,000,000
    1941 81 5,000,000
    1942 88 200,000
    1943 88 200,000
    1944 94 200,000
    1945 94 200,000 Recession
    1946 86.45 200,000
    1947 86.45 200,000
    1948 82.13 400,000 Recession
    1949 82.13 400,000
    1950 84.36 400,000
    1951 91 400,000
    1952 92 400,000
    1953 92 400,000 Recession
    1954 91 400,000
    1955 91 400,000
    1956 91 400,000
    1957 91 400,000 Recession
    1958 91 400,000
    1959 91 400,000
    1960 91 400,000 Recession
    1961 91 400,000
    1962 91 400,000
    1963 91 400,000
    1964 77 400,000
    1965 70 200,000
    1966 70 200,000
    1967 70 200,000
    1968 75.25 200,000
    1969 77 200,000 Recession
    1970 71.75 200,000
    1971 70 60 200,000
    1972 70 50 200,000
    1973 70 50 200,000 Recession
    1974 70 50 200,000
    1975 70 50 200,000
    1976 70 50 200,000
    1977 70 50 203,200
    1978 70 50 203,200
    1979 70 50 215,400
    1980 70 50 215,400 Recession
    1981 69.125 50 215,400 Recession
    1982 50 85,600 Recession
    1983 50 109,400
    1984 50 162,400
    1985 50 169,020
    1986 50 175,250
    1987 38.5 90,000
    1988 28 29,750
    1989 28 30,950
    1990 28 32,450 Recession
    1991 31 82,150
    1992 31 86,500
    1993 39.6 89,150
    1994 39.6 250,000
    1995 39.6 256,500
    1996 39.6 263,750
    1997 39.6 271,050
    1998 39.6 278,450
    1999 39.6 283,150
    2000 39.6 288,350
    2001 39.1 297,350 Recession
    2002 38.6 307,050
    2003 35 311,950
    2004 35 311,950
    2005 35 319.100
    2006 35 336,550
    2007 35 349,700
    2008 35 357,750
    2009 35 372,950 Depression
    2010 35 373,650 Depression
    2011 35 379,150 Depression

    The simple solution is obvious. Tax the wealth as much as possible. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense, It’s not a pie in the sky ambition; it’s based on what has happened to the economy over the last century.

    Every time tax rates go up, the economy thrives. Every time they go down, we soon go into a recession… They longer the tax rates are down? The more severe the recession…

    According to World Bank data, Denmark currently has the highest top marginal tax bracket worldwide, with a tax rate of up to 62.3%. Sweden has the second-highest marginal tax rate—at 56.7%—and The Netherlands comes in third, at 52%.
    Currently unemployment in Denmark is 6.9%, in Sweden it is 8.2%, and the Netherlands at 6.3%…. Obviously higher taxes do not kill jobs.. they grow them…

    Until we start Crazy Eileening our representatives in town meetings, and forcing them to say the pledge of allegiance to higher taxation on YouTube, and demanding that they do what is needed to grow jobs, ie tax the wealthy of all we can…. until that happens, we can continue wringing our hand over our own lack of money. it’s there, we just need to take it.

    That’s the emotional argument. The effective argument is to quietly raise the top marginal percent, and allow deduction on every penny invested in real capital put into the soil of the United States of America. If the wealthy pay $350 billion less taxes because they built $350 billion worth of factories in a year, that’s fine with me. Those workers they employ, will pay the taxes for them.

  44. The WNJ editorial poked a finger or two over here when they said that ‘the left’ in Delaware is mistakenly buying into the idea that tax reduction doen’t automatically lead to job creation.

    Too bad they don’t vet their old, stale trickle down theory opining with some current data. I think the News Journal editors have a direct line to the Chamber of Commerce and whenever they pick up that red phone, hypnosis sets in. It is certainly how they handled the CSD situation: no facts – just CoC rhetoric.

    ah I see Cass addressed this @ 1:34 pm:

  45. donviti says:

    As long as you vote the guy back in office writing a letter isn’t going to do jack shit. (pun intended)

    Sadly, acting like a grown up means you can’t get angry and stomp. You have to write a nice polite letter asking, begging the guy you elected not to sell out to the rich.

    Do so constructively though, you don’t want to hurt jack’s feelings.

    oh…but election time, vote Jack, after all, you asked politely for him not to sell out to the rich.

    I’m sure he’ll oblige you

  46. donviti says:

    I’m quite baffled by one other thing. The fact that no one really does know what jack stands for.

    At a higher level, what’s disappointing is that this conversation even has to be held at all.

    Do we really want a governor in office that believes in trickle down economics and buys into the b/s that the wealthy create jobs and are taxed enough already.

    Any letter you write isn’t going to change his belief system.

  47. jason330 says:

    I think Democrats like Markell and Bill Clinton think that they need to be seen as fiscally “conservative” (read: giving money to wealthy people) to be elected. You and I may view that as nonsense – but I come back to Bull Durham. If you think you need to lay off sex to pitch good, you need to lay off sex to pitch good. Also – being seen as fiscally “conservative” is good for the bank account, so BONUS!

  48. donviti says:

    Why do I picture the next DL event a consortium of old blue-haired ladies , shawls on their shoulders, bonnets on their heads kibitzing with one another on who should write the first letter to jack and tell them just how they feel gosh darnit.

    “No, no, no Gladys, that’s a dangling participle”

    “Doris, you can’t end with a preposition! ”

    “it’s Mr. Governor, not your highness Eleanor!”

    “Sheesh, what’s a matter with you Ethel, don’t offend the man, he’s an elected official, be nice to him. You don’t want to upset his constitution in the morning”

    “oy vey, Francine, you can’t even read your handwriting. What’s a matter with your arthritis”

  49. anon says:

    Jack already knows supply side is bullshit. My guess is that has made specific deals with specific businesses and people about specific jobs. That is how Jack rolls. If the business tax cuts work, I’m for them. I’m willing to give it a shot while keeping an eye on results.

    The thing to hate on is the service cuts, not the tax cuts. Otherwise we sound like a bunch of liberal moonbats instead of smart progressives.

  50. donviti says:

    You guys should hold a letter writing rally!

    queue the bullhorn:

    “Everyone! Everyone! remain calm! No exclamation

    points in your letters please!

    Please address the governor as the Honorable God on a White Horse!”

    Do not, I repeat, do not get upset in these letters!”

    Maybe you guys/gals. Hell take the lead on this one Cassy, why don’t you carve up a nice word doc and we can just sign in our names and addresses!

    you know, go do something relevant and not just a blog. Give us a hand will ya?

  51. donviti says:

    I think we can pretty much bury it as gospel that to get elected you need the money and backing of the business class these days.

    and if by fiscally conservative you mean giving tax breaks to corporations then I agree. Other wise, you lost me, I’m not bright and i’m tired from all this stomping.

  52. donviti says:


    do you guys have any more DL slash Vote Markell ink pens? Mine just ran out of ink.

  53. John Kowalko says:

    Let me clarify. Assuming that the Governor has made up his mind with his fiscal proposals (which is very likely) then you should turn your attention and efforts to writing your Representatives and Senators since we are the ones who must pass or reject or compromise these proposals. Also consider that most have not made up their mind yet and the voters’ points of view should be considered if they are seeking to retain office. You may want to especially concentrate your efforts, (for effectiveness at first)on the members of the Joint Finance Committee and Bond Bill. Where I stand is obvious but letters from voters who support my viewpoint become valuable ammunition for conversation and convincing of those who have not yet committed so I value them as well.
    John Kowalko

  54. donviti says:

    Excuse me if I stomp to loud and express frustration John. But, in all honesty, wouldn’t this be akin to stinking a finger in a dam leak?

    Quite frankly, if Jack is willing to do this after all he has done to the state, I’m hardly able to build up enough belief that inking a letter to Jack and his compatriots will do anything to change an economic belief system rooted in a need to be loved by rich people and re-elected every cycle.

    Let me know if you want to blog though, you have a career ahead of you big guy

  55. jason330 says:

    LOL. Lead a horse to water and what do you get? If the horse is named Donviti you get an excuse for why the water is weak substitute for complaining in the comments section of DL.

    For the record, JK suggested writing to “members of the Joint Finance Committee and Bond Bill” not to Markell.

  56. donviti says:

    was that a shot at me?

    I’m too busy penning a letter to respond.

    You should do the same and stop all this blogging nonsense, it really isn’t healthy.

  57. cassandra m says:

    Hope that everyone can get past the ravings of the resident outraged toddler (who will be getting a time out shortly) to read John Kowalko’s input. If you are looking to contact the members of they Joint Finance Committee, they are (from the website):

    Rep. Dennis P. Williams (Chair)
    Rep. Melanie L. George
    Rep. James Johnson
    Rep. Ruth Briggs King
    Rep. Joseph E. Miro
    Rep. John L. Mitchell, Jr.
    Sen. Harris B. McDowell (Co-Chair)
    Sen. Brian J. Bushweller
    Sen. Bruce Ennis
    Sen. David B. McBride
    Sen.Catherine Cloutier
    Sen. Dorinda Connor

    Members of the Bond Bill Committee:
    en. Robert Venables (Chair)
    Sen. George H. Bunting
    Sen. Bethany Hall-Long
    Sen. David P.Sokola
    Sen. Joseph Booth
    Sen. Liane Sorenson
    Rep. Helene M. Keeley (Co-Chair)
    Rep. Michael P. Mulrooney
    Rep. Teresa Schooley
    Rep. John J. Viola
    Rep. Deborah J. Hudson
    Rep. Clifford G. Lee

    Tell us if you need help in contacting these folks, but definitely contact them and let them know your thinking on this.

  58. donviti says:

    for the record I said compatriots also,

    Quite frankly, if Jack is willing to do this after all he has done to the state, I’m hardly able to build up enough belief that inking a letter to Jack and his compatriots will do anything to change an economic belief system rooted in a need to be loved by rich people and re-elected every cycle.

  59. pandora says:

    I have my letters ready to go, and will be making calls today. I intend to handle my letters/calls in a professional manner, but, then again, I’m an adult.

    Of course, my approach takes time… far more time then it took me to write this comment.

  60. donviti says:

    DL…..all grown up now.

    You guys need a sign that says, “Stay off my lawn!”

    Keep holding your heads up folks, eventually, looking down on others will be 2nd nature.

    When is the next Jack interview?

  61. cassandra m says:

    For the record, who gives a damn?

    Have you seen the videos of people hammering those legislators about their plan to end Medicare?

    Have you seen those same legislators pull back on their plan to end Medicare?

    And THAT is how it works. Not always, but enough constituent pressure that a legislator cannot ignore is the thing that is on order here. And you get constituent pressure by writing, calling, emailing the people making the decisions. This is called, Political Pressure.

    Certainly the people who are in line for getting these bailouts and handouts are contacting these folks and agitating for MORE bailouts and handouts. If these legislators don’t hear from their constituents who don’t like this plan, they’ll default to representing the people that the DO hear from.

    It isn’t that complex and John Kowalko — who is working from smack in the belly of the beast — knows this better than I do and even HE is advising contacting these legislators. There is a reason he is advising this and he has even said that reason. Which, of course, you didn’t read in order to rush to the Outrage du Jour.

    So let’s just stipulate that you can’t be bothered to do much more than be outraged, OUTRAGED, I tell you! and get out of the way of the people who might like to try to derail part of this.

    And if you are interested in an interview with Jack, you should call his office and schedule one.

  62. pandora says:

    Actually… those of us here at DL were always grown up.

  63. donviti says:

    Don’t call me any names please. I’m sensitive that way.

    I can’t get an interview, I don’t write nice things about him or get rid of contributors when they question what it is he stands for or has done.

    did you ever think though, that 2 years in, you’d be writing a letter to jack’s backers begging to not cut taxes for the wealthy or give tax breaks to BAILED OUT banks?

    That’s the sadder part of all this. But you are right, it’s not worth getting upset about. I’ll write a letter shaming him and the committees he needs to pass his agenda into changing his economic ideology

  64. donviti says:

    Actually… those of us here at DL were always grown up.

    aside from running down the streets naked in Dover, asking for people to be rounded up and shot and a few other items, sure. You got me.

    Now, get back to that letter 🙂

  65. Geezer says:

    DV: The problem with not voting for Markell is that his opponent will be a Republican. Do you really think the Sussex-heavy GOP is going to nominate for governor someone more progressive than Markell? Because I’m guessing they don’t.

  66. jason330 says:

    I hope you found this pity party to be therapeutic. You’re DL bridges are now 100% burned, so you can check that item off your to do list.

  67. pandora says:

    I can’t get an interview, I don’t write nice things about him…

    Which has nothing to do with writing nice things, and you jumped at the chance to meet with him that first blogger’s breakfast in Newark.

    …or get rid of contributors when they question what it is he stands for or has done.

    Which isn’t the reason you were let go, but keep telling yourself that. Personally, I’m sick of that lie.

  68. donviti says:

    I’ll try to be grown up and respond Geezer. It’s a challenge though.

    The problem you mention, is the bigger problem.

    I can’t believe you just said “more progressive” than Markell. As if inferring that he is progressive at all.

    Did you know his mother was a social worker?

  69. donviti says:

    a straw on the haystack I know Pandora. I know.

  70. donviti says:

    Wait? I had goodwill left prior to that comment? Oh come on!

    I didn’t mean to hijack (pun intended) this thread I really didn’t. I like what Cassy is doing here. Offering her services to write a letter. It’s good, it really is.

    Not once in the blog did she even come close to criticizing your guys meal ticket. NOT ONCE! It was a great blog post it really was. She put a bow on it by offering her word doc skillz too. Awfully nice of DL I think.

    close your eyes and picture what this post and anyone about bush would have been like. Now open them….and look at this one….

    Congrats on jumping the shark. I’m pretty sure this post was it for you guys. I just like that at the same time it’s the one that I was told Jason had enough….the parallels are uncanny.

  71. donviti says:

    Wait, does this mean you aren’t coming to my daughters graduation party? Hoped you’d be there and be able to get past that all this crap is just crap.

    You take it way to personal. Like all this stuff affects anything. just ask Cassandra. The only thing that makes a difference is…ahhhh forget it…

  72. pandora says:

    Meal ticket implies that meals are being paid for… which you know isn’t true. But the truth isn’t exactly high on your list of “keeping it real” priorities. Perhaps you could write a sonnet?

    But here’s what grown ups get, that you don’t: Completely burning down your house is stupid when there are other options.

  73. anon says:

    I think it is awesome that a DL blogger is leading an effort to oppose unnecessary tax cuts for the rich. I knew I would win you over eventually. While you are all warmed up don’t forget to drop a letter to Coons, Carper, and Obama too, since they already voted for unnecessary tax cuts for the rich.

    Another thought: If it really is necessary to send a tax-cutting message to the Delaware business community, perhaps smaller cuts would work just as well.

    John Kowalko said:
    you may find yourselves pleasantly surprised with the results of trying to influence your elected officials into considering alternatives.

    Is it possible you might be introducing some of those alternatives? Consider yourself influenced. I’d be in favor of an amendment reducing the tax cuts by half or so.

    The income tax cut is not worth the fight, because it is is resetting back to (5.95%?) pretty soon anyway. How about an amendment to make Jack’s new income tax rate permanent at 6.75%? Or to make it permanent but reset the bracket to start at $120k or so?

    We’re all about compromise, right?

  74. jpconnorjr says:

    Small simple words: I endorsed Rep. Kowalko’s common sense suggestion 2 posts after he posted. For a simple reason: The General Assembly NOT the Gov. has the final word on money. Yes there is a problem with the Gov. So send him a message by convincing legislators to change his plan. Is that hard to understand? Didn’t think so:).

  75. cassandra m says:

    Is anybody keeping count of how many times DV accuses DL of jumping the shark?

    Did not think so.

  76. Geezer says:

    I’ve known him pretty well for more than a decade, DV, which is why I will vote for him despite his so-so record on progressive issues. I will note that his governing has been less progressive than what he used to talk like during his first term as state treasurer. This is especially true on eduation.

    A technical point: One can be “more progressive” than someone who isn’t at all progressive. Quite easily, in fact. But it won’t happen in the 2012 governor’s race.

  77. donviti says:

    Look, I know there is a laundry list of things. But, to say the adults in the house are solely located here is bullshit.

    But moving on to this post by the resident community activist/DCC insider….

    When you see that the fucking governor of Delaware is giving tax breaks to banks that fucking ruined this country Pandora, RUINED, this country and he is giving tax breaks to the wealthy and people that don’t need it. Pardon me if I find it fucking UNBELIEVABLE that DL calls for civility and letter writing.

    Give me a fucking break will ya.

    Can you imagine if this was Bush?

    i’m sorry if I distracted you from your letter writing party.

    let me know when DL is scrap booking. I’ll make sure to attend.

  78. donviti says:

    yes, I know geezer. I do get that, but when you are using the term, it draws up someone,that you know is actually progressive. Kowalko is progressive. Jack is not. Was is used when talking about the past.

    jack is cutting taxes for the wealthy. Giving tax breaks to Banks that helped cause the great recession and has cut state workers, their pay and laid off teachers…..

    IMO using progressive in the same sentence when describing Jack is not fair

  79. pandora says:

    Newsflash: Did you ever wonder why all those Greenville Republicans switched parties to vote for him?

    You really need to pay attention to politics.

    And while I have a problem with these tax cuts, I’m not SHOCKED! I’ll do what I can to change his mind, which is more than you’re willing to do. Just sayin’

  80. donviti says:

    And while I have a problem with these tax cuts, I’m not SHOCKED! I’ll do what I can to change his mind, which is more than you’re willing to do. Just sayin’

    unfair shot Pandora, you don’t know what I’ve done. Or what I’m willing to do.

  81. I’m actually stunned that a suggestion is not to participate in the political process. People who don’t vote have no voice. That’s why voting is so important.

  82. cassandra m says:

    Pardon me if I find it fucking UNBELIEVABLE that DL calls for civility and letter writing.

    Then go back to your own blog and get the revolution started with your two or three readers. In the meantime, we’re going to try working the political process to change minds and revise what we can.

  83. Geezer says:

    “IMO using progressive in the same sentence when describing Jack is not fair”

    I understand completely. Here’s the question: If it’s wrong when a Republican does this, why is it OK if a Democrat does? Again, I’m not going to vote for someone else, because nobody else who agrees with us is running. But I’m sure not going to sign off on it as if it were a great idea.

  84. donviti says:

    I’m sort of confused by your question (but I’m a child so you shouldn’t be surprised)

    I get that our choices are limited so we vote with what best aligns.

    But, this seems like a pretty big deviation from being a Democrat no?

    I don’t know that this is ok when a democrat does it. Look at the outrage all the DL contributors are showing over the matter.

  85. donviti says:

    Then go back to your own blog and get the revolution started with your two or three readers. In the meantime, we’re going to try working the political process to change minds and revise what we can.

    Keep working with the rotten stinking corpse you call the system.

    I applaud your ability to work from the inside of a cesspool. How you tolerate the stink, and still think that b/c you are trying to change things, you are actually accomplishing anything but perpetuating the system is beyond me.

  86. donviti says:

    I’m actually stunned that a suggestion is not to participate in the political process. People who don’t vote have no voice. That’s why voting is so important.
    Is that directed at me UI? If I implied to not vote, then I was wrong. I have never reduced voting to being unimportant.

  87. cassandra_m says:

    So we’ll be waiting for all of this wholesale change you’ll bring roaring forth from your blog. In the meantime, we can now blame all of the political problems in the state and in the US on you.

    Until, of course, you deliver on this revolution.


  88. Geezer says:

    “this seems like a pretty big deviation from being a Democrat no?”

    Once upon a time, yes. Ever since Clinton, no. Democrats made the decision by about 1990 that they were better off chasing corporate dollars, just like Republicans do, than trusting to unions, trial lawyers and a few wealthy individuals to fund all their elections. For all the elected Democrats in Delaware, how many are actually liberal/progressive on economic issues? By my count, damn few.

  89. Crunchy says:

    If he has swerved too far away from the ideals of the party, there is another option.

    A primary.

    Probably unsuccessful, it might force him back into being a Democrat again.

  90. jpconnorjr says:

    Hey Crunchy, with all due respect who do you think would bbe stupid enough to engage the Gov. in a primary? Nobody??????

  91. donviti says:

    So we’ll be waiting for all of this wholesale change you’ll bring roaring forth from your blog. In the meantime, we can now blame all of the political problems in the state and in the US on you.

    Until, of course, you deliver on this revolution.

    That’s a funny comment from someone on the inside, trying to defend the governor on these tax breaks. How about this? What ever is you are doing from the INSIDE, stop. It’s obviously not working.

    I have the tax breaks for the wealthy and banks to prove it

  92. He’s posturing for reelection. A GOP candidate can’t claim he’ll cut taxes if Markell already has.

    If he doesn’t, it gives the GOP ammo to brand him as a “tax and spend liberal”. This also makes it hard for the DEGOP to NOT vote for the budget. They don’t want to register votes against tax cuts.

  93. PBaumbach says:

    I emailed 10 legislators, and tried to provide (requested) feedback to Governor Markell, at

    When I pressed submit, there was a technical error, and my note was lost.