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The flap over the state giving $40 million in incentives to Senator Tony Rand’s – one assumes – friends at Goodyear Tire and Rubber just took another strange turn.

After Rand’s bill – giving Goodyear a good-sized chunk of state pork – passed it was promptly vetoed by Governor Easley. Then the legislature returned to Raleigh and – in the blink of an eye – found a solution to the problem. It upped the incentives to $60 million and promised to give the Governor’s (one assumes) friends at Firestone Tire and Rubber a chunk of pork too – so, the Governor promptly signed the bill.

Now, word of North Carolina’s generous corporate welfare policy has spread all the way to Singapore. PACC Lines, a Singapore shipping company, hauls rubber from Asia to Morehead City for Goodyear. It wants the state to cut its port fees by 30% – otherwise, by God, it says it’s going to take it’s rubber to New Orleans.

PACC Lines may or may not get their 30% rate cut. But Governor Easley’s administration has already offered them a contract that promises no fee increase for several years. Which means, over the next few years as port costs go up, North Carolina will be subsidizing a Singapore shipping company.

You have to wonder where all this ends.

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