Wednesday, October 13


And THIS is a fiscally responsible administration?How Tax Bill Gave Business More and More:

On Monday, everybody involved was a winner. The Senate gave final approval to Mr. Grassley's bill, which would shower $137 billion in tax breaks into every corner of industry.
The story began nearly three years ago, with an initial impetus simply to replace a $5 billion annual tax break for American exporters that the World Trade Organization had ruled was illegal. It ended this week with a 633-page behemoth that offers new tax giveaways to everyone from corporate titans like Boeing and Hewlett-Packard to an array of oil and gas producers, shopping mall developers, wine distributors, even restaurants. Many companies, like General Electric and Dell, are likely to end up with far more tax relief under the new bill than they had ever received from the old tax break. Some, like Exxon Mobil, never qualified for the old tax break at all but will enjoy tax savings now.

Even the "losers" came away with something. Movie executives are complaining that they were punished at the last minute, when House Republicans stripped out about $1 billion worth of tax credits, in part because the industry is closely identified with the Democratic Party. But they still held on to $336 million in tax breaks for movies made in areas with high unemployment.

Similarly, the final bill would also raise more than $60 billion by cracking down on major tax shelters and punishing companies that try to avoid American taxes by moving their headquarters outside the country. But in a gesture of mercy to a handful of oil service companies from Texas, House Republicans gave a green light to companies that moved offshore before March 4, 2003. The beneficiaries of that decision include the Noble Corporation, Weatherford International, Cooper Industries and Nabors Industries - all in or near the district of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader.

"It was a perfect storm for pork, in that they added all these provisions that were really important to lawmakers in an election year,'' said Keith Ashdown, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan public-interest group in Washington. "It will take days, if not months, to figure out everything that's in here.''


Post a Comment

<< Home