It's still unclear whether Whirlpool, which recently purchased Maytag, will keep the big plant in Newton open. Almost everyone certainly hopes so -- Maytag has been a major employer and source of community pride for a long time. But the Governor is stepping over the line when he says the state will do anything to keep the plant open -- including the possibility of building a plant for Maytag with state money.
There's a big difference between wanting Maytag (or any other firm) to stay here and promising to use taxpayers' money to make it happen. That money isn't Vilsack's to spend. It belongs to the farmers in Shelby County, insurance workers in Des Moines, and auto mechanics in Indianola. The governor is wrong to even suggest the possibility of funding projects of this sort with tax dollars. Such "economic development" incentives are wrong -- not to mention ineffective and wasteful.
Congress, meanwhile, is whistling past the graveyard, spending billions of dollars on pork and putting off critical decisions about spending just as Social Security (one of our biggest financial problems) gets one step closer to catastrophe.
But not all is bad -- Microsoft just spent big bucks to buy an advertising firm that brokers ads in video games. There's something incredible about technology in an era when people are willing to buy advertising on billboards that don't really exist.
Bonus: We didn't get a chance to talk about this tonight, but the UN is trying to kill free speech. (See extended comments.)