Multiple reports citing a Sears official’s testimony to the Illinois legislature states that Ohio has offered $400 million in incentives to try to lure Sears to Ohio from Illinois.  If accepted, the result would be 6,100 jobs being transplanted from Illinois to Ohio.  That works out to be over $65,000 per job.

That’s an ironic figure since some conservatives tried to defend Kasich’s unwillingness to do more to prevent Chiquita from leaving, as well, here’s what they said:

For those interested in the math, that’s almost $60,000 of incentives per job, which is A LOT, bordering on near irresponsibly use of taxpayer dollars.

According to this conservative blogger, not spending $60k per jobs is “responsible governing.”  What have they had to say about the Sears offer?

Not a peep from the right. 

The other defense is that Kasich’s deals that succeed have a promise of a “return on investment” in a year or two (in other words, the taxing authority takes in more money from the additional review caused by the jobs than the incentives costs.)  However, do you know who the sole source of all claims that Kasich’s deals will have a positive return on investment?

Governor DERP Governor Kasich’s office refuses to show the math, even after deals are finalized.  He calls his ROI math “proprietary.”  You see, he would love to show you taxpayers that he’s not full of crap, but if he showed you the math, then that means Indiana could figure out at what point Kasich gives up like he did with Chiquita.

But $400 million seems to be a pretty interesting number.  You know what else was $400 million?  How much Sears reportedly lost in the third quarter:

Operating loss for the quarter was $459 million in 2011 and $292 million in 2010.

You read that right.  Sears lost over 1.5 times as much money over the third quarter than they lost the same quarter a year before.  Read the entire financial statement and tell me if you’d buy Sears’ stock right now.  Well, you might as well buy stock because you, dear Ohio taxpayer, have offered to sink $400 million to bring this company to Ohio.  A company that is operating in the red and has been taken on more and more debt.

Seriously, Sears is hemorrhaging so much money, the only way investing this much money to bring this company to Ohio is you believe Sears is living a real-life corporate version of:

And if Kasich thought accepting $400 million from the federal government to establish the 3C passenger rail system was a “boondoggle,” then how does he explain the Sears deal, which will costs the State that amount of money over time?  Oh, that’s right Kasich said Ohio couldn’t afford the $12 million it was projected the system would need before it could be profitable right?

Yet Ohio apparently has $15 million to spend to conduct a second primary instead of passing a competitive congressional redistricting map?  Kasich rejected it because Strickland supported it, and President Obama was willing to fund it.  Pure and simple.  It was nothing more than naked partisan politics.  It was not based on facts.  You can’t look at this Sears deal and credibly say that anymore.  Because by any measure, the 3c was a much better deal for Ohio that what Kasich has not denied is what he’s willing to commit the State to do to get Sears to move to Ohio from the Chicago area.

Oh, and 3C easily was projected more direct jobs and would have done so throughout the entire State, and that’s before you consider the secondary urban renewal effects such major transportation infrastructure projects have historical demonstrated commits.

And here’s the kicker: even with $400 million reportedly on the table, which is substantially more than any other State is willing to bid for Sears, Ohio is still considered a “long shot.”  And do you know why?

Ohio is considered a long shot, largely because the state lacks an airport with adequate domestic and international service, [said Jim McGraw, president of KMK Consulting of Cincinnati, an economic development consulting firm.]

[Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, “When are jobs worth the big cost?” (Dec. 1, 2011)]

In other words, the same issue that lead NCR to leave Dayton and Chiquita to leave Cincinnati.  And what is Kasich prepared to do to address Ohio’s lack of direct flights that would attract and retain businesses?  If he’s doing anything about it, he isn’t sayin’.  And it’s not like this is a guy who doesn’t loudly broadcast just about everything he does.

Contrast that to former Governor Ted Strickland, who in September 2007 announced a major incentive package to get Continental Airlines to expand direct flights out of Cleveland.  Former Attorney Richard Cordray in 2010 reached a deal to protect Cleveland from substantial cuts in flights when Continental merged with Delta (who had ended it’s status of having the Cincinnati airport as its hub, thus practically decimating the number of flights out of that airport.)   And then they were voted out of office.

But, hey, maybe we’ll get a retail chain that’s bounced around Illinois preying on economic development “deals” to keep it from moving.  (It just happens that Sears is looking to move as its last economic deal with Illinois is set to expire.)  Sears is a corporate welfare queen.   And John Kasich is the king.

 

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