Here is a report you may enjoy. It reminds me of an article you wrote years ago. The fiscal-cliff compromise reached between Congress and President Barack Obama not only will avert immediate deep spending cuts in government programs and tax increases for the middle class, it will also provide plenty of goodies for corporate interests.
Thrown together at the last minute, with little time for a thorough review, the 153-page bill (pdf) was too easy to pass up for lawmakers looking for a year-end vehicle to help special interests.
Or as Representative Darrell Issa (R-California) told The Washington Post: “There’s lots and lots of pork in this bill.” In fact, many of the specific items are extensions of the exact ones that were slipped into the tax cut bill of December 2010.
The legislation reportedly contains $205 billion in tax breaks for corporations, including:
$43 million over two years for owners of motorsports entertainment complex properties (read: NASCAR racetracks) engaged in construction.
$165 million a year for railroads to maintain their tracks.
$150 million in deductions for Hollywood studios that film in low-income communities of just in the United States.
$9 billion a year to help banks and manufacturers “engage in certain lending practices and not pay taxes on income earned from it,” according to Naked Capitalism. Specifically, the bill allows the banks and multinationals to defer paying taxes on foreign income, thus encouraging the creation of jobs outside the United States.
An increase in the import tax on rum from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to benefit rum distillers in these U.S. dependencies.
Tax incentives for mining companies to buy safety equipment that they should be buying anyway.
$1 million a year in tax credits for coals companies that mine on land owned by Indian tribes.
Another little-noticed item in the bill changed the law that establishes conditions under which the president is allowed to reduce the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Rather than such action being contingent on certifying that Russia has first met its nuclear treaty obligations, the president now only has to know whether or not Russia has done so.
Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsk