Cutting Through the Political Spin on Tax Incentives | Eastern North Carolina Now

Publisher's note: This post, by Ray Nothstine, was originally published in Civitas's online edition.

    Credit to Gov. Roy Cooper for finding a way to finagle what should fundamentally be an issue about fairness for his advantage. Of course, I'm speaking of those unfair tax incentives and Cooper's support for them. By doing this, Cooper can still play the class warfare game and gin up his base by saying he's against across the board corporate tax cuts. It's politically expedient for a lot of politicians, not just Democrats. Republicans or even those who proclaim to be conservative are often just as guilty. Politicians love their ribbon-cutting ceremonies and taking credit for jobs and economic growth. And in our culture today when one hears the word "corporate tax cuts" they often shrivel up and shriek. Perhaps for them, "targeted tax cuts" seem safer, more controlled and managed by the government. "It must be fair if the government is overseeing it," they reason. Broad corporate tax cuts conjure up images of fat cats smoking cigars in luxury suites basking in their profits. That kind of image seers the mind of the economically uninformed.



    However, when one thinks about corporate tax cuts for all they should think about fairness first. Fairness for the entrepreneur who is out their taking risks with their own capital. Fairness in being hired by a company where your own government is not working against you and your livelihood. Big corporations shouldn't ever collude with and be given advantages from the government to have a leg up or even stomp out the competition.

    I recently spoke with Joe Catenacci on his radio show over in Wilminton and my big take away on this issue was a simple one: "When it comes to film subsidies or unfair tax incentives in general, I think it all comes down whether you trust the free market or the government to best grow the economy and create jobs."

    The government by perpetuating these tax incentives is, in essence, admitting that a lower tax climate is superior for job and overall economic growth. The government should make low taxes beneficial for all and stop picking winners and losers. This is the best way to grow the economy and advance our state. If I was looking into starting a business, I'd want to be in a state that gives me that best opportunity and is not colluding with another business so I and my employees are at a disadvantage.

    By the way, a few days after Cooper's tweet above he announced that Microsoft is coming to Charlotte and is eligible for almost $8 million in tax incentives. It seems like a lot of doublespeak to me.

    Civitas will always champion this issue because it's a basic one of fairness in the market and standing up for the taxpayers across the state.
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