Thursday, January 03, 2013

Does Wind Pork Mean Flying Pigs?

The Fiscal Cliff Deal that passed recently has justifiably been criticized for its tax increases but it should also be harshly examined for its tax reductions.  Christine Harbin of Americans For Prosperity explains
Disappointingly, the fiscal cliff package is riddled with billions in blatant corporate welfare. One change that got slipped into the deal at the 11th hour is a measure that would extend the wind production tax credit (PTC) for 1 year, alongside several additional targeted tax credits for renewable energy, at a cost of $12 billion.
So, while individual taxpayers in America are seeing higher taxes in 2013, politically-connected groups like the wind industry are getting special tax treatment. Even though Americans continue to struggle in the down economy, the federal government keeps giving its favorite industries a leg-up, and it’s showing no sign of stopping.
What happened? While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden were negotiating a last-minute deal, there was a flurry of lobbying activity from the wind industry. As Tim Carney recently highlighted in the Washington Examiner, this included “Obama’s closest corporate confidants as well as former congressmen from both parties.” They have a strong financial incentive to convince their pals in Congress to keep the playing field tilted in their and their clients’ favor.
We’re seeing history repeat itself. Congress has voted to extend the PTC six times since it began in 1992, usually in one or two-year intervals. Eleven months from now, right before the PTC is scheduled to expire again, I predict we’ll be engaged in the exact same debate. The wind lobby will still claim that the industry needs even more time to get off its feet, and Americans for Prosperity and our coalition partners will continue to point out how destructive the tax credit is, in policy and in principle.
Calling for cutting corporate welfare makes for great sound bites on cable news stations, but unfortunately Washington lawmakers routinely fail to put these words into action. When considering targeted handouts individually, Congress end up extending the same old corporate welfare policies that clog the tax code. Congress’s latest actions on the wind production tax credit is a prime case in point.
We can’t reform our tax system if our elected officials don’t have the guts to stand up to special interests. If Congress won’t end corporate welfare for the wind industry, there’s little reason to believe that it will end it for any other industry. This does not bode well for comprehensive tax reform in 2013.
This is simply a manifestation of Crony Capitalism. Less of a political ideology based on ideals or philosophy it is the government actors deliberately choosing citizens and corporations to benefit at the expense of others.

Whether you want to call it Corporate Welfare, Pork, Crony Capitalism, or Bloat, this is "wind industry", which means wind pork, flying pigs.

I'd rather be plying figs.