by Ray Downs
What do you give the corporation that is already given everything?
The Boeing Corporation regularly receives tens of billions worth of government contracts each year. The company's defense, space, and security division based in St. Louis gets nearly half of its entire revenue from the U.S. Military (and this doesn't count revenue from other countries for whom the U.S. gives military aid to).
On top of getting billions of dollars from the government, Boeing has paid nothing in state taxes over the past decade, according to the left-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice. In fact, they actually got a few bucks back. As for federal taxes, Boeing gets billions in rebates and some years they don't pay any taxes to Uncle Sam, according to the right-leaning American Spectator.
Despite getting so much government aid, Boeing is watching states like Missouri
beg compete for a chance to give the corporate welfare monster even more hand-outs. The deadline to send in proposals to Boeing is today and the "winner" will be announced early next year.
Missouri lawmakers last week approved giving Boeing $1.7 billion in tax cuts over the next two decades. On top of that, they worked out a deal with local unions to not be very union-like and work around the clock without overtime, as well as publicly-funded training for Boeing employees at local community colleges.
But Boeing wants more than just exemption from overtime and free worker training. Here are some of their "desired incentives," according to to documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch:
• Site at no cost, or very low cost, to project.
• Facilities at no cost, or significantly reduced cost.
• Infrastructure improvements provided by the location.
• Full support in worker training.
• "Entire applicable tax structure including corporate income tax, franchise tax, property tax, sales/use tax, business license/gross receipts tax and excise taxes to be significantly reduced."
And that probably won't be enough, either, especially since Washington offered Boeing the largest state-tax cut for a private company in history at $8.7 billion until 2040.
However, Missouri shouldn't give up. When it comes to pleasing behemoth government-funded corporations, free facilities, overtime exemptions, and a few billion in tax breaks just doesn't cut it anymore. We must try harder, faster, and deeper. Here are five things we can do:
1. Free Foot Massages to Boeing Executives Forever
To truly stand-out from the rest of the states throwing money at Boeing, Missouri needs to throw a little sumpin' extra. And what better way to entice a busy executive than a nice foot massage? And if the busy executive in question would like a happy ending with their massage, you better believe they'll get it. With a smile.
Click the next page to read more ways St. Louis can win!
2. Make Forest Park a Giant Golf Course for Only Boeing Execs
Forest Park is nice and all, but trees and museums of expressionist art won't be enough to convince Boeing executives to bring the 777x jet to St. Louis. You know what will work, though? Golf.
There's already a golf course in Forest Park, so this is not even that big of a deal. Just cut down a few more trees, turn the museums into sand traps, don't allow any poor people in, and boom: we got Boeing.
3. Child Labor
We must think about Boeing's future. In order for the company to succeed here, it must be able to know that in 20 or 30 years, they'll still have a solid workforce to utilize. That's why we should take kids out of school and put them to work for Boeing and pay them just enough to buy candy and socks. Boeing wins by saving money and having a workforce that won't go and retire in a mere 30 years and our children win because they get to be raised by Boeing.
Now, before anybody starts whining about how kids should get an education, it's not like there will be any money to fund schools after the tax breaks, so let's stop living in fantasy land.
4. Change Cardinals Logo to a Little Boeing Jet Swinging a Baseball Bat
There's nothing behemoth corporations like more than putting their name on sports arenas. But that's become so cliché. What we should do is get rid of the little red birds in the Cardinals logo and instead have a cute little 777x Boeing jet swinging a baseball bat. Hell, lets just change the name, too.
The "St. Louis Boeing 777x Jets" sure sounds like a winner!
5. Whatever They Want
Who are we to tell Boeing what they can or can't have? Why not just let them have anything they want? After all, they know better - they've figured out how to get billions from the federal government and then convinced several states to bend over backwards to make their own residents subsidize Boeing even further.