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Letters to the Editor

OKC taxpayers handing out corporate welfare

Richard Hicks April 20th, 2011

To paraphrase Ross Perot, “That great sipping sound you hear is coming from the Oklahoma City Hall.”

Clifton Adcock’s article about financial incentives from the city’s strategic investment program (News, “Taking a SIP,” April 13, Oklahoma Gazette) mentioned that we taxpayers of OKC will be handing out welfare to Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Boeing (BA) and are ready to do so with Continental Resources (CLR).

As an OKC taxpayer, capitalist and money manager, I think such corporate welfare is just plain stupid.

Brent Bryant, economic development program manager for the city, is quoted as saying, “it’s performance based.” He didn’t tell us how well Ford Motor Company’s “permanent jobs” performed. How’s that corporate welfare working out for ya?

CHK has a market capitalization of $22,000,000,000. We taxpayers’ welfare check to CHK of $3.5 million is .16 of 1 percent of CHK’s $22 billion market cap.

BA has a market cap of $53,000,000,000. We taxpayers’ welfare check to BA of $1.5 million is .003 of 1 percent of BA’s $53 billion market cap. (FYI: CLR’s market cap is $12 billion.) In the interest of full disclosure, the reader can assume that the portfolio I manage has positions in all three of the companies mentioned above.

Myself, and the rest of the stockholders, in these three companies don’t need OKC’s welfare.

—Richard Hicks
Oklahoma City

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