Mitt Romney is right again in his criticism that the government should not be involved in “picking winners and losers”. All this government deciding to invest public tax dollars in start-up companies and, as Romney says, “chasing fads” like emerging technologies really does need to be stopped.
Just consider the bankruptcy filing this month of Terrabon, Inc., one of these government-picked “winners” that received a multi-million dollar taxpayer check in 2010. Not even two years have gone by, and now Terrabon is in Chapter 7 bankruptcy – a total wash out for taxpayers.
And as reported in the Washington Post by AP, Terrabon is the FOURTH bankruptcy filing of a tech related company that has been given one of these government handouts.
Good Lord, we’ve got to stop Obama picking all these losers and wasting our tax dollars!!!
Oh wait – Terrabon and the other three failed companies received their tax money from State of Texas taxpayers out of Rick Perry’s “Emerging Technology Fund” (“slush fund” is sort of impolite to say). Since 2006, Perry has handed out $194 million in your tax money, and if you count the latest two recipients to go under, the net return to the State of Texas is an impressive $0 (AP actually says that we arey $5 million in the red, but who’s counting?)
But not all is so bad. At least Perry got to hold two big public press events when he handed out the checks to Terrabon, and he got really good headlines. Same thing with the other three now defunct companies. The press releases on Perry’s website were masterfully written. The bankruptcy filings are a little harder to find on the Governor’s website, so I’m assuming his staff is too busy to have gotten around to writing the press releases on them yet.
Also, Perry got to really help out some of his donors, and that’s always important.
You see it really helps getting grants from the Emerging Technology Fund (and his Enterprise Fund as well – but no time for that today) if you donate to Perry’s campaigns. There’s this phrase in politics – “donors get good representation, non-donors get good government.” Doesn’t that sound much better than “Texas has a pay-to-play system of handing out tax money to businesses.”
Consider Phil Adams. Adams invested in Terrabon. He also has contributed more than $300,000 to Perry’s campaigns. He also got paid as much as $24,000 from Terrabon before it when belly up. Let’s see, Perry gives tax money to Terrabon, Adams gets “profits” from Terrabon, then Terrabon goes bankrupt because it has no money. How can I get in on this deal, seeing as I don’t have $300k to give to Perry’s campaign?
Adams is also a Perry-appointed Texas A&M regent. In addition, the co-founder of Terrabon gave Perry at least $30,000 in campaign donations. But you’ll feel better knowing that both that co-founder and Adams say their donations had nothing to do with Terrabon getting those millions in your Texas tax dollars. Boy, that sure makes me feel relieved. And I’m sure it would make all the difference in the world to Mitt.
Thank goodness Obama can’t give out Texas tax dollars. If he could, our money might be wasted.