While President Barack Obama trumpets the new fiscal-cliff legislation as a boon for the middle class, it’s really more of a boon to corporate fat cats, according to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal
“There's plenty to lament about the capital and income tax hikes, but the bill's seedier underside is the $40 billion or so in tax payoffs to every crony capitalist and special pleader with a lobbyist worth his million-dollar salary,” Journal editors write.
The tax benefits include:
• A slew of breaks for clean energy projects. The wind production tax credit will be allowed to continue for another year, at a cost of $12 billion, thanks largely to the efforts of GOP Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Chuck Grassley of Iowa;
• A $222 million rum tax rebate for liquor makers;
• A $222 million accelerated depreciation for businesses located on Indian reservations;
• A $78 million accelerated write-off for NASCAR track owners advocated by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.;
• A $62 million tax credit for companies operating in American Samoa, including a StarKist factory, championed by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.
“But a special award goes to Chris Dodd, the former Senator who now roams Gucci Gulch lobbying for Hollywood's movie studios,” the editorial states.
“The Senate summary of his tax victory is worth quoting in full: ‘The bill extends for two years, through 2013, the provision that allows film and television producers to expense the first $15 million of production costs incurred in the United States ($20 million if the costs are incurred in economically depressed areas in the United States).’"
The cost for that break totals $430 million over the next 10 years, according to The Journal.
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