TLP: You Had Me at "More?"

hollywood incentives
If this story were made into a movie, I'd have to guess that it would be rated NC-17 — or X, or MA, or whatever the filthiest classification is these days — just based on all the whoring around and ass-fucking involved.

Seems that state governments are strapped for cash these days and might not have much extra to throw at Hollywood to lure producers to come make movies. Roads and schools and police all cost money, apparently, along with the need to pay off all kinds of other shit that states committed themselves to financially in recent years.

Preparing to deliver his first State of the State address last week, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was looking at a $10.5 billion budget gap, a collapsing pension fund and a probable cut in Medicaid spending.

He was also being asked to put money aside for Hollywood.

Government subsidies for film and television productions proliferated in flush times as more than 40 states competed for entertainment work. Those subsidies face an uncertain future as new governors and lawmakers, many of them fiscal conservatives, join incumbents like Mr. Christie in trying to balance budgets without losing jobs.

Tax credits for Hollywood were recently expanded in Florida and North Carolina but are under fresh scrutiny in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Mexico, all of which have new Republican governors reviewing film subsidy programs that were begun under Democratic predecessors.

No big spender has yet pulled out of the subsidy business, though Arizona, Iowa and Kansas have suspended or dropped their relatively small programs. In Missouri, meanwhile, a bipartisan review of all the state’s tax credits recommended that a film incentive be dropped, but no bill has been introduced to do so.

That has been enough to send a shudder through Hollywood, where producers have come to rely on taxpayer support for films like “How Do You Know,” “The Social Network,” “Love and Other Drugs,” “127 Hours” and many others.

“If you take that away, I think production will leave the U.S.,” a producer, Brian Oliver, said.
So the states are threatening to stop playing Sugar Daddy, which makes Hollywood talk about pulling up its panties and going home. Please.

Come to think of it, this movie is a remake, and a bad one. While not every governor has gotten turned on by Hollywood's CFM boots, there's probably not a state out there that hasn't played the economic incentive game with business. Same basic plot: show me the money (or tax credits or a highway interchange) and I'll build my factory (or rehab your vacant one, whatever.)

In the end, whether the product is movies or anything else, it usually becomes a bidding war between the states to see who will offer more. With that mindset, is it any wonder that the finances of all these states wound up getting fucked?

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.