Gresh Calls for Elimination of EDC
by Ari Armstrong, October 6, 2005
Steve Gresh, a Republican candidate for House District 20, called for the elimination of Colorado's Economic Development Commission (EDC). In a September 30 e-mail announcement, Gresh noted that "Economic Development Programs" soaked up nearly $64 million of general funds since 2001. EDC alone has taken in over five million of general-fund dollars over that period.
EDC has awarded corporate-welfare grants to companies such as Kodak, Red Robin, Echostar, ProLogis, DoubleClick, and Mexicana Airlines. Still under review is whether EDC used federal funds in addition to Colorado general funds.
Gresh stated, "Corporate welfare in the form of grants of tax dollars to private businesses is wrong for many reasons. The state of Colorado should get out of the socialistic redistribution of wealth for politically-connected businesses. Capitalism and competition in a free market work just fine to determine winners and losers, employ workers, create new products and services, and grow the economy.
"President Calvin Coolidge said, 'The business of America is business.' He also said, 'A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.' His intent was clearly for government to protect the right of entrepreneurs to engage in business activities that promote the development of a strong economy and a free country without placing a heavy burden of taxation on the people. Unfortunately, his words have been disregarded by many of those in the business community today. It's unbelievable that so many businesses now rely on subsidies derived from coercive taxation to remain viable. How much economic growth have we not experienced because of government's improper interventions, i.e., subsidies and regulations, in the operations of businesses? I believe that President Coolidge, if he were living today, would rebuke those who have corrupted capitalism with elements of collectivism, socialism, communism, fascism, and other non-free-market economic systems by scolding them with this harsh reminder: The business of government is to stay out of our businesses.
"There's no need for a taxpayer-funded Economic Development Commission. The EDC is one more example of why Referenda C and D are unnecessary to address Colorado's so-called budget 'crisis.' The crisis we face is a lack of fiscal discipline on the part of our state legislature and governor. As a candidate for Colorado state representative, HD 20, I call for the elimination of the EDC to save millions of our tax dollars. This would be one step in the direction of restoring fiscal discipline among those who are elected to serve our interests as free citizens."
Gresh also said, "Here's the bottom line: any use of tax dollars for any special-interest purpose is something I oppose. I will uphold my oath to the state and U.S. Constitutions, and that includes not allowing corporate welfare."
Article XI, Section 2 of the state Constitution states, "Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, township, or school district shall make any donation or grant to... any corporation or company..."