Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Government initiative that's all heart but little, if any, mind

The best public policy combines both heart and mind.

Thurber's Thoughts points to a government subsidized art buying initiative in Lucas County, Ohio that is good intentioned but illogical:
Lucas County residents will be able to apply for low-interest loans to buy local artwork though a county-funded program, Commissioner Ben Konop, announced yesterday.

"This program is to give all citizens an opportunity to purchase and enjoy art, and it makes it more affordable," Mr. Konop said...

...Lucas County residents who qualify for the program, administered by KeyBank, can receive a loan at 1 percent interest starting at $500, up to a maximum of $2,500 to purchase a piece of local artwork.

The program has a cap of $25,000 in loans, Mr. Konop said.

The county has agreed to invest $250,000 in a one-year certificate of deposit with KeyBank. The interest rate on the investment will be only 1 percent rather than the typical 4 to 4.5 percent, Mr. Konop said.

In return, the bank will administer the low-interest artwork loan program.

According to the Lucas County Treasurer's Office, if the county invested $250,000 in a certificate of deposit at 4.157 percent interest, the return would be $10,392 for the year.

At 1 percent, the county will instead get $2,511.

So, essentially, the cost to taxpayers is $7,881.

The county's share of sales tax from the purchase of $25,000 in local artwork will be about $300...


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