The fiscal cliff deal’s biggest winners are not just taxpayers, they are special interest groups who closely aligned themselves with politicians as the deal moved forward.
As the fiscal cliff neared politicians rushed to broker a deal and in the midst of those negotiations they added dozens of tax brakes for specific businesses and entire industries.
While some of the deals goals were meant to ensure proper manufacturing and job retention, other parts were specifically designed to offer breaks to certain businesses. For example, there is a cost-recovery program that will pay out $70 million to the owners of “motorsports entertainment complexes” over the next two years.
According to NBC News:
“The agreement also came loaded with extensions of separate existing tax breaks for businesses and industries, many of which had expired in the past year — about $67.9 billion in all this year, as tabulated by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.”
The new tax bill doesn’t just cover racing complex owners, it also offers tax credits for the construction of renewable energy projects at a cost of $116 million. However, the renewable energy credits while only good through 2013 in terms of application deadlines actually extends over the next decade at a cost of $12.2 billion.
The US government has also allowed for a corporate tax law called active financing income to be put into place over the next two years. Under that plan businesses can defer taxes on some of the income they earn overseas. That deal will cost the US Treasury $9 billion in 2013 and $1.8 billion in 2013.
Hollywood producers will also receive help in the form of $430 million in tax breaks through 2014.
Even asparagus growers are receiving some help in the form of $15 million per year, money needed by the farmers after cheaper Peruvian asparagus began making its way to the United States.
There is even a $4 million tax break for people who drive around cities on Segways and other “2 or 3 wheeled plug-in electric vehicles.”
When all is said and done the fiscal cliff deal still provides middle-class Americans with Bush Era tax cuts, extending certain tax breaks back into the 2012 tax season.
If we can take one thing away from this deal it is simply that waiting until the last minute to broker a fiscal cliff deal has once again provided plenty of pork.
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