From a dear member of my #Aegis9 trial family, Jason Rawn, who took time to be in Augusta yesterday and deliver his remarks to the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation. Jason was also quoted in the Portland Press Herald's "balanced" report on the hearing which gave a lot of air time to a corporate employee that would directly benefit from the legislation.
This is my testimony given in a hearing at the State House today re Corporate Welfare Tax Scam bill LD 1781, a $60 million gift WMD corporation General Dynamics is trying to coerce from Maine taxpayers. Peace.
Good Afternoon. I'm Jason Rawn. I vote in Lincolnville. I'm one of 9 defendants standing trial for First Amendment actions at a "christening" at the GD shipyard in Bath last year.
GD enjoys billions in "taxpayer generosity" every year.
Just last year, GD enjoyed over $12 billion in US "taxpayer generosity."
Additionally, your legislative predecessors (and some of you) have enabled GD to enjoy over $200 million in "taxpayer generosity" from Maine and certain of its communities over the years.
Additionally, CT, RI, and KY legislators have enabled GD to coerce millions more in "taxpayer generosity" from their states over the years.
Additionally, just as in this very room GD advocates are attempting to coerce $60 million MORE in "taxpayer generosity" from Mainers, so are GD and their operatives in the CT legislature attempting to squeeze $150 million MORE in "taxpayer generosity" from that state.
Far from being some benevolent, All-American corporation proud to provide good jobs for patriotic Americans in return for their "taxpayer generosity," GD operates in 46 different countries; one wonders whether the legislators in the 45 other countries bend over backwards for GD as eagerly as Rep DeChant, Sen Vitelli, and the rest of the proponents of this bill expect you and Maine taxpayers to do?
This bill is not good for Maine.
As one of the poorer states in the Union, we don't have $60 million MORE in "taxpayer generosity" to spare.
We need to invest in healthcare, education, infrastructure, cleaning up the Kennebec after decades of industrial pollution by GD, etc.
I ask you to show some integrity;
show some courage;
show some vision beyond the short-sighted, pre-packaged vision provided by US/corporate war makers.
Mainers do not want or need Corporate Rule.
Not by Nestle, not by GD, not by any of them.
Maine cannot afford this Corporate Welfare Tax Scam bill.
As I was looking for the link to new coverage of Jason's testimony, I stumbled upon this relevant headline in the business section of Maine's largest daily newspaper: "Tax-break recipient Carbonite ships some Maine call center jobs to Jamaica."
General Dynamics/BIW has similarly reduced its work force meanwhile receiving major tax breaks from the state.
I'll finish with this great video interview of retired professor Orland Delogu explaining his view of corporate welfare as it applies to General Dynamics doing business in Maine.