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Bad economic deal could leave the state on the hook for $20 million

Promised their investment would help lure 500 high-paying jobs to Florida, lawmakers in 2009 sidestepped existing procedures to funnel $20 million to a well known movie production company that animated the scenes in Titanic and the Transformers movies.

But this story's ending isn't one for the movies.

The company, Digital Domain Media Group Inc., closed its Florida operations last week and on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, laying off 300-or-so Florida employees and likely leaving taxpayers without a return on its $20 million state investment. Local governments stand to lose around an additional $110 million.

The news of the bankruptcy and the potential loss of the economic incentives underscores concerns about governments doling out taxpayer dollars to politically connected private companies with little oversight and few guarantees. From 1995 to 2011, the state has paid $739 million in incentives to create 86,284 jobs, state officials say.

"Of course, 100 percent of all new businesses are not going to be successful. In fact the majority are going to fail," said Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who helped pass a 2012 law to make the state's economic incentive program more transparent. "There's something worse than not having a job … that's having one and losing one, and having the taxpayers chip in for that disaster.

"The failure of Digital Domain, in particular, shares some of the same traits of the failed solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, which received $535 million in federal loans before closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy in 2011.

Read more here.

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Anti-Tallahassee

Can anyone identify one Republican who has ever actually reduced the size of government? Politicians on both sides of the aisle talk about a lot of things, but in the end they are all full of c r a p. Republicans believe in corporate welfare, and they will never reduce the size of government. The Florida Republicans will give their corporate sponsors all the tax money they can possibly get their hands on. That is what "privatization" is really about. Foolish conservatives believe it is about saving money.

whasup

Remember folks, this sort of government handout to corporations (sometimes called appropriately "corporate welfare") happens under the rubric, aegis, or mantra (take your pick) of "economic development."

These are usually a flim-flam, bait-and-switch, or other kind of confidence game ... that the government (most often Republicans) get scammed into.

The key syllable in confidence game is "con"!
Notice how that same syllable shows up in e-CON-omic development.

The only grant of tax money by government to a business that might be a good deal for taxpayers is one where:

1) the company has hard assets which can be pledged against the investment, so if it quits or craps out, we at least get their property, and

2) in exchange for the taxpayer's money invested, the government gets a guaranteed percentage off the top line revenue that company generates ... in perpetuity.

Robert Jenkins

As a long time Republican; I must ask this. "We" have had full(some say fool)power for many years now; wouldn't it stand to reason, "we" (if you believe in that ideaology) would be leading the Nation by example? Yet "we" are not; WHY? My thoughts are this, 1. It doesn't matter who is in power.
2. When your State is number one in corruption; what's
to brag about?
3. Remember my fathers borrowed quote, "Figures don't lie; But liars figure"!!!

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