Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Corporate welfare

Bobby Jindal doesn't like "corporate welfare" anymore.
Are Louisiana's corporations heroic job creators or greedy welfare addicts? It depends on when you ask Gov. Bobby Jindal. Two years ago, Jindal wanted to abolish the state's corporate income tax. "Louisiana's current tax climate results in competitive disadvantages for businesses and individuals by penalizing hard work and increased earnings," Jindal said in March 2013.

The plan - which also included eliminating the personal income tax - was so reckless that the state's top corporate lobby, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, opposed it. Jindal surrendered one day into the 2013 session.

Two years later, our governor has had an epiphany. He once said we were crushing businesses with oppressive taxes. This past week, however, Jindal told lawmakers, "The truth is, today, we have a system of corporate welfare in this state."
So, naturally, he's taking steps this year to reign that stuff in. Or not.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is trying to close a $1.6 billion budget hole without touching as much as $415,000 per episode in tax breaks that may be due to “Duck Dynasty.”

The A&E television reality show takes part in the nation’s most generous entertainment-tax credit program. Jindal is proposing no changes, arguing that reducing such breaks is tantamount to raising taxes. The state approves enough incentives each year to make up at least $200 million in proposed cuts that led Louisiana State University to say that it may plan for insolvency.

“You’re talking about between $200 million and $250 million a year that goes out the door to TV and film producers to come here and shoot their pictures, in a state where money is scarce,” said Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project, which advocates policies that benefit low- and moderate-income people. “It’s irresponsible to let this part of the budget continue running amok at a time when they’re talking about closing college campuses.”
It's a shame Bobby doesn't have the courage of his convictions in this case.  Surely a program like Duck Dynasty would be proud to sink or swim based solely on the principles of the competitive marktetplace.  

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