The Big Winner in the Fiscal Cliff: Crony Capitalists

There is a wonderfully sad piece in the WSJ on the support for crony capitalism that were central to the fiscal cliff deal. A brief excerpt:

In praising Congress’s huge new tax increase, President Obama said Tuesday that “millionaires and billionaires” will finally “pay their fair share.” That is, unless you are a Nascar track owner, a wind-energy company or the owners of StarKist Tuna, among many others who managed to get their taxes reduced in Congress’s New Year celebration.

There’s plenty to lament about the capital and income tax hikes, but the bill’s seedier underside is the $40 billion or so in tax payoffs to every crony capitalist and special pleader with a lobbyist worth his million-dollar salary. Congress and the White House want everyone to ignore this corporate-welfare blowout, so allow us to shine a light on the merriment.

After providing some rather striking examples of cronyism, we get the core lesson:

The great joke here is that Washington pretends to want to pass “comprehensive tax reform,” even as each year it adds more tax giveaways that distort the tax code and keep tax rates higher than they have to be. Even as he praised the bill full of this stuff, Mr. Obama called Tuesday night for “further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.”

The article reinforces one of the key features of American politics: wherever you find Baptists, you will also find bootleggers.

3 thoughts on “The Big Winner in the Fiscal Cliff: Crony Capitalists

  1. The Baptists wanted to make the rich pay their fair share and support the middle and working classes. Social justice, my friend, and a strike against the plutocrats. We might question whether the Baptists believed their own rhetoric–I assume some did, others did not.

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