“Buying” New Business Not Worth The Price

We’ve all heard of the husband who purchased a new boat the couple couldn’t afford so the wife gets even by remodeling the kitchen and installing new carpet they also couldn’t afford.

That same silly fiscal policy is being advocated by government and editorial writers from Idaho Falls to Boise–if a business isn’t financially sound enough to survive on its own, give them some cash and tax breaks from citizen’s pocketbooks. After all, if Idaho doesn’t attract these firms, they will go to the “competition” in California, Oregon, or elsewhere.

Micron holds its “jobs” club over the heads of policy makers and gets all sorts of tax breaks–meanwhile the government pays all the workers who were laid off when jobs went offshore.

The Chamber of Commerce’s “Boise Valley Economic Partnership” is drumming up support for a $5-10 million fund to pay businesses to locate in the area. This, after their previous $5 million scheme to attract “high paying jobs” fell flat. Businesses don’t come here to pay higher wages.

Guv Butch is proposing a fund for local entrepreneur start ups. That’s better than helping the Chinese Communists and out of staters, but still not a good place to spend public money. If the idea and product are good, investors will buy in and profit.

In Twin Falls politicos are tripping over themselves as they pony up public promises of about $29,000,000 for a Chobani yogurt plant–a culture unto itself. That area has a history of attracting–and closing businesses.

Pocatello is about to fall victim to an ill-fated solar panel plant backed by the communist Chinese, but not backed with enough cash to pay their electric bill to Idaho Power. Hoku is teetering on the brink of financial failure despite massive infusions of urban renewal funds diverted from schools, the city and county. They also are beneficiaries of state and federal funds.

A hearing before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission over the proposed shut off of electric service to Hoku will be an interesting indicator regarding whether regulators go with the politicos and the POTENTIAL of “jobs” or rule to allow Idaho Power to cut its losses from a deadbeat customer.

Despite repeated promises, hoopla, and assorted pandering Boise can’t even get a Whole Foods chain store going. No doubt the folks at the Co-Op won’t shed tears over that news. If they have the money and Boise looks like a place to do business, Whole Foods would beat down the door of city hall with fists full of cash.

Citing Boise’s “proximity to west coast ports,” there was a big media push a month ago for a Zonda electric bus factory in Boise. The company had even moved its headquarters here. Don’t stand in line for tickets to ride that coach.

The overall message from we GROWTHOPHOBES is similar to that of former Gov. Cecil Andrus who opposed deal sweeteners: “If you have the money to pay your taxes and a fair wage, we welcome you with open arms. If you are shopping for rubes willing to PAY you to come here, please take your business elsewhere.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Editor what would you give to see a leader like Cecil Andrus in office again?

    Silver lining: One of the greatest gifts Dear Leader O’Bama, and Bush before him, gave us is to show what a leader is not.

    Now we just need to see/learn what a leader is again.

  2. Brian Vermillion
    Jan 1, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I could not agree more. How many times do we have to learn this lesson? When government has free access to spend public funds as they choose we have the current results of wasted billions nationwide. Obama wants another 1.2 trillion in debt. How come this will solve our problems but the previous 5 trillion didn’t? The best (although painful) solution for our out of control gov’t spending is to let the country go into financial default. Only then will the politicians realize we can’t afford our current levels of wasteful spending.

  3. CJ Petrovsky
    Jan 1, 2012, 5:01 pm

    Sound thinking, Dave.
    Reading the Statesman editorial this a.m., I wondered whether the editors read the pieces they publish in their own newspaper. Just a couple weeks ago, they ran a piece that held evidence that companies lured with tax breaks are fickle as hell and will up and move when a better deal comes along.
    You noticed, I imagine, the editorial had no counterpoint for the fact that restoring some of the funding for education and social programs, stripped to the bone over the last few years, might be a better use of the dough.

  4. I am getting pretty fed up with all the money from taxpayers used to underwrite all manner of goofy government schemes. The one that I really despise is underwriting a new stadium complex for the Boise Hawks.

    I say let the Boise Hawks pay their own way. let MLB fund their needs or let them seek another community.

    I really did like Gov. Andrus laying out his policy when Gov. regarding perks for businesses to locate in Idaho. His statements on IPTV Dialogue show a few weeks back demonstrate just how goofy things have gotten for the “free market”.

  5. I love the studies commissioned for big money by government agencies to justify tax dollars spent on bling and kickbacks.

    Then there are the campaigns and marketing dollars spent to “educate taxpayers” on projects like the train to nowhere that are just plain silly.

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Jan 2, 2012, 12:31 pm


    Bush and Obama may be leading you in a direction you don’t want to go. That doesn’t mean they aren’t leaders. That’s a bogus argument. We should complain about the policy, not the person.

  7. RSEB: If I recall, O’bama is your new religion. Stand in front of the mirror with your HOPE shirt on and tell me you still have that tingle down your leg. Does it make you feel like a DOPE?

    Elected to office does not mean leader, and it sure as hell does not mean great leader. They are only there to help themselves and their closest friends to further their ideology to pave the way for others like them to feed the money to them in retirement. Tell me, do you really think 50% of the American public would pick those two fruitcakes O’babma picked to sit on the Supreme Court? Not a chance man. He knows they will vote radical left for 40 years. That is not representing America, that is not leading. A leader is not a leader without followers. I think we need to be able to have a national recall election on the President if the majority of State’s Governors find it appropriate to do so. And if recalled, then his federal judges can be recalled too.

    When I look at the up coming election, it’s like I’m looking at dog food vs. cat food for my dinner. I’ve seen very few great leaders in my lifetime. But I do know what they look like. I will probably puke on my TV the next time I hear someone call O’bamis a great leader. I think he is more likely one of the greatest thugs in history. Perhaps we will find this out in the coming years.

  8. Zippo

    I think I just found something we can agree on… Cecil was the s#@t, too bad Butch didnt learn much from him when he was Lt Gov

  9. A great leader is someone who the troops will fall on their sword for when the going gets tough.

    This post is about local govt. throwing money around as if there is no accountability or finite supply. I have seen enough waste and spend in this valley to last me a lifetime over the past few years.

    Our elected officials have what I call an uncontrolled case of “consumer lust” for all manner of things most people don’t want and would not support if an election were held to decide on the project. Hence we have Urban Renewal in virtually every town in Idaho trying to spend their way to prosperity.

    What has gone on in this valley in Caldwell, Nampa, Meridian and Boise is simply fiscal irresponsible with the blessings of the Idaho Legislature.

    It is hard to get an accurate accounting but UR agencies all over the state get to play “Whack-a-Mole” with tax dollars and no accountability to taxpayers to the tune of over $52 Million every year. Urban Renewal agencies and their collective boards get to sit around and dream up ways to spend all that cash.

    What is really galling is they have the temerity to tell us UR doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime! I am outraged that generally conservative citizens are letting these crooks get away with something forbidden in the Idaho Constitution but circumvented by the Legislature to allow all this monkey business year in and year out.

  10. Rick, we will not be friends. I do recall a few weeks ago when you were convinced I was a writer for South Park.

    So, when I watch Reno 911; which one are you?

  11. Rod in SE Boise
    Jan 3, 2012, 12:03 pm


    Obama is not my guy. He is too middle of the road for me.

    In your first post you also said Bush was not a leader either, but in your second post you only ranted about Obama. That’s pretty one sided.

    Obama got more than half the votes cast, so it is only logical that more than half the country supports his choices for Supreme Court.

    We haven’t had a real leader since FDR.

    The authority of state and local governments needs to be shaply curtailed. We need to worry about them, not the Supreme Court or the president. They don’t matter much in our daily lives. State and local governments are working overtime to screw up our freedoms.

  12. Loser Emeritus
    Jan 3, 2012, 4:51 pm

    Regarding Pauls’ post on urban renewal: Why do local politicians adopt this practice of building new infrastructure as their main reason for existence. Is there anything wrong with just maintaining the status quo and oh I don’t know… putting excess funds in the bank for a rainy day or dare I say it…reduce taxes? They seem to adopt a Donald Trump mission to conquer the world; on the taxpayers dime of course.

    EDITOR NOTE–Honestly I have heard, “If you don’t grow, you’re dead,” so many times from the politicos I think they really believe it.”

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