by Jane Carter | October 02, 2014
Google and several other high profile companies recently dropped their membership or support from the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This is evidence that ALEC’s power to set the agenda in statehouses across the country is waning. That’s great news for working families.
We raised objections to ALEC’s extremist policies and model legislation before: its efforts to undermine health care reform; its advocacy of right-to-work-for-less laws that undermine the working class; its support for voter-suppression laws that disenfranchise potential voters; and even its backing of so-called “stand-your-ground” laws that became controversial after the tragic killing of 17-year-old Travon Martin.
The public’s support of ALEC’s agenda is crumbling. Most recently, AFSCME joined 62 other organizations in asking eBay to join the exodus. And it’s no wonder its financial backers are walking away.
There are more fundamental, economic reasons why ALEC’s corporate-backed agenda should be abandoned. Its proposals to cut taxes deeply for corporations and the highest income earners make it much harder for states to invest in public services, education, infrastructure and other priorities. State economic growth is impaired as a result.
Kansas and Wisconsin governors implemented ALEC-modeled economic proposals with promises of thousands of jobs and economic revitalization. But now Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have to defend weak job growth, large budget deficits and stalled or declining median income.
In Wisconsin, Walker promised his economic initiatives would create 250,000 new jobs. It hasn’t happened. Also, since enactment of his economic policies, Wisconsin now faces a $396 million budget shortfall next year.
Brownback’s ALEC-inspired tax-slashing to benefit the wealthy and corporations created massive holes in nearly every local community and state service. Kansas now faces a looming $1.3 billion deficit in the coming five years and the state's growth rate, 3.7 percent, lags the rest of the county by nearly 3 percent.
Tax cuts and outsourcing public services, ALEC’s magic pills for all government’s ills, are just bad business models. More and more companies now realize they are also bad for their businesses as well.
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