Corporate welfare for Redskins, tax breaks for beekeepers

It’s been a banner day for corporate welfare in the commonwealth, as the Governor’s office, via press release, announced that the woeful Washington Redskins have decided to keep their corporate headquarters in Virginia, and will even stage some summer practices in Richmond. Just how much money did Dan Snyder take the commonwealth’s taxpayers for? After the obligatory throat-clearing from local pols and the cash award winners, we learn:

Governor McDonnell approved a $4 million performance-based grant to support the retention and expansion.

Ah, it’s a “performance-based grant.” One assumes said performance isn’t tied to the team’s win-loss record. Though if it is, we’re likely to get all that money back and then some.

It’s also a far cry from the days of Jack Kent Cooke, who build the new Redskins stadium in Maryland through private financing.

But the handouts don’t stop there. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch we learn that it’s not just NFL franchises that are firmly attached to the public teat. We can add to the list…beekeepers?

Gov. Bob McDonnell recently signed legislation creating the Beehive Grant Fund, which will dole out a quarter-million dollars to people who buy material to build hives, in $200-per-hive increments.

That’s right, honey fans, the commonwealth now has a program that it, and the resident bee population, managed to live without for over four centuries. Naturally, it passed the otherwise tight-fisted General Assembly unanimously.

There may come a day when someone will be elected to office in Virginia who understands that the tax code is not a toy, and that doling out cash awards (performance based and otherwise) to the wealthy and well-connected is utterly inconsistent with the ends of limited government.

But I won’t hold my breath.