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A Better Way to Create Jobs, Mr. President

2 min readBy: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

Former Justice Robert Orr of North Carolina writes an open letter to President Obama in the Charlotte Observer about job creation. I highly recommend reading the full piece; I found it hard to clip just one excerpt from it. An excerpt:

Over the past 20 years North Carolina has increasingly participated in the use of targeted incentives to lure new jobs to the state and retain existing ones. Whether in the form of direct cash grants by the state or specially crafted taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. breaks, hundreds of millions of dollars in public resources have been spent as a result. States compete against each other in what amounts to a blind auction game. The beneficiaries – most of whom are multi-billion dollar corporations – use site consultants and lobbyists to squeeze the maximum financial benefit out of the respective government competitors.[…]

And just this past week our own Gov. Bev Perdue traveled to Hollywood to lure film productions, touting our newly increased film tax creditA tax credit is a provision that reduces a taxpayer’s final tax bill, dollar-for-dollar. A tax credit differs from deductions and exemptions, which reduce taxable income, rather than the taxpayer’s tax bill directly. and the need to match Louisiana and Georgia's subsidy efforts. News reports stated that the Hollywood production companies, however, demanded more – remove the corporate cap on film costs eligible for the credit now set at $7.5 million. Forgotten in the process is the plight of unemployed workers in the film and television industry in California caused by these same production companies shopping other states.[…]

This is not a partisan issue. Across the political spectrum opponents have spoken out against this practice calling it "corporate welfare," an attack on the free market system and blatantly unfair to small businesses and start-ups that don't get these special breaks.[…]

The quest for jobs should not be based upon the current practice of targeted incentives fueled by a jobs war among the states. There is a better way to create jobs. Mr. President, we need your leadership. Will you help?

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