The job-stealing scam — Texas is the biggest con

Texas woos gunmakers — and everybody else

Governor Rick Perry wants to lure San Diego companies to Texas.
  • Governor Rick Perry wants to lure San Diego companies to Texas.

Remember the Alamo! Chargers fans will shout those words if Texas governor Rick Perry succeeds in wooing the local team to San Antonio, where it would presumably play in the Alamodome. Perry — who flamed out so embarrassingly in the 2012 Republican presidential race, despite fundraising help from Chargers president Dean Spanos — has come to San Diego several times to filch jobs for his state.

Boasting of Texas’s lack of corporate income taxes, minimal regulation, and fat relocation subsidies, Perry wants San Diego biotech companies to relocate to Texas. He has been featured in job-pitch radio ads that run in San Diego. He bragged during one San Diego trip that one third of the companies moving to Texas were from California.

Along with our over-achieving biotech companies, our under-achieving football team is feeling the pull of Texas.

Along with our over-achieving biotech companies, our under-achieving football team is feeling the pull of Texas.

Over eight years, the Texas Enterprise Fund has paid almost $490 million to more than 100 companies that promised to create jobs if they got subsidies. Understandably, as soon as Connecticut and other states began passing gun-control legislation, Perry went to a National Rifle Association gathering to say his state welcomes weapons makers.

“What states euphemistically call ‘business recruitment’ is often nothing more than the pirating of jobs by one state from another,” says Greg LeRoy in a report this year, “The Job-Creation Shell Game.” He adds, “This piracy is bankrolled by property, sales, and income tax breaks; land and infrastructure subsidies; low-interest loans; ‘deal-closing’ grants; and other subsidies to footloose companies.”

This month, LeRoy’s organization, Good Jobs First, put out another study, “Grading Places,” showing that the consultants who rate the so-called business climate of states often use phony statistics. Generally, these consultants concentrate on marking down states for their efforts to reduce inequality through such programs as the minimum wage. “Business climate studies must be viewed for what they actually are: attempts by corporate sponsors to justify their demands for lower taxes and to gain public-sector help suppressing wages,” says the new report.

Former professional pitcher Curt Schilling

Former professional pitcher Curt Schilling

Texas is the most rapacious state, but others, such as Georgia, Tennessee, and New Jersey, are big players. Rhode Island’s recent foray backfired ignominiously. Famed retired baseball pitcher Curt Schilling wanted to create a “massively multiplayer online role-playing” video game, according to Bloomberg News. But, says Bloomberg, “Schilling didn’t know the first thing about the world outside baseball.” He got Rhode Island to issue $75 million in tax-free bonds for his company. Schilling’s project bombed, the deal is under investigation, and current governor Lincoln Chafee called it “the worst investment that’s ever been made, I think, in the history of Rhode Island.”

States and municipalities toss out subsidies to keep wanderlust companies from leaving. Consider poor Illinois: it is broke, and one reason among several is its willingness to hand out prodigious subsidies, both to woo companies and to retain them. In 1989, it shelled out $168 million to keep ailing retailer Sears Roebuck from leaving. Twenty-three years later, Sears was back at the trough, threatening to depart; this time, it got $275 million and quickly laid off a slug of workers. In 2001, Illinois paid $56 million to get Boeing to move its headquarters from Seattle. Later, Illinois shelled out $165 million to keep Motorola Mobility and Navistar. These payouts have not created sufficient jobs: “Huge blackmail subsidies have left many taxpayers bitter,” says Good Jobs First, and neighboring Wisconsin and Indiana are trying to lure Illinois companies to their states.

Vladimir Kogan

Vladimir Kogan

Erik Bruvold

Erik Bruvold

Steve Erie

Steve Erie

Aerospace giant Boeing loves to rake in subsidy bucks. After taking money to move 500 jobs to Chicago, Boeing set up a 20-state bidding process for the plant that would build the plane now known as the 787 Dreamliner. The state of Washington didn’t want to lose again: Boeing wound up with $3.2 billion in tax cuts and credits. Some say Boeing never intended to leave Washington; it just wanted the loot. Then Boeing revealed plans to shutter its Defense, Space and Security plant in Wichita by the end of this year. The plant has been there 85 years. All told, Boeing has received more than $3 billion in Kansas subsidies.

California doesn’t play this jobs-thievery game. The state offers such things as a research and development tax credit and enterprise zones, which give employers money for each job they provide in so-called blighted areas. In his State of the State address early this year, Governor Jerry Brown expressed his dislike of enterprise zones, which he had unsuccessfully tried to eliminate two years earlier. Trouble is, areas designated as blighted are often actually upscale. And employers get paid for jobs they would create anyway. San Diego boasts of its enterprise zones, “but empirical research shows that enterprise zones don’t work,” says Vlad Kogan, who got his PhD in political science at the University of California San Diego and is now on the faculty of Ohio State University.

The City of San Diego touts its low business-license fees and lack of a utility users’ tax. Such lures “are not that significant to firms,” says Erik Bruvold, president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research. “In the end, the challenge for San Diego on the utility side is how high our energy costs are.”

The San Diego Film Commission, which offers financial incentives to those making movies in the area, has unimpressive economic wallop “because the crews come down from Los Angeles,” says Steve Erie, University of California San Diego political science professor. Also, “these are temporary jobs” for locals, he points out.

Sums up Bruvold, “San Diego would not be well-served to have tax rebates” and the like to attract and retain businesses, but places like Fresno or Bakersfield might benefit.

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Don, Perry is a role model example of a paramount GOP cultural value you described in another post:

"The politicians hellbent on thwarting any Obama initiative are kowtowing to constituencies that hate Obama. This is all rooted in racism."

Perry's 2012 primary rhetoric and actions as governor prove you only work in Texas if you don't care about human rights, health and safety, quality of life for your family, two party democracy, etc.

Anon92107: Of course, one could be born in Texas and not have the money to get out of there, and not be a bigot or redneck. Best, Don Bauder

Obviously you are most certainly correct about people stuck in Texas without choices Don.

As we have discussed before, California is the greatest state in the world, but even San Diego has Perry act-alikes who give themselves grandiose titles like U-T Publisher "Papa" (Pope) Doug Manchester. Doug's racism was proven during the 2012 primaries with his full page color GOP HATE ads for "2016" demonizing President Obama.

Do you think Perry could be encouraged to motive Manchester to move to Texas, or has "Pope" Doug aready an indentured shill for Emperor Rupert Murdoch.

Anon92107: Moving a newspaper is one relocation scam that can't be pulled. Billionaires can threaten to move their sports teams out of town and get a bribe, and corporations can threaten to move headquarters and get bought off with taxpayer money, but certain entities don't have that option. One is local governments. Others are newspapers and TV stations. Many service industries are bereft of the ability to use the relocation threat to fish for a bribe. Best, Don Bauder

So San Diego now has Pope Doug who is following in the slimy footsteps of his role model Emperor Murdoch (who controls British and American politicians, Wall Street, Fox and other media) using the power of tabloid journalism.

Goebbels would be proud of both of them for getting so many republicans to believe so many lies of mass destruction, this time so they can destroy American Democracy like Goebbels destroyed German Democracy.

Are you ready for President Issa?

Anon92107: How about President Issa with the Koch brothers owning the LA Times while Manchester controls SD print media? Sound fetching? Best, Don Bauder

viewer: I don't believe California's time has passed. Best, Don Bauder

viewer: California has problems, as all states do, but I don't see how you can blame those woes on Obama. Best, Don Bauder

viewer: Bigotry suffuses our society. It's not just a San Diego phenomenon. Best, Don Bauder

Viewer. San Diego is better known as a scam haven than as a bigotry sloigh. Best, don bauder

Viewer. Some of the scamsters such as telemarketers are not high income folks. Best, Don Bauder

Interesting opinion when In 1980, Tom Metzger (A known Grand Dragon of the KKK) won the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives with over 40,000 votes in a San Diego-area district.

There are several known racist organizations who's leadership and organizations are run out of California.

California is not a healthy state. I know many people who have either moved or at least moved their companies to states that support business growth in one way or another, I myself probably wouldn't move to texas but I've known Texans that seemed cool. It's those damned Canadians I can't stand haha

DavidPatrone: Yes, the Tom Metzger incident did not enhance San Diego's reputation. Best, Don Bauder

Rick Perry is the product of an in-bred gene pool. Dyed in the wool unregenerate Texas white trash. And he's damn proud of it.

Burwell: The bumptious Rick Perry epitomizes Texas. George W. Bush does, too. Best, Don Bauder

Why is it people on the left feel entitled to use racist epithets like "white trash" all the while claiming to be the friend of the poor?

I have not heard a progressive make such a slur. That does not mean it has not been made at one time or another. Best Don Bauder

I don't consider the term "white trash" to be a slur. The term is an apt description for a sub group of whites who have difficulty functioning in life due to alcohol, nicotine, methamphetamine, and sports addiction. In any event, I am finished contributing to this blog. No more.

Viewer. Ne'er set foot inside a stadium? Since you do not like sports, no one can blame you. Best, don Bauder

viewer: OK, tell us what sport it is that you liked. Best, Don Bauder

viewer: tomjohnston didn't say he liked auto racing. He guessed that you liked it. Best, Don Bauder

tomjohnston: Auto racing is a good guess. Best, Don Bauder

So apparently I was correct?? I would disagree that racing was never accepted in SD county. All the way back to my late teen yrs, in the late 60's, and BEFORE JJ was even born, when visiting family in SD, we would quite frequently spend an enjoyable summer Saturday evening watching auto racing. Yes right there in San Diego County. Apparently, you have never heard of Cajon Speedway. It was out in El Cajon, just south of the airport. It closed about 10 yrs ago after being around for close to 50 yrs and for the last 40 or so years of it's existence, it was indeed a paved 3/8 mile track.

tomjohnston: I do remember the Cajon Speedway. It was always an embarrassment that the speedway prospered while East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) couldn't make it. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder, Why an embarrassment? Cajon Speedway was a private enterprise, owned by the same family for it's entire operating history. If I remember correctly, the family leased the land from the county and the reason the track closed is that the county wanted to substantially increase the rent, to the point it was unaffordable. I know a couple of years ago or so, there was talk of the county trying to redevelop the place, but as of last year, the last time i was out to Gillespie Field, I seem to remember nothing there. To me that is the embarrassment. To have the gov't try and raise the rent, fail and then have it sit empty, bringing in ZERO revenue for 87plus years is ridiculous, just another example of gov't run amuck. I don't know how much the lease was, but it would seem to me that any amount , not to mention what ever tax revenue was being generated, would have been helpful to both the county and the city of El Cajon.

Just my opinion.

Opinions vary.

tomjohnston: Would you rather see racing cars run amok or government run amok? Best, Don Bauder

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Would you care to explain it to someone who is not quire so erudite? If my memory serves me correctly, this family business was quite well run, and as I said, closed because the county got greedy and wanted more. As a result, that land has been unproductive, fallow, if you will, for almost nine years. The county thought they could price the family out and then get a bundle from someone to develop the land. Apparently, that idea wasn't so much of a good one. If that's not a gov't run amuck, well, it is, there's no if about it. And an embarrassment to boot And again, please explain your initial reply. How is a private, family run business, one that was profitable for both the owners, the county and the city, an embarrassment? Enquiring minds want to know. Or at least this one does.

tomjohnston: Inquiring minds will have to wait. I will keep my contempt for auto racing and its followers to myself. Best, Don Bauder

Yeah, that's what I thought you would say. At least I can say that while never have and never will really enjoy many of the "finer arts', such as opera, especially to the tune that you do, I bear no contempt to those who either enjoy it or make their living at it. Everyone is entitled to their pursuits of pleasure, excluding those that are illegal and/or immoral, including the occasional motorsport event Fortunately, there are better persons than yourself who enjoy motor sports, so I will keep my contempt for snobs like you to myself. BTW, a few years ago, around 15 or so, while visiting property my wife and her sister own in the south of France, we were afforded the opportunity to attend the Gran Prix of Monaco. Spending a couple of days in the principality is unlike anything we've ever experienced. Beats the hell out of anything San Diego,L.A., or even Colorado has to offer, I can tell you that. Oops, I'm sorry. Was I being a little snobish there? LOL

viewer: It is a feather in the cap of San Diego culture that NASCAR never caught on. Best, Don Baudere

Don Bauder, Perhaps you could do a little research and see how many millions of dollars NASCAR drivers alone have raised for charity last year. And as a family that has 8 advanced degrees between us, I take exception to that remark.

tomjohnston: I am never impressed by overpaid athletes giving to charity. Same goes for most Wall Street billionaires. Best, Don Bauder

Well, then perhaps maybe you just need to get over yourself. I didn't say atheletes who GIVE their money to charity, I said they RAISE money for charity I AM impressed by ANYONE who takes the time to organize charity functions to raise money for causes such the fight against autism, breast cancer, COPD, juvenile diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. They support organizations advocating for the well-being of animals, children's homes throughout the country, the Make-A-Wish foundation, senior centers and veterans. They visit children and wounded veterans in hospitals . They raise money to help build new new hospital wings. They advocate for those among us that are vulnerable. A few years ago, a bunch of them went with the USO to visit our troops in Iraq. These aren't a bunch of $100 million jocks who throw out some of their money to charity so they can feel good about themselves. They are men, and their wives, who get out and help raise the money and are actually personally involved not only with the causes they support, but with the people involved, many of which are children. I was looking for an article that I read earlier this year that talked about how much money these people have raised in the past few yrs. I couldn't find it, so I can't quote the exact figure, but over the past 5 yrs it was in the 9 figures. I did find this article, though, from a couple of yrs ago. Why don't you read it and see what some of these people really do with their time. And then maybe you can get off your damn high horse, because there are some folks out there with money who do genuinely care.!fKC4q

tomjohnston: The athletes who give to or raise money for charity get plenty of publicity. The sports leagues sponsor all those ads. Best, Don Bauder

Burwell. You cannot do this to us!!! Why? Best, Don Bauder

As long as economic development folks are allowed to exaggerate job creation & retention numbers and the economic benefits, this "net sum zero" game will continue. We can only hope some enlightened politicians will realize that growing jobs is different from moving them.

weo111: You are absolutely right. The economic development people, and the consultants who feed them false information because development people want to hear it, are to blame for this. The study "Grading Places" goes into detail on misinformation that is spread, certainly deliberately. Best, Don Bauder

viewer: Anybody with an informed opinion would not be non-political. Best, Don Bauder

Baaaaa baaaaa baaaaaa said all the sheep.

We should care less about Perry and more about restoring balance to California so that businesses can thrive here. Perry wouldn't be here if CA were a better place for businesses.

The problem is not Perry and Texas. The problem is our gerrymandered-to-the-left state political establishment which cares more about passing laws declaring Harvey Milk to be the equal of Abraham Lincoln, than it does about governing our state intelligently.

Joaquin_de_la_Mesa: Trouble is, when business executives say they want a more business-friendly state, they are saying they want more corporate welfare and less social welfare. They want a rising tide that lifts all yachts. Texas is willing to give it to them. A corporate welfare state is not capitalism. Best, Don Bauder

But Mr. Bauder, we want them to stay here, don't we? And we want new businesses to open here, don't we. They employ millions of Californians. So we Californians -- and the people who represent us in Sacramento -- need to make our state a place they want to be. You cry "corporate welfare!" I call it self-preservation.

I understand your argument but disagree. Corporations must be weaned off welfare, just as welfare queens in the ghetto must be reined in. Difference is corporate welfare is much more expensive. Best, Don Bauder

But is it "corporate welfare" that Texas is offering, or simply a better tax situation?

I believe what you call corporate welfare occurs when a company says to a state, "We can't/won't do business under your current tax code." So the state, wanting to keep jobs and tax revenue, cuts them a tax break. The root cause of the whole situation was the untenable tax rate.

As far as CA is concerned, with the population and resources we have here, we shouldn't have any trouble attracting and keeping companies. It's a beautiful state with great weather, great transportation, great ports, great universities. But our state government has been so shoddy for the last 30 years that they've killed the goose that lays the golden eggs.

To gripe about Texas and Rick Perry makes us look like idiots.

Joaquin. If there is anything people should have learned, particularly recent ly, it is that companies will do any thing to cut or eliminate taxes, even moving employees from a beautiful state to an ugly one. Best, Don Bauder

viewer: Agreed. Those who employ the illegals should be nailed. Best, Don Bauder

So... given the fact you just stated, shouldn't we work to keep them here? Or, should we keep making it harder for them to do business then complain when they leave for Texas and Nevada?
See my point? You want to bitch about companies and bitch about Perry and Texas, but you don't want to remove the beam from California's eye. The fact is, this is a poorly governed, fiscally mismanaged state in which running a company is difficult.

Joaquin: Clearly, California government spends too much for the amount of tax revenue it receives. So should it spend more to bribe corporations to come to California, or remain in California? In the short run or even the long run, the tax receipts from wooing or retaining a corporation do not cover the costs of the subsidies. For the nation, it is a negative sum game. States should band together and stop it. Best, Don Bauder

Texas companies like to pay their employees low pay and minimal benefits. Many simply cannot survive economically in that awful state [but Austin is cool], but Perry and his ilk in the business world think that's OK. Ever wonder why eBay, Google, Yahoo, Apple, Intel have done so well, and have kept their HQ in California? CA is still a special place, with a huge amount of talent and brain power. OK, taxes are higher but the "atmosphere" and opportunity to succeed BIG in CA still carry a lot of weight. Innovative companies know that.

dwbat: Yes, employees have minimal rights in Texas. I agree, however, that Austin is different from the rest of Texas. Apple agrees, too; it has big operations there. Best, Don Bauder

Texas has wild boar problem and its moving west.

milossd: The Texas boars are a menace, but nothing like the Texas boors. I hope they are not moving west. Best, Don Bauder

I am sure that this will matter not to you, but I find that after many years I have reached the point where I simply no longer am able to repect anything you have to say. While you may have some good things to say, emphasis on the may, they are becoming increasingly overshadowed by these other remarks that simply have no basis in reality. "Many of those who say they are going to Monaco for an auto race are actually going to stash money" Seriously?? Seriously?? And your comments that are completely out of context with anything else said?? I don't know if your increased cynicism and snobbery is a symptom of your advanced aged or simply a manifestation of some other underlying issue. What ever the case may be, as far as I am concerned, it seems that you have degenerated into just another hack who thinks any point of view other than his own is wrong. Enjoy your old age, Don Bauder.

Tom may be right about Monaco. IMED founder Richard Cramer moved to Monaco because he had a passion for auto racing. Many pundits falsely claimed that Cramer moved to Monaco so the IRS couldn't reach his assets.

tomjohnston: Yes, I am just another hack. But I have not DEGENERATED into one. I have been a hack for some time. Best, Don Bauder

Burwell: Astute observation. The late Richard Cramer and his wife became expatriates to escape the clutches of the Internal Revenue Service. The Cramers wound up in Monaco. He recently died and I believe she pre-deceased him. Yes, he was a multi-millionaire because of his biomed investments, but was also on the Copley board -- the only outsider at the time, I am quite sure. David and Helen Copley visited the Cramers in Monaco, and Burl Stiff wrote up the dinner in his U-T column. Best, Don Bauder

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