First Jive, Continued

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When politicians start talking about making “investments,” grab your wallet and run in the opposite direction.

That’s because in public-sector parlance, “investment” means taking money from individuals who earned it through hard work — that is, taxpayers — and giving it to those who neither earned it nor deserve it.

Like, for " click here ESPN. Which on May 21 announced a "/#generic_">generic of payoffs from its 7,000-strong workforce, including at least 100 here in its home state and as many as 400 in all.

Which is a ""> online. In August 2011, ESPN eagerly accepted " /#here">here $17.5 million “loan” from the state’s Department of Economic Development (DECD) in return for a promise to create 200 jobs over 60 months. For those who may be math-challenged, that’s $87,500.

The loan was part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s disastrous “First Five” initiative, which pays companies that don’t need the money big bucks to come — or stay — here in return for vague job-creation promises that Hartford bureaucrats have no means, or apparently even intention, of enforcing.

ESPN has more money than God. Majority-owned by the Walt Disney Co., the Bristol-based powerhouse is the single largest unit of Disney’s cable networks division, which generated 69 percent of the company’s segment operating income for the quarter ended March 30.

But even a $40 billion company faces financial challenges. In ESPN’s case it is skyrocketing rights fees to broadcast marquee sporting events. The network is reportedly close to inking a deal to broadcast tennis’ U.S. Open for 11 years beginning in 2015, and next year will launch a 24-hour network devoted exclusively to Southeastern Conference sports.

Malloy spokesperson Andrew Duba said ESPN was “well on their way” to meeting hiring goals agreed to as part of First Five (how could that be?), and that state government had claw-back measures in place should the company fail to meet its target, but declined to say what those measures were or how and under what circumstances such measures would be employed. That’s because they never will be.

As taxpayers we should remind ourselves that governments have no money; they only use our money, and do so fundamentally without our permission.

And when clueless bureaucrats decide they can pick winners and losers in the private sector, it only reminds us that if they knew how to make money in the real world, they wouldn’t be robbing us blind from behind closed doors in Hartford.


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