City Government

Boise Seeks $700,000 ObamaFare For Airlines

Boise cheerleaders are at it once again, dumping public money into a sales pitch for a corporate welfare plan under the delusion business will flock to the City of Trees if you pay them enough. This time the idea is pay airlines–with federal matching funds–to fly routes that are otherwise not profitable in a free market environment.
Idaho already has more minimum wage workers than the rest of the country to attract businessmen. Because we are according, to Mayor Dave Bieter, “the most remote city of its size in the country,” we want frequent flights to the East Coast. The GUARDIAN can tell you with authority and experience it is possible to fly EVERYWHERE in the entire world from Boise.

What these do-gooders forget when they seek to offer welfare payments to the airlines is this: The flights go BOTH DIRECTIONS, round trip. Wouldn’t it be logical if a flight were added to Washington, New York, or Atlanta for those places to pay at least half? After all we are bringing them visitors and everyone knows every visitor spends hundreds of dollars and that is multiplied many times over in the economy.

As happens all too often with Idaho local government, the politicos stayed under the $25,000 threshold which would have required bidding for those providing services. The “services” are presumably more PR and opinion-shaping marketing types to help obtain a $700,000 subsidy grant from the Feds. Dare we call it “ObamaFare?”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Mayor Dave wants more frequent flights to the East coast because he likes going there to further his personal political agenda – trying to increase his national profile and recruit help to get himself into congress. How many times has he been back east already this year, on the Boise taxpayer’s tab? Woe on us if Mayor Dave ever gets into a higher office than mayor!

  2. Me thinks the city is trying not be embarrassed about all the millions of dollars they put into parking, terminal and tower expansions at the airport all while airlines are cutting service to Boise and fewer passengers coming to Boise.

    I love living in Boise, but when I have to travel I loathe the poor choice of flights, destinations and times.

  3. New to Boise
    Jul 26, 2013, 2:31 pm

    Wish I could say I was surprised when I read this site owner’s impossibly negative reactionary comments about the nearly $1M benefiting the city direct. After reading this site for about two years now, I have to ask, is there anything left about Boise that’s good anymore? It seems that everyone thought it was so great 20, 30, 50 years ago and now its horrible because there’s people (that came from California) where cows used to graze. Can’t Boise grow up and you still love it?

    EDITOR NOTE–I’ll bite on your bait. Not only did the Californians come, they brought their cows when it became illegal to pollute down there. There is already an issue at Twin Falls with dumping whey from the Chobani yogurt plant. Micron was once a source of pride along with Albertson, M-K, Ore-Ida and others. They raped the community as they “grew up.” Micron is the largest “non-profit” in the state. The have enough loss carry forward that they will never pay income tax. Albertson went down the tubes despite efforts of politicos to visit Minneapolis and have face time with the CEO. Legislature passed bills to create jobs and tax breaks. Ore-Ida is gone. Simplot is about the only survivor who is also a good neighbor.

    Whatever happened to the “North American Headquarters” of the Zonda electric bus? Check out the cheerleading report from KTVB at this site ALL scammers with their collective hands out! Ask Idaho Power about their relationship with Hoku solar panels in Pocatello. The list goes on…

    The point is this: If there is a profit to be made business will come. The GUARDIAN welcomes anyone who wants to pay a fair wage and fair share of taxes. If they need welfare, send them elsewhere.

  4. $700,000 for one of the Mayor’s friends to do a study? Cuz one flight to the east coast costs an airline about $50,000 (yes, per flight). In other words, $700,000 is what Delta Airlines burns through every 10 seconds.

    EDITOR NOTE–For clarification, the $700k is the amount of the ObamaFare grant from the Feds. The study/PR portion is just under the $25K limit. That campaign–like the one they did for the F-35–is to convince the Feds to send the pork to Boise.

  5. It’s obvious that New to Boise is New to Boise. Knows nothing of the Corporate raping of Idaho. Oh yes we are pleased the workers of this state with the low wages have to pay for their greed.

  6. The only thing worse is the open whoring by professional sports teams for newer and bigger facilities paid for by taxpayers.

    Just this past week I read where one of the teams will get $500 million from taxpayers for a new baseball park. I think it was the Chicago Cubs.

  7. Used to be there were folks with money willing to invest in development of companies in the Treasure Valley (i.e., Joe and Jack) and had community spirit because they knew better communities made for better businesses that could attract better employees. Now there is less investment in new businesses (although some does exist) and less investment in the infrastructure that helps attract businesses from outside the area. Low paying jobs are attractive to some businesses, but they don’t contribute as much as higher paying jobs to the economy.

  8. Uh oh. Mayor seeking another Obamanation? LOL (not)

    Boise and Garden City have a lot of small businesses that are really interesting, doing decent production, but they also will be forced out when it comes time to buy health insurance for their employees—or did I get it wrong?

    EDITOR NOTE–Mame, we are talking airlines here! Obama FARE. Get it? Just a cute GUARDIAN play on words.

  9. New to Boise

    Lets list the good things that have come with the influx shall we.
    Hum…. I got nuthin.
    Now for the bad.
    1 More Traffic
    2 More drugs
    3 A whole lot more child sex abuse.
    4 Lower wages
    5 Higher cost of living.
    6 LE from So Cal
    I could go on and on and on.

    Some people liked it when Eagle road did not cross the highway, there was no “connector” State street still went through Eagle, Star was a nice little town. Joe still ran his own company and Cecil was still the boss. Oh and the highway was just 2 little ole lanes, growth hardly ever makes things better. One of your kindred spirits from cal told me about seven years back “we’re gonna run up prices and run you all out… then we’ll sell it off and go somewhere else” reminded me of morman crickets… come in ruin everything… then move on.

    As far as dear in the headlights Dave (Beiter)goes he thinks he’s doing right… god love him he’s not smart enough to understand minimum wage jobs make things worse not better but, he’s just following the savior (Obummer’s) lead.

  10. New to Boise
    Jul 29, 2013, 11:04 am

    Editor – you did not answer my question. You seem to approach anything that resembles growth with a notion that it will ALWAYS “rape the community.” Every Guardian story I read sounds like that. What growth can the Guardian editorial staff (or is this just one guy?) view positively?

    You’re all right, I am new to Boise. I actually came here out of graduate school to fill one of Idaho’s few good paying jobs. I was drawn to the area because of Boise’s quality of life. Now that I’m here, I don’t hear much from true locals about how great the city is, rather, I hear a lot about how great it used to be – the essence of this blog, really.

    However, I think that associating growth with all things negative is a mistake. In fact, many of the problems facing Boise are problems that could have been avoided back in the good old days you all seem to be so fond of.

    Bad traffic? ACHD doesn’t have a track record of planning for the future, and there has never been adequate financial support for public transit – could have been solved 30 years ago with some foresight.

    Lower wages? When did Idaho become a right to work state?

    Other things you mention, like drugs, and child sex abuse, I don’t see the connection.

    Regardless, the secret’s out – Boise is a great place live and people will keep on coming. Any fool can see that the region will continue to grow. The question is how can we make the new Boise, as it is inevitable, great?

    I suggest that the take us or leave us approach is failing quite miserably at attracting, keeping and/or creating jobs in Idaho.

    You might not think a handful of extra flights in and out of Boise is worth anything, but a CEO deciding to put an office here or in SLC might. You might not think a vibrant downtown core is important, but an East-coaster coming west will probably like it. Even the home-grown internet whiz is likely to abandon the city in search of a more supportive environment (read: schools). But even the opening of a community college is met with resistance by this board.

    Unfortunately, the state and city are at odds with their approaches. Idaho Republicans seem set to attract more minimum wages jobs that don’t provide healthcare, while cutting taxes and support for schools at the same time – long-term supply of low-wage workers, I guess. Boise, it appears, is trying to take a different path. Unpopular with this board, yes, but why?

    By the way, airport subsidies are nothing new and not an Obama program (In fact, BOI was first subsidized when President Bush was in office under the same program).

    EDITOR NOTE–How many ways can we say it. Growth for the sake of growth is a killer. We welcome anyone who wishes to pay a fair wage and fair taxes. If they need a tax break, get it from a big state. Michigan, California, New Jersey, would love to have a CEO relocate to their states. New, the people on this blog–as well as the newcomers–are for the most part pretty good people. You talk about a CEO looking to relocate would want more flights. WHY would a CEO want to come here? Not to pay higher wages, not to be closer to suppliers and market. They come because we don’t have unions, allow more pollution that elsewhere, have cheaper power (which is costing more due to increased demand), and businesses control the politicos for little investment compared to elsewhere. The mayor declares us to be the “most remote city of its size in the country.”

    I have lived here 45 years and wouldn’t go elsewhere. I didn’t come here to pay for mass transit, downtown condos, etc. If I wanted those things I would have moved to L.A. San Francisco, or Chicago. I live in a house that was here long before I arrived, and have watched the community overrun with folks who don’t have the interest of decency to even vote in local elections.

    You speak of East Coasters wanting a vibrant downtown. They can have that in New York, Chicago, or Miami. How would they react to big parking lots, suburban malls, hundreds of miles between towns of any major size, the necessity of having an SUV, the smell of feedlots and the sugar factory? While America is a very diverse collection of cultures, there is no BEST model. We get much more in Fed money than we pay in. If NYC has a power outage it’s a disaster. Here the rest of the world doesn’t even know about it. I can tell you I’ll take an Idahoan every time when I am in a clinch.

  11. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 29, 2013, 3:11 pm

    IF there is a Federal subsidy for airports it was passed by Congress and included in some monster bill. The president may or may not have been in favor of or opposed to the airport subsidy. Calling it “ObamaFARE” may sound cute but may also be totally inaccurate. We should all be in agreement that subsidies for mega-corporations like airlines are just plain wrong.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rod you are totally correct. But, you gotta admit it WAS cute!

  12. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 29, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Growth has brought more and better restaurant choices and more entertainment choices. Other than that growth is very bad news. And the emphasis by our growth-friendly, business-friendly Mayor and City Council on high-density growth is a disaster.

  13. New to Boise
    Jul 29, 2013, 4:08 pm

    My point is this: Boise is going grow no matter what this blog or anyone else says or does. The rate of growth has slowed dramatically in recent years, but the region will continue to get bigger. That is just a matter of indisputable fact no matter how much you hate it. I don’t think you get that.

    With that known conclusion in mind, we have an option: should try to create positive growth (more and better jobs, tax revenue) to enhance the community? To attract the best jobs to the valley, it is simply not enough to stick our heads in the sand and hope for another Jack or Joe that won’t look elsewhere for a better educated populace or a better tax structure.

    The world is not the same place as it was even 20 years ago. The business models of the old Albertsons, the old MK, the old Simplot, you name, they don’t work the same way they used to or at all anymore in some cases, so why should the city stay the same? Opposition to growth for the sake of growth is as meaningless of a statement as being opposed to water for the sake of wetness.

    I’m just wondering, because I admittedly haven’t been here long and haven’t seen it, if there is anything this blog has supported in terms of growth or policies that foster growth. I appears to me that perhaps the true opinion of the blogger is best stated simply as anti-growth in all forms.

    EDITOR NOTE–Just Google GROWTHOPHOBE and see where it leads…Citizens in general, especially here, have a totally different set of goals and values than their local government. No doubt that increased population density makes for easier water, sewer, streets, garbage, transit and governance because there is not a need to string more wires, pipes, or streets to provide economical service. Developers love increased density because they can crowd more homes per acre which equals more profit.

    But how many homeowners EVER say, “I wish my neighbors were about 50 feet closer and we had twice the number of vehicles using our residential street.” ?

    COMMENTS CLOSED…we have gone way beyond subsidizing airlines.

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