Boscov’s Bailout Passes

The ugly face of socialism has finally arrived in Schuylkill County. On Friday morning, the county Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $5.8 million loan guarantee to Boscov’s in front of a packed hearing room at the courthouse in Pottsville. Schuylkill now joins Luzerne, Lebanon, and Cambria counties as enablers of corporate welfare. The only government body with any sort of sense in this matter seems to be Snyder County, who rejected the deal last month. Lackawanna, Butler, and Blair counties have scheduled votes of their own in the coming weeks and months.

Of course, the politicians who made this happen are trying to use less offensive buzzwords like “pass-through”, “risk-free”, “sure-thing”, and “middle-man” to lessen the sting of the reality that our elected commissioners just put our money at risk to bail out a failed business. Commissioners Mantura Gallagher and Frank McAndrew contend that no taxpayer money will be used in this deal and that the threat of losing 155 jobs from the Fairlane Mall was too much to bear.

First of all, if Boscov’s was such a “sure-thing” and loaning them money was “risk-free”, then why wouldn’t any other bank, lending institution, or angel investors touch this deal? If the return would have been lucrative for both sides, you would think that the private sector would want a piece of the action, right?

Well, that’s not what this loan is about. The money Boscov’s receives will not go towards inventory, employees, advertising, or anything else that will return the company to solvency. The bailout was originated to pay off a note to a bank who had loaned a couple hundred MILLION dollars to the investors that bought the company from Albert Boscov a few years ago. Since Boscov’s departure, the company has seen a steady decline in sales and profit, making the new owners unable to pay back the bank. When the note came due, all Boscov’s could do was file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and hope that someone would swoop in and save them from liquidation. Enter the taxpayer.

Secondly, if the Pottsville location was such a big money maker, making it a “sure thing” as the Commissioners contend, wouldn’t it be safe to say that even if Boscov’s went under, another department chain would be chomping at the bit to move right in? Isn’t feasible that a new, more financially viable store, would bring those 155 jobs lost initially back to the area and at a higher rate of pay for the employees? You might even make the argument that a new store might create even more jobs, which in this economy could be a god send to this area.

Finally, saying that “no taxpayer funds will be expended” is nothing but a ruse. The actual money from the bailout will come from HUD, which is financed by TAXPAYER MONEY. Governor Rendell is guaranteeing the loan with state economic grant funds. also known as TAXPAYER MONEY. If Bosvov’s fails and the state government has a budget shortfall when the federal government comes calling (which is not too far of a stretch the way Rendell spends), Schuylkill County will be liable for 5.8 million in real dollars, which will ultimately be repaid to the federal government from TAXPAYER MONEY.

So, if what the Board of Commissioners did on Friday was guarantee money that we don’t have to a company that has shown its propensity for failure, why did they agree? Are the Commissioners just that stupid? Hardly. Like everything else in politics, this comes down to one thing and one thing alone—-campaign money.

Boscov has been a large contributor to Gov. Rendell and the democratic party. Since 2000, he has donated upwards of $150,000 to Rendell’s campaigns and $50,000 to the PA democratic party.

Thus, once again fiscal discipline is set aside and the taxpayer takes it in posterior in order for politicians to pay back their campaign contributors from the public coffers.

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12 Comments

Filed under County Government

12 responses to “Boscov’s Bailout Passes

  1. Jefferson Jackson Browne

    Well said. We have to power to vote all three of these bums out of office and to restore common sense and fiscal responsibility to Schuylkill County.

  2. My sincere condolences. Snyder County refused it, and alot of sniping is going on now. As soon as Feb there could be a 30% currency devaluation. JP Morgan is bankrupt. Hopefully you have silver in hand. A bank holiday means checks/ATMs debit cards wont be good. So keep some cash at home. Lock and load. The civil war is before 2013. DOWN with the British Empire!

  3. JayBee

    I don’t think Boscov’s will weather this economic storm no matter how much bailout money they get.

  4. Jason

    The sad truth is Boscov’s most likely won’t make it, and it may be because of the bailout. I’m hearing alot of people, who were against the bailout, are boycotting Boscov’s. I for one will not shop there again.

  5. I dont take it personally. I will shop there if they have what I want. They were among the last to sell out to cheap Chinese junk.

    it IS sad that they likely wont make it. Weis wont either. Weis would have to match prices to Aldis, OR offer real food rather then food stuff. By that I mean I should not have to be a chemist to shop. No refined, processed, bleached flour, no high fructose corn syrup. I am very serious about this. This is why obesity has gone up. Diabetes too. The crap is killing us. But my opinion means nothing. I vote with my dollars.

  6. Dante Picciano

    “Butler County Solicitor Julie Graham has advised the commissioners to wait before voting on the issue to give the state time to put in writing who exactly would hold the financial bag should Boscov’s default on a $35 million federal loan guaranteed by Pennsylvania.”
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09011/940550-54.stm

    In Schuylkill County, the fools rush in.

  7. Jane S.

    I sure hope that none of these fools has plans on running for Commissioner again. I see Shickram, Tobin and Kantner as Commissioners next time around.

  8. Snyder Co., was told all the other counties already approved the loan. You should see the bickering. One comment was- why Boscov, that shorts mom and pop is they also don’t get one.

    IMO let any folks who want any bail outs of any type Fed, State, Local; no one is preventing them from whipping out their personal household checkbook.

  9. kelly simms

    This is AMAZING! Has anyone looked around these stores? They look horrible and run down. They need to go! Everything is displayed so CRAPPY, the cosmetics departments are dirty with broken cases and unknowlegeable co workers. The merchandise is so completely unfashionable! GOOD BYE & GOOD RIDDENS!

  10. JayBee

    Boscov’s Inc. reported Thursday it recorded a $26 million profit in December.

    It was the largest December profit in the Reading-based department store chain’s history, the company said in a statement.

  11. wandama

    This retailer would hardly be missed. I for one will never set foot in a other BOSCOVS ever again. This is an absolute joke!!!! Bailout this armpit? For WHAT? There are NOT that many employees being affected. They will most likely be able to move on and find better paying jobs. How devistating can losing a $7.50 /hr job be???

  12. dumbasses

    If anyone belives that they had a record DECEMBER….your a bunch of asses. I work in one of the stores and everyone at work was constantly checking to see what month it actually was. The worst commission checks in 5 years, with NO merchandise to sell. This is obviouly a POOR ATTEMPT to have they counties agree to bailout BOSCOVS garbage dumps.

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