Throughout the months of November and December, a steady stream of corporate CEOs flowed in and out of the White House to discuss the impending fiscal cliff. Many of them, such as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, would then publicly come out and talk about how modest increases of tax rates on the wealthy were reasonable in order to deal with the deficit problem. What wasn’t mentioned is what these leaders wanted, which is what’s known as “tax extenders”, or roughly $205 Billion of tax breaks for corporations. With such a banal name, and boring and difficult to read line items in the bill, few political operatives have bothered to pay attention to this part of the bill. But it is critical to understanding what is going on…

Most tax credits drop straight to the bottom line – it’s why companies like Enron considered its tax compliance section a “profit center”. A few hundred billion dollars of tax expenditures is a major carrot to offer. Surely, a modest hike in income taxes for people who make more than $400k in income and stupid enough not to take that money in capital gain would be worth trading off for the few hundred billion dollars in corporate pork. This is what the fiscal cliff is about – who gets the money. And by leaving out the corporate sector, nearly anyone who talks about this debate is leaving out a key negotiating partner…

Here are a couple of the goodies. There actually is a generalized tax credit or two worth keeping. Most of these suck tax dollars that could do something otherwise useful.

1) Help out NASCAR – Sec 312 extends the “seven year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complex property”, which is to say it allows anyone who builds a racetrack and associated facilities to get tax breaks on it. This one was projected to cost $43 million over two years.

3) Disney’s Gotta Eat – Sec. 317 is “Extension of special expensing rules for certain film and television productions”. It’s a relatively straightforward subsidy to Hollywood studios, and according to the Joint Tax Committee, was projected to cost $150m for 2010 and 2011.

5) Subsidies for Goldman Sachs Headquarters – Sec. 328 extends “tax exempt financing for York Liberty Zone,” which was a program to provide post-9/11 recovery funds. Rather than going to small businesses affected, however, this was, according to Bloomberg, “little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp.” Michael Bloomberg himself actually thought the program was excessive, so that’s saying something. According to David Cay Johnston’s The Fine Print, Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds.

You get the idea. For the umpteenth time the hacks in Congress can’t pass up a single opportunity to kiss butt for the folks picking up the tab for their political campaigns.

  1. JLF says:

    Anybody who really believes the damned Democrats are any less corrupt than the Republicans also belieives in “hope and Change”.

    May I have another helping of Barack Obama please, and this time without the $4 mil vacations, lies, back room deals, lies corrupt media, lies and partisan distortions?

    The new Democrat mantra: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a corrupt president today – as long as I don’t have to think.”

  2. Dallas says:

    What they want isn’t so much ‘tax breaks’ but rather ‘tax loopholes’, but ‘tax breaks’ sound better to the Teapublican sheeple.

    In other news, Congress will discuss closing ‘tax loopholes’ because that’s a bad thing and sheeple don’t like them ‘loopholes’

    • JLF says:

      Not bad. But you seem to think that conservative equates to Republican and social issues. Fiscally conservartive, as version 1.0 of the Tea Party saw it, was oriented towards sane public spending policy. In fact the real Tea Party objected to the version 2.0 hangers-on when they added all the right wing social crapola.

      • getintouch says:

        you forgot to mention that the Tea Party is funded, and therefore an asshole, of the wealthy. They may have thought they were “pure as the driven snow”, then the republican pacs got in, funded them and now that snow ain’t so pure, except pure bullshit!

    • dusanmal says:

      Read who got tax breaks in the bill. Except for the smallest crumb thrown to be exception and excuse (NASCAR) all the rest are for strong Democratic supporters. Disney, Hollywood, Goldman (Supplier of economic hacks to Obama Administration) Sachs,… These exemptions come directly from the Presidential office and are forced on weak Congress…
      In reverse, please find any exemptions for fracking, coal, arms/defense industry,… anything Right supports and is supported by… Nothing. Just a fake NASCAR crumb…

      • Captain Obvious says:

        Goldman Sachs abandoned the Obama ship in the 2012 election.

      • Dallas says:

        Just scanning and without looking, I saw $207,000,000 for the VA and another $41,000,000 for military bases.

        I believe those are military oriented.

        Also, as pointed out, Goldman is a Teapublican lackey … or is the other way around?

        Stop defending pork spending.

      • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

        I did read the link and noticed several loaves of bread offered to more Republican leaning groups.

        a) short-line railroads and their customers including Intermodal, bulk terminal (grain, petroleum), and the like.

        b) mining companies

        c) the Off-shore financing supported by bank and manufacturers. this exemption has long been opposed by watchdog groups and labor unions

        d)tax credits for foreign subsidiaries. This loophole allows multinationals to avoid taxes on companies they own abroad. The US Chamber of Commerce is its major cheerleader.

  3. Raintree says:

    There is a reason for the slogan “The best government you can buy.” More than Adam’s favorite cliche of “Show business for Ugly People” I think it might be better thought of as the “Preferred Method of Legalized Prostitution.”

    • Dick says:

      You might be on to something. However, the prostitutes are US! And Washington is nothing but our PIMP!

      Just something to think about the next time the IRS comes sniffing around telling you to “give it up bitch!” Of course, some prostitutes actually LIKE that kind of rough stuff or have been roughed up so long that they no longer have a functioning brain! (Want proof? Just keep reading the comments…)

  4. ECA says:

    who here wants to create a written agenda and Start using a GUN??

    • Dick says:

      SEEK HELP! You crazy bastard.

      Better yet, see that police station? Ya! Go in there and yell at them “this is a stick up”! I’m sure they’ll help you if you also paint your water gun black and wave it around.

    • JLF says:

      ECA, that is a subject no lefty will be able to relate to And it has connotations sane people reject – for now. Keep in mind not every Democrat is a Marxist/Leninist Commie. Some are even regular, patriotic Americans with common sense. You would not know it by the last election but some are. Some even serve in the military. Honest!

  5. LibertyLover says:

    And I was laughed at because I said, “Corporations don’t pay taxes. Consumers do.”

    Who’s laughing now bi-aches?

    • JLF says:

      There is wisdom in them thar words mister. Corporation don’t pay taxes, they just pass it on to their customers. That is not a slogan, it is how things work in the real world. But according to the Democrats, and that crumb in the White House, the upcoming tax increases only affect wealthy people. Lies compounded by more lies and allowed to happen because Democrats do not think things through and actually believe the crap they are told and then vote Democrat again. I wonder what would happen if they actually did thier homework before voting? Naaahhh. It won’t happen.

    • Dallas says:

      Yes, corporations pay taxes.

      • LibertyLover says:

        They might write the check, but you are the one who pays for them via higher prices.

  6. Admfubar says:

    there are not political parties, just corporate stooges

  7. MikeN says:

    You are wrong about the source though. See Tim Carney’s column. This did not come from lobbyists in November and December, but rather earlier in the year in a bill that was not expected to pass. Lobbyists just wanted to lay groundwork, and it paid off later when Obama insisted that this Senate bill be included in the fiscal cliff deal.

    The big business tax breaks cost more than the new revenue being collected in tax hikes.

  8. MikeN says:

    The real pork is in the bill for Hurricane Sandy. This ’emergency’ bill has money for Alaska, money to be spent years from now, and more.

    • Dallas says:

      The devastation in Alaska from Hurricane Sandy was substantial . Many Eskimos are still without heat.

  9. Mr Diesel says:

    Just insert Obomba for Louis XVI, United States for France, Irq War for the Seven Years War and the Afghan War for the Revolutionary War and we have got the start of a real party here in America.

    French Revolution:
    “Louis XVI ascended to the throne a midst a financial crisis; the state was nearing bankruptcy and outlays outpaced income. This was because of France’s financial obligations stemming from involvement in the Seven Years War and its participation in the American Revolutionary War.”

    Soap, jury, ballot and ammo. Which box do you think is next?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Soap, jury, ballot and ammo

      You forgot one.

      kitty litter.

      Lets try selected, rather than an elected, form of government.

    • Trex says:

      Yeah, I was really hoping we could dump Obama in the last election. But then the Repubs go an pick a FREAKIN’ CORPORATE RAIDER for a candidate!! WTH, did Repubs think would happen.

      Both parties suck. They are both Stooges to the corporations. Stop believing one party is better than the other.

  10. Captain Obvious says:

    Al Qaeda Disbands; Says Job of Destroying U.S. Economy Now in Congress’s Hands.

    • MikeN says:

      Al Qaeda is branching out. They just bought Al Gore’s TV channel. Their programming will deliver higher ratings.

  11. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    During the last debt limit fiasco I read that if Congress did absolutely NOTHING the USA would reach solvency in 6 years.

    It does take ACTIVE MANAGEMENT to keep the fraud moving along and the sheeple distracted by blaming everyone and everything else.

    It/we/the economy won’t continue like this for ever. I wonder who has modeled the various scenario’s and what the Intrade on “USA Collapses” is?

    International Economics. No one understands it beyond a few basics. If the USA Collapses, causing a cascade of collapse around the world, resulting in everyone being devalued, then aren’t we all in the same relationship to one another as we are now? What is the “real” difference?

    My only “model” is the Great Depression where somewhat the same thing happened. Seems a lot of people were without jobs. Probably a variation on that theme?

    • MWD78 says:

      except after the Great Depression we still had a manufacturing base in this country to help pull us out of it when WWII came about.

      now after more than a decade of perpetual warfare coinciding with the total exodus of manufacturing off-shore to 3rd world slave labor countries, we aren’t in a depression now…we’re in a death spiral.

      the jobs have left, and they aren’t coming back. we devalue our fiat currency just to stay solvent. meanwhile social and corporate welfare is at an all time high, and we have no way of paying for it. for every dollar our GDP is worth, we owe $1.03.

      to pretend this nation is anything short of insolvent is merely rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. gotta keep the electorate squabbling over petty policy points so they continue to vote against their own interests rather than see the big picture.

      all so our corporate overlords can suck every last bit of marrow from our bones unopposed before we’re buried.

  12. SOX for Congress says:

    Until we use the power of the Internet to read legislation in advance AND report “pork language” to the people in real-time, things will continue as usual.

    Here’s an idea: What if there was a law that defined “pork” and a “relevancy test” that forbid its inconclusion in unrelated legislation?

    Like Sarbanes-Oxley does to businesses, Congressional leaders would have to attest that all portions of a bill they are about to vote on are relevant to it’s title and scope. The penalty to do so is removal from office AND an immediate repeal of the bill.

    We need SOX for Congress.

    • Bob73 says:

      and WHO in Congress, pray tell, would ever vote for THAT?

      • Jim-bob says:

        We bribe one congressman to “slip” it in as just another piece of pork.

        Since nobody reads this crap in detail, voila! It becomes law.

        Else, WE the people do it.

  13. MikeN says:

    Once again Eideard has been lied to, blaming on Republicans and Democrats in Congress that for which Obama is responsible.

  14. Guyver says:

    Stop taxing on income at the personal or corporate levels. Just tax consumption.

    This translates into no whining on who gets what deductions (aka “loopholes” if you’re rich).

    Problem solved.

  15. Supreme Ultrahuman (I see the comment system is still designed for retards.) says:

    Guyver – you’re right. However, Congress is very smart at screwing things up. They would wreck a flat tax too.


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