The White House and Congress would have one believe that the recent 'fiscal cliff' bill increasing taxes was meant solely to reduce the deficit. How many Americans know that it was filled with expenditure for favoured interest groups? Here are a few examples of what the American taxpayer finds as approved claims to work towards fiscal responsibility.
· An estimated $430m worth of write offs for film and television production
· An estimated $100m over the next seven years in cost deductions for NASCAR racetrack owners (tax deductions for development and track maintenance)
· An estimated $59m in tax credits for asparagus growers to help them compete with South American farmers importing the vegetable at a lower cost.
· An estimated $7m in tax credits over the next three years for individuals who purchase two or three wheel electric scooters
· An estimated $221m for tax deductions in Puerto Rico and U.S.Virgin Islands rum distilleries which is the result of a temporary increase on a long-standing rum subsidy passed in 1917
· An estimated $331m over the next two years for a 50% tax credit on railroad track maintenance
· Total estimated $1,164b
Perhaps there are those who view this as a small amount in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless, the favoured expenditures add to the sense of hypocrisy by both parties of government.