Do you remember a time when Patriarch Phil Robertson said that African-Americans were better off “pre-entitlement, pre-welfare?” When they were “happy” and “Godly?” Do you remember those remarks? Good. Keep them in mind, because while Robertson was complaining about Blacks on welfare, the cast of his show, Duck Dynasty, soaked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in welfare money from the State of Louisiana every year.
One industry insider estimates that the Duck Dynasty cast, which is paid $200,000 per week to appear on the popular reality show, receives government benefits of $70,000 for every episode of the A&E cable show from the state, even though Louisiana recently slashed funding for health care programs and pension programs for public employees such as police, teachers, and firefighters.
Bobby “we should stop being the party of stupid” Jindal, the Louisiana governor who may harbor presidential ambitions, recently presented Phil Robertson with Louisiana’s first Governor’s Award For Entrepreneurial Excellence and landed a high-profile guest appearance on the show during Season Six’s premiere. This was at the same time the state was paying out the subsidies for the production of the show.
According to Inquisitr, the handouts are part of an incentive program that the state has for film and TV productions, earning the state it’s nickname: “Hollywood South:”
The handouts are part of Louisiana’s incentive program for film and TV productions, a program which began in earnest in 2002 and which has earned the state the nickname “Hollywood South.” Dozens of film and TV projects shoot there, to collect the generous taxpayer-backed subsidies, which cover about 30 percent of a film or TV show’s production costs in Louisiana.
While advocates of film subsidy programs say that they lure big-time production to states that offer the money — 43 states now offer some version of a film subsidy program — economists have said that the programs cost states millions and produce very little economic benefit in return.
Louisiana recently did a study that found only 15 cents of economic benefit for every dollar spent by state taxpayers are used to prop up Hollywood productions, including reality shows such as Duck Dynasty.
The nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) published a report on film subsidy programs, which found that the subsidies are big money-losers for states, and result in budget cuts to needed programs, to compensate for money poured into the pockets of productions such as Duck Dynasty.
Those budget cuts further stifle state economic growth.
The CBPP stated in the report that:
The revenue generated by economic activity induced by film subsidies falls far short of the subsidies’ direct costs to the state. To balance its budget, the state must therefore cut spending or raise revenues elsewhere, dampening the subsidies’ positive economic impact.
According to the CBPP, the subsidies are given the productions that were likely going to be filmed in the state anyway, even without taxpayer handouts — for example, Duck Dynasty, which could only be shot where the Robertson family lives: Louisiana. The welfare payments that go to the show, then, do nothing to keep it the state. What’s more, the handouts may even have kept the show from being canceled, despite declining ratings.
More from AATTP on the Duck Dynasty frauds:
- Duck Dynasty is Fake! And That’s a Fact, Jack! (Video)
- CAUGHT ON TAPE: Phil Robertson Says Men Should Marry 15 and 16 Year-Old Girls (Video)
- Bigotry, Beards, and Bullsh*t: Duck Dynasty Bible Coming Soon to a Walmart Near You!
- Ding Dong, the Duck is Dead! Duck Dynasty Show Canceled Due to Lack of Ticket Sales!
- Happy, Happy, Happy! Duck Dynasty Ratings Fall To SIXTEEN-MONTH Low!