“There’s a lot of important employers in Illinois,” Solomon said. “We want to be one of them.”

This is the problem with tax incentives for businesses. If you feed one, you’re going to be asked to feed 10. And somehow, receiving aid has come to signal prestige — that you’re powerful and connected.

Melissa Harris asks the Groupon suits why they needed $3.5 million from a state that’s $1 billion in debt to its own schools.

Update: Another way of looking at this, if you think that Illinois has an unfriendly business climate in terms of taxation, is that money goes from all businesses to the state, and then back to businesses with the size and money to have political influence. David Cay Johnston has written at length on this phenomenon.