PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES WITH CORPORATE WELFARE

One thing that governors and mayors absolutely love to do is to win a prize in a game called, "Corporate Welfare Roulette."

One thing that governors and mayors absolutely love to do is to win a prize in a game called, “Corporate Welfare Roulette.”

It’s a simple sort of casino game – politicos throw wads of taxpayer cash at a corporation as an “incentive” for it to move to their state and create jobs. When they “win” one of these cash-for-jobs bets, the politicos convene a media event to praise themselves for their job-creation prowess.

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But one thing that governors and mayors absolutely hate is when their prize ends up reneging, failing to deliver the number of jobs promised. Ooooo – bad politics.

However, governor Rick Perry of Texas has come up with a slick trick to fix this problem: When one of his corporate welfare deals doesn’t succeed, he simply redefines success!

A watchdog group, Texans for Public Justice, documented that many of Perry’s corporate giveaways have failed to produce the job numbers that were required to get taxpayer money – and many others will come up short in the job reports they’ll file this year. So, without consulting other state officials or whispering a word to the public, Rick has been “amending” the terms of the deals.

Such corporate slackers as Lockheed Martin and Tyson Foods have been allowed to create far fewer jobs than promised, been permitted to count part-time jobs as full-time, and even been okayed to use foreign workers rather than Texans to meet their quotas. Once his little secret “fix” was about to be exposed by the watchdog group, Perry rushed out a statement insisting that nothing was amiss. “These contract amendments,” he lamely declared, “will refresh and reinforce the ongoing relationship between the [taxpayer]s and these private sector partners.”

Refresh? What happed to “a deal is a deal?” How oily is that? To see the full watchdog report on his scam, go to www.tpj.org .

“Quick to tout, slow to level with us,” Austin American Statesman, January 31, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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