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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Greedy Extortionists

Give me $25 million or these 150 jobs get it. That's the essence of the message behind the General Electric "offer" to the Commonwealth, a ransom that should really be referred to prosecutors and not economic development officials.

And the Massachusetts congressional delegation that has been working in overdrive to save a boondoggle $5.3 billion backup jet engine that will supposedly be built at GE's Lynn facility, should take the lead in removing the gun the company is placing at the head of its employees and the Commonwealth's taxpayers.

I had to read this twice: give us a $25 million tax credit and we won't layoff 150 people. This from a company that had already laid off 600 employees in Lynn, a facility where they did $1.8 billion in military work in fiscal 2009.

Not to mention a company that reported reported $11 billion in profits on $157 billion in revenue. And which did not pay a dime of federal income tax, but received a $139 billion federal bailout for its GE Capital unit.

A company that has also gotten the Massachusetts congressional delegation to carry its water to build a backup engine in case the F-35 Joint Fight Striker's original engine doesn't work, a project Defense Secretary Robert Gates considers a boondoggle.

Earlier this year, to secure that congressional backing, the company promised to create 4,000 jobs, a pledge that Sen. Scott Brown thought was more important than actually providing continued unemployment benefits to men and women who had already lost jobs.

It's hard to tell which side of the corporate mouths that GE speaks from.

Thankfully, those who don't benefit from GE's campaign largess can see the hypocrisy of the corporate threat.
If the market is not working for them in their current location, I don’t see how the state incentive is going to change that fundamental reality,’’ said Benjamin Forman, research director for the MassINC, a Boston public policy research firm. “I don’t think there’s an economic case for that.’’
Obviously GE thinks it has the Patrick administration over a barrel. But GE doesn't intend to bring good things to life in Massachusetts. This is an "offer" the administration really should refuse.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might have to read the article a third time. GE is asking for $25 million to avoid laying off *more* than 150 people. It says it can only promise to keep 3,000 of its current 3,150 jobs.

November 18, 2010 9:20 AM  

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