The “fiscal cliff” compromise has been heralded as a saving grace for middle class taxpayers, their families and the unemployed.But buried in the fine print of the 150-page deal are also some lesser-known New Year’s gifts to some of Washington’s favorite industries.
$430 million for Hollywood through “special expensing rules” to encourage TV and film production in the United States. Producers can expense up to $15 million of costs for their projects.$331 million for railroads by allowing short-line and regional operators to claim a tax credit up to 50 percent of the cost to maintain tracks that they own or lease.$222 million for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through returned excise taxes collected by the federal government on rum produced in the islands and imported to the mainland.$70 million for NASCAR by extending a “7-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”$59 million for algae growers through tax credits to encourage production of “cellulosic biofuel” at up to $1.01 per gallon.$4 million for electric motorcycle makers by expanding an existing green-energy tax credit for buyers of plug-in vehicles to include electric motorbikes.
Wind farms, motorsports tracks, global banks and other businesses won revived tax breaks in a $75.3 billion package included in a last-minute budget deal Congress passed yesterday… (Bloomberg)
It is a system of crony capitalism financed by a central bank, government borrowing, and pervasive taxation. It is a system that is of plutocratic elites, for plutocratic elites, and by plutocratic elites (to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the true founding father of this system). The massive welfare state is merely used to buy enough votes to maintain the “legitimacy” of the system.