Plane Stupid

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Did you know the taxpayers of Indianapolis and Indiana own a state-of-the-art commercial aircraft maintenance facility?

United Airlines got $320 million in taxpayer money to build what is by all accounts the most technologically advanced aircraft maintenance center in America. But six months ago, the company walked away, leaving the city and state governments out all that money, and no new tenant in sight.

The shuttered maintenance center is a stark, and unusually vivid, reminder of the risk inherent in gambling public money on corporate ventures. Yet the city and state are stepping up subsidies to other companies that offer, as United once did, to bring high-paying jobs and sophisticated operations to Indiana. Many municipal and state governments are doing the same, escalating a bidding war for a shrunken pool of jobs in America despite the worst squeeze in years on their budgets.

Read about it here.

NEXT: Where Have You Gone, Alec Baldwin?

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  1. Here in Arkansas, our chickenshit Baptist preacher governor, Mike Huckabee, has refused to publicize the corporate welfare deals offered by the Industrial Development Commission. He says it would have a “chilling effect” on investment.

  2. We (Denver) just signed on to give the bankrupt United $40,000,000 in new gates. The reason: to pacify United over our giving Frontier $40,000,000 in new gates.

    I want to move to a new planet, this one’s worn out.

  3. Looks like a nice place for the Colts to play.

  4. Now, now, now, don’t get all bunched.

    How else are these people gonna learn the facts of life if they don’t bakrupt themselves first?

    Darwinism at its finest.

  5. On the plus side, Ohioans rejected a new bond measure designed to donate cash to select technology companies. Presumably the powers that proposed the ballot measure figured that the state didn’t have enough debt.

  6. Before building that state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance facility, the people of Indiana should have taken a quick peek at United Airlines’ financial statements. There is risk inherent in putting up capital for any third party, be it a person, a company, or even a government. Almost all airlines lose money in an economic downturn. United Airlines was even losing money in the late 1990’s and 2000, which were the best years that the industry as a whole had ever seen.

    Oh well. You know what they say about a fool and his money (in the case of Indiana, apparently, a couple of million fools).

  7. “Indy” deserves whatever it gets. That goes for the rest of Indiana and Arkansas too.

  8. Wow! I thought state governments only did this sort of thing for professional sports teams.

  9. Sadly the blame will fall squarely on the capitalists, not where it belongs — on the politicians. The media and elected officials will talk about how the evil capitalists corrupted the government and swindled John Q Taxpayer out of his money to line their pockets. Pathetic.

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