First 787 Dreamliner debuts in Everett, Wash.

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MSNBC.com has the story of the completion of Boeing's first 787. It worth looking back four years ago to when Tulsans were told that this event might happen here.

Back in 2003, as part of Vision 2025, Tulsa County voters approved $250 million in loans and $100 million in grants to Boeing to try to lure the final assembly plant for the 7E7 (as it was then known) to Tulsa. The local $350 million package was on top of a secret amount of state incentives. Although the Boeing corporate welfare tax was a standalone proposition, the urgency of Boeing's decision (which was ultimately announced in December 2003) was used as a pretext to put the "Vision" tax package on the ballot, including the twice rejected arena. The Boeing proposal lent a thin veneer of plausibility to the claim that Vision 2025 would fix our unemployment problem in the short-term, even though the jobs that had been lost -- over 20,000 high-tech telecom jobs -- wouldn't have been replaced if Boeing had brought 800 factory jobs to town.

Lacking a deep-water port, direct Pacific Ocean access for aircraft components being shipped from Japan, and a corps of tens of thousands of experienced Boeing assembly workers, Tulsa was never a likely site for a Boeing final assembly plant, but the slight possibility served the interests of those who wanted at long last to get their new downtown arena. Tulsa County residents were worried about the future of Tulsa's economy, and 60% were willing to "do something" -- anything -- in hopes it might help, so they voted for all the propositions without considering the long term effects of a large, mostly empty arena on already strained city budgets. The outrageously large subsidy per job and the unlikelihood of the subsidy winning Boeing's heart didn't make a difference to a majority of the electorate.

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2 Comments

JW said:

Oh yes...the "Boeing Tax". Isn't it amazing that after 4 years the "Boeing Tax" is still alive and well (in some people's heads) apparently there is a belief that once citizens approve a tax -for any reason- it is fair game. How convienent that the amount of the "Boeing Tax" is equal to the amount they want for the river tax. After all, even Bob Dick said "that tax was left on the table" Sorry Dick, but it wasn't....the "Boeing Tax" disappeared into the night one evening in December 2003.

Bob said:

The Boeing "Dreamliner" assembly plant was perfectly timed BAIT used by our local pandering politicians to gull the voters into voting for Vision 2025. Their Clarion Call during their 2003 Tax-Grab:

"It's all about jobs!".

Tulsa politicians threw themselves at Boeing like a shameless tart, even though Boeing had absolutely no interest in Tulsa. Boeing was never leaving Washington state, because that's where both their airplane assembly lines built at government expense during WWII, and their skilled employee base are located. This fact still didn't stop the Boeing executives from extorting billions in corporate welfare from Washington state taxpayers.

In fact, the only taxpayers that got ripped off worse with a billion new tax dollars that Vision 2025 will take from Tulsa County residents are those in the great state of Washington. Boeing managed to extort several BILLIONS in corporate welfare from state taxpayers to "stay" in Washington State.

Commuters in in Tacoma or Spokane, or apple growers in Wenatchee get the privilege of paying more taxes every day of their lives to keep Boeing in Seattle, Washington.

What a bunch of Corporate Sweet-hearts!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 10, 2007 12:50 AM.

Tulsa illegal immigration in the spotlight was the previous entry in this blog.

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