No Soup For You: Nixon Wants ‘Project-by-Project’ Tax Cuts, Not Tax Cuts For All
It’s always remarkable to see politicians who are against general tax relief exalt the arrival of businesses attracted . . . by tax incentives. After all, a tax break is just a tax cut, albeit for some extra-special, often politically connected individual or industry.
And that’s precisely what happened yesterday in Kansas City, when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon — who recently vetoed the Broad-Based Tax Relief Act — was on hand to celebrate the opening of Freightquote’s new office in south Kansas City. Freightquote, as you may remember, was attracted from Kansas to Missouri with more than $60 million in state and local tax incentives, which begs the question: If Freightquote can get crazy tax breaks like that to move from Lenexa, Kan., a short, leisurely drive down I-435, why can’t we all get a little tax relief?
The short answer: we’re not special enough.
Tax cuts should be pursued on a “specific project-by-project basis,” [Nixon] said. “We need to come at this in an overall thoughtful way, not just throw darts.”
Giving tax cuts to everyone is “throwing darts,” but picking a few projects for special tax breaks is . . . “thoughtful”? What is this, newspeak? How is giving special, targeted tax breaks not “throwing darts”? And what makes the governor think the government’s more thoughtful and better at throwing darts than the marketplace, where poor decisions are rewarded with foreclosures and bankruptcies, not press conferences and ribbon cuttings?
He then rejected tax cuts for all Missouri residents, or what he called an “across the board tax experiment.”
Catch that? Tax breaks are OK, but they have to be government-approved tax breaks for special tax-break recipients. Tax breaks for the rest of us, the hoi polloi in the market, are an “experiment.” We apparently throw darts; the government is “thoughtful.”
Amazing to hear this sort of stuff in, of all places, the Show-Me State. You deserve better than this.