By now, those of you who vote have received your latest glossy mailer of the week from State Senator Doug Overbey entitled “Doug Overbey Focuses on Jobs.” This looks like a brag sheet produced by the Blount Partnership with the name Doug Overbey inserted in its place.
Overbey is taking credit for crony deals using your money. The IDB gave the farm away, literally, to get AMI here. Some of these jobs are expansions from companies that are already heavily invested in the community. While the Blount Partnership, Governor Bill Haslam and Doug Overbey are taking credit for Cirrus Aircraft moving in, they aren’t telling you about the better paying jobs that have and will likely continuing leaving the airport.
What about all the small business that create jobs but don’t get any special tax incentives like these crony deals given to bigger companies? Overbey, like most Republicans, would probably claim to support economic liberty. A free market wouldn’t favor specials interests and provide corporate welfare. A free market would provide a level playing field for all to compete on.
A better measure of a politician’s success would be jobs created without special deals. A strong economy wouldn’t require special tax breaks for a few connected companies, so that politicians like Overbey can brag about giving the farm away, using your money, to attract jobs.
If Overbey has done such a great job of “creating an environment that’s bringing thousands [of] quality jobs to the people of Blount and Sevier Counties”, during his time as state senator, then pay should be increasing at or above the rate of inflation. It is not.
According to the East Tennessee Index, Blount County was the only county in the region where pay was below the rate of inflation in 2013. In 2014, Sevier County joined Blount County as the only other county in the region where pay isn’t keeping up with the rate of inflation. These two counties are Overbey’s district.
The next time you hear Overbey and the Blount Partnership tout jobs, take it with a grain of salt. Neither are worth their salt.