The news story " Grants OK'd by Rendell rapped " (Jan. 13 and TribLIVE.com) by Brad Bumsted and Brian Bowling offered a good synopsis of the critiques of Gov. Rendell's spending spree and use of taxpayer debt to fund "economic development" projects.
The process of awarding corporate welfare to attract companies ballooned under Rendell but began decades before. A perfect case study can be found in Rich Cholodofsky's news story " $10 million grant to rehabilitate Sony site " (Jan. 14 and TribLIVE.com) on the taxpayer-funded grant the state will give to rehabilitate the "Sony site" in Westmoreland County.
Amazingly, this will represent at least the fourth occasion when taxpayers will be forced to hand over their hard-earned dollars to subsidize the same location. Sony moved out in 2007, despite getting more than $40 million in corporate welfare under Gov. Robert P. Casey to come to Pennsylvania, then another $1 million grant under Rendell to stay in the state -- a mere two years before shutting down its plant.
Before Sony, the site was occupied by Volkswagen, which got $70 million in state aid in the 1970s under Gov. Milton Shapp. This was touted as a great success -- until Volkswagen moved out in 1987, after 10 years of operation.
Pennsylvania is merely renting jobs with this "economic development" spending, burdening other businesses with higher taxes. Hopefully, Gov. Tom Corbett can learn from the failed policies of the past and work on improving the state's economic climate rather than trying to pick winners.
Nathan A. Benefield
The writer is director of policy research for the Commonwealth Foundation (commonwealthfoundation.org).
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
A division of Trib Total Media is your one-stop-shop for all of your branded merchandise needs.
We specialize in providing quality affordable promotional products for every type of business including non-profits, schools, universities, sports teams and more. With 1000’s of products to choose from, our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect apparel item or product to suit your needs and budget.
Why use TPSolutions?
• Quality, brand name, screen printed and embroidered apparel
• Competitive prices
• Free design services
• Volume and non-profit discounts available
• Quick turn around
We offer a wide variety of traditional and new digital advertising options customized to fit your needs!
Whether you're just starting out, or you've been a keystone in the community for years, our knowledgeable staff can provide you with a customized package including online banners/advertisements, Social Media Marketing (Facebook / Twitter), Website development, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing solutions and much more!
Contact your local sales rep today for details, personalized proposal and a meeting to discuss how we can meet your needs.