In this morning’s Clearing the Browser Tabs post, I wrote this:
If you were on the fence about the President’s tax deal compromise, the amount of useless pork in it should knock you onto the “no” side.
Well, I have more details and I don’t think you’re going to like them. Jamie Dupree broke out the key points of the compromise “framework” and the amount of pork in it makes the mighty Baconator look like a wimpy White Castle slider. Let me give you a few samples:
Biodiesel and renewable diesel. The bill extends through 2011 the $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for biodiesel, as well as the small agri-biodiesel producer credit of 10 cents per gallon. The bill also extends through 2011 the $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass.
Alternative fuels credit. The bill extends through 2011 the $0.50 per gallon alternative fuel tax credit. The bill does not extend this credit any liquid fuel derived from a pulp or paper manufacturing process (i.e., black liquor).
Ethanol. The bill extends through 2011 the per-gallon tax credits and outlay payments for ethanol. The bill also extends through 2011 the existing 14.27 cents per liter (54 cents per gallon) tariff on imported ethanol and the related 5.99 cents per liter (22.67 cents per gallon) tariff on ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE).
Election to expense advanced mine safety equipment. The bill extends for two years (through 2010) the provision that provides businesses with 50 percent bonus depreciation for certain qualified underground mine safety equipment.
Extension of special expensing rules for U.S. film and television productions. The bill extends for two years (through 2011) 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).
Extension of expensing of environmental remediation costs. The bill extends for two years (through 2011) the provision that allows for the expensing of costs associated with cleaning up hazardous sites.
Not one of these giveaways does a thing to stimulate the economy in the way we need. They do a great job of making certain political donor groups exceedingly happy and they certainly are a great return on their investment in various members of Congress.
But is that really what we elected Congress to do? Did we put these people in office to dump our money into the film industry and failed “green energy” efforts? They certainly seem to think so.
It’s time to end the tradition of rewarding certain industries because Congress thinks they are more deserving than another. It’s time to end the practice of giving “credits” to some companies and not others based on their ability to lobby a few key members of Congress. If the GOP wants to keep taxes low, then lower taxes on everyone. Enough silly games. Enough 74-page “framework” documents that hide the political shenanigans and waste our money hand over fist. Enough of Congress putting political and career considerations over the welfare of the people they work for. Enough.
The GOP needs to kill this deal. If that means that taxes go up in January and stay there for a couple months while the new Congress comes up with a real tax plan, then so be it. Yes, the President might veto it. Yes, the Democrats will throw a few hissy fits. But unless something drastically changed while I was asleep last night, Republicans can still talk directly to the American people. They can explain exactly what they are doing, without nonsense and obfuscation, and why they are doing it. They can spell out exactly why this deal won’t help our economy one whit and why it’s loaded with treats for favored campaign contributors. They can push back against the inevitable pro-Democrat stories that will come from the MSM.
They can, and must, do things right because if they can’t, their historic victory last November is going to evaporate before their very eyes in 2012. The clock is ticking, Republicans. Get it right. Dump the deal. Trash the pork.
UPDATE II: Here’s a piece from Michelle Malkin on just how costly the extension of Unemployment Insurance will be, and who’s going to end up paying for it. Remember, the object of this deal was to get the economy going again. There isn’t a single provision here that does that. In fact, many of them do exactly the opposite. That’s why the deal must die.
Category: The Economy and Your Money