-By Warner Todd Huston
The so-called “tax extenders” bill that was initially part of the unemployment package that Congress passed last month is still on the table. It was separated from the unemployment bill because the GOP opposed its inclusion and for good reason. It is little else but a sop to special interests and big corporations.
The Democrats claim that this bill will provide “broad-based” tax relief for “average American businesses.” But snuggly hidden inside this bill are a regalia of “earmarked” tax loopholes for some of the Democrats biggest donors, corporations that hardly need any tax relief. The Democrats have been trying to get this sop to special interests passed in one form or another all year but so far no luck. This time the Democrats are trying to graft another version of tax extenders to legislation that would give the states $26 billion to pay for state health and education programs.
The unions, for one, are pushing to get this passed. AFSCME recently circulated a memo on K Street saying, “The House must pass this bill with no changes as soon as possible. … Please call offices of allies and those who had deficit concerns with the tax extender bill.”
That unions support this, that in itself should worry many.
So, what is so bad in this tax extenders bill that has been making it so hard for Democrats to get it through?
This bill extends 70 subsidies to dozens of America’s largest corporations. Wall Street banks that got TARP money find favor with this bill. So does fast food giant McDonald’s. Even farm implement maker John Deere comes in for some hefty subsidies. These subsidies amount to $2.8 billion over the next two years.
Here are some of the goodies in this thing:
Financial Industry (sec 263)= $3.923 billion
Banking Industry (sec 264)= $574 million
Fast Food Industry (sec 248)= $4.851 billion
Farm Equipment Manufacturers (sex 247)= $798 million
Railroad Companies (sec 244)+ $165 million
NASCAR (sec 249)= $38 million
Timber REIT (sec 260)= $7 million
Does NASCAR need a big stimulus boost? How about McDonald’s? I don’t see how they could.
This bill is yet one more example of Democrats trying to pay off special interest groups instead of helping the “average business.”