Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
The cliff lines corporate pockets
The fiscal cliff legislation contains concealed goodies for companies
Corporations gleefully picked your pocket in the fiscal cliff legislation that finally passed both houses of Congress last night (Jan. 1). Buried in the legislation, explains Matt Stoller, fellow of the Roosevelt Institute and writer for Naked Capitalism, are some handouts for companies. Stoller's essay was printed in the blog Daily Kos and today (Jan. 2) picked up by Huffington Post. He writes that throughout November and December, corporate chief executives went to Washington, then declared that modest increases on taxes for the rich weren't so bad after all. But there were quid pro quos aplenty in the deal that passed the Senate Monday night, says Stoller, and presumably were in the measure that passed the House last night. He says there are roughly $205 billion in tax breaks for corporations in the bill.
Here are some of these hidden corporate welfare items Congress passed on to taxpayers, according to Stoller: 1. Over seven years, anyone who builds a motorsports entertainment complex gets a tax break. This means you are subsidizing Nascar; 2. Railroads maintaining tracks should get $165 million a year; 3. Hollywood studios get breaks that could come to $150 million over two years; 4. Mining companies get subsidies to purchase safety equipment; 5. Wall Street's Goldman Sachs gets a subsidy for its New York headquarters; 6. American corporations such as banks and manufacturers can engage in certain lending practices and not pay taxes from earned income on the activity, and 7. U.S. multinationals get an extension of the deal permitting them to not pay taxes on income earned by companies they own abroad.