Ron DeSantis’ Deranged Disney War Is What the Right Accuses Democrats of Doing
Time for some traffic problems in Disney World.
In 2013, then-Government. Chris Christie’s minions intentionally created a traffic jam near the George Washington Bridge in political revenge against a New Jersey Democrat who didn’t support his reelection, Christie was bad enough shame about the plot for which he denies responsibility. Naked and completely meaningless retribution hurt his chances in the 2016 presidential election.
It is a yardstick to gauge the extent to which American politics has gone down since then to the present day. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is exercising his equally naked and senseless retribution against the Walt Disney Company in an obvious way. DeSantis’ revenge on Disney is a politically tumultuous one that ultimately justifies any means: brazenly creating anxiety and uncertainty for taxpayers, investors, and employees. company staff for at least the next year, in a spectacular abuse of just because we can power. It looks a lot like the kind of government abuse that the right often accuses the left of (and often with good reason).
Disney captured DeSantis’ fury by protesting the “Parents’ Rights in Education” bill, which opponents renamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, in March. The company speak after the PRE law is passed that it will work to repeal it. Whether someone agrees with the law or not, or whether Disney is wise to speak up, is irrelevant. In a healthy political economy, business managers are free to speak out about issues of interest to some of their employees and work in the political process, including through articles. to speak in public, to change, enact or repeal laws when their interests lie. Elected officials, customers, and other employees may agree or disagree with this corporate statement.
DeSantis would be in line with political rules by saying he disagrees with Disney and saying he will work hard in the political process to keep the law. Voters were free to elect the governor and legislators created the PRE legislation, and were free to re-elect them or not.
But that’s not what governors and lawmakers are doing. In late April, they targeted Disney for permanent revenge by enacting legislation to dissolve Reedy Creek, Disney’s 55-year-old municipality, the following summer. Sponsor of the bill, Randy Fine, speak that “Disney is a guest in the state of Florida and we remind them of that today.” DeSantis does not pretend that there is any other reason for this action, keep talking Fox News that “I don’t feel comfortable having a company with its own government and special privileges, when that company has committed to attacking parents in my state. … Walt Disney wouldn’t want that. ”
“Conservative, or even moderately pragmatic, used to mean that you don’t change an established institution unless you first ask: why are we changing this?”
In fact, Walt Disney did wanted that, or at least, the executives who succeeded him shortly after his death in 1966 did.
In 1967, Disney, as a company that invested huge sums of money on behalf of its shareholders in immovable fixed assets in central Florida, took the foresight to protect the themselves if Florida fell into banana republic politics without being able to protest. a whole new law on a complex subject without being seen as a parent attacker.
In 1967, the Florida legislature established Reedy Creek Improvement Area, where Disney will build theme parks, hotels and other properties on 25,000 acres. Reedy Creek is a local political entity controlled but not owned by Disney (nobody owns it, since it’s a government). The county can issue its own municipal bonds to investors to build the infrastructure for what has become a dense, mid-rise private city right in a county from scratch (it even has a public transport). By paying taxes to Reedy Creek, Disney has agreed to tax itself additionally, in addition to the county’s usual property taxes, to repay those bonds, now totaling $1 billion, and to pay for the room. fire, emergency medical services, sanitation (and now recycling) and security on its properties, including in and around its theme parks and hotels.
In founding Reedy Creek more than half a century ago, Florida legislators agreed that they would never curtail the contractual rights between the new county and its bondholders, which are protected by the contract clause. of the US constitution. “The State of Florida has committed to the holder of any bond issued by the District” that “it shall not prejudice the rights or remedies of [bond]owners,” including their right to rely on Reedy Creek taxes, collected by the school district from Disney, to reimburse, Reedy Creek remind its investors, as soon as the law to dissolve it was passed.
Reedy Creek is not an example of corrupt crony capitalism, as DeSantis, lawmakers and some experts have repeatedly implied. Reedy Creek is as special a county as it is special. If it didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it. One of the biggest attractions of Disney World is the cleanliness and public order, which Walt Disney was so fanatical about.
“Local government agreements made with private investors under stable government and state frameworks are valid or not.”
No broad county government can provide the level of street cleanliness and medical assistance coverage that Reedy Creek offers Disney, at least without charging the exorbitant tax rates to all taxpayers and providing capacity to provide public services that some municipal governments anywhere in the country have. No county government can provide the infrastructure Disney offers in terms of reliable bus service between the grounds, well-paved roads, unsafe power supply, and drainage and water systems. waste.
Furthermore, providing services to a group of tourists, day hikers, and almost entirely temporary, non-resident employees requires a particular type of administration. Fire and EMS coverage for people staying in dense mid-rise hotels differs from fire and EMS coverage for people living in sporadic single-family homes. These quests are something Disney, through Reedy Creek, is very good at.
Conservative, or even moderately pragmatic, used to mean that you don’t change an established institution unless you first ask: why are we changing this? What’s broken about it? And how exactly are we going to change it?
Notably, aside from the constant accusations of special favors for Disney, which no one in Florida has worried about for more than five decades so far, neither DeSantis nor any Republican legislators does not specify what is not, or is not, working on Reedy Creek.
Neither the lawmakers nor DeSantis suggested how they would replace it, having set themselves a deadline of June 2023 before Reedy Creek would dissolve. Unless Florida plans to default with a commitment not to harm Reedy Creek’s bondholders, and thereby damage the state’s own position in the municipal bond market, several government entities must borrow new money to repay existing bondholders. Jerry Demings, the mayor of Orange County, home to most of Disney’s Reedy Creek property, has expressed disinterest do like that. Florida taxpayers could take on new debt, but it’s not clear why they would want to take on the burden of funding obligations that arise so a private organization can build and maintain a physical infrastructure beyond what they’re worth. outperforms the state’s public infrastructure outside of Disney properties.
The governor also did not say who would provide Reedy Creek’s ongoing public services. Will 400 Reedy Creek employees become Orange County employees? Are Disney’s streets still cleaner and better paved than Orange County, with much better public transportation? If so, why should Orange County taxpayers pay for such unequal provisions? There is little to no small-government pragmatism or conservatism as a state attempts to collect new debt and operational responsibilities on local and county government taxpayers who do not. never claim that responsibility and who don’t want to expand their own city limits to pay for a large private landowner’s public utilities.
DeSantis eliminated some of these questions by just saying that “The bonds will be paid by Disney,” and through a spokesperson, that Disney “will pay its fair share of taxes.”
The first claim is a startling statement that surpasses the state’s longstanding commitment to preserve the complex, existing bond arrangements between Reedy Creek and private parties. Disney, the company, has no obligation to repay the bonds issued by Reedy Creek, a local government district funded with tax dollars paid by Disney. Most voters won’t understand the difference, nor should they. But local government agreements made with private investors under stable government and state frameworks are valid or not.
DeSantis’ second assertion is just confusing. As Orange County’s largest taxpayer, outside of Reedy Creek, Disney pays its “fair share of taxes,” both to the county and to local schools. As county tax collector Scott Randolph has repeatedly done speak“There’s some misconception that Disney doesn’t pay taxes … that Disney is evading taxes … and that’s just wrong.”
But even though Disney pays their “fair share of taxes,” they can always pay more. The company’s physical assets in central Florida, including a giant mansion and a monorail, could not be moved precisely. In that sense, the company differs from an investment bank or a technology company in that it is a duck that sits and is easily bullied by an opportunistic politician in a one-party state.
The new political risk that DeSantis has created by his arbitrary and capricious actions and that of the legislature is a message to any company that invests in substantial and improved fixed infrastructure. improve physical wealth in Florida at our own expense: never overtake us, or otherwise.