Movie Industry Campaigns for Tax Cuts...For Itself

Hollywood hypocrisy is nothing new but that doesn’t mean that seeing it does not amuse. That is why your humble correspondent couldn’t help but smile upon reading the news out of North Carolina that the notoriously left-wing film industry is fighting desperately to preserve its tax subsidies in the Tarheel State.

Even more delightsome is the rationale that the Motion Picture Association of America is using as an excuse to preserve its tax breaks: that not only do they directly promote the film business but that they also stimulate economic activity.

As proof, the MPAA, which is headed by former Democratic senator Chris Dodd, is citing a study which it commissioned from a Canadian accounting firm which claimed that a $20 million tax credit that the film “Iron Man 3” received resulted in nearly $180 million in production spending by parent company Marvel Studios in the state of North Carolina.

The study further claimed that one dollar in tax credits resulted in $6.50 in gross state product. Among other findings, it also asserted that the $20 million tax break helped to create 2,040 in-state jobs.

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Ronald Reagan or Jack Kemp was running the MPAA from beyond the grave.

While it is nice to see such a left-leaning group start touting the advantages of lowering taxes, especially in regards to the multiplier-effects that lefties typically only seem to think exist with spending, it seems unlikely that the MPAA or the people it represents will want the “little people” to enjoy such benefits for themselves. That, mind you, is actually what North Carolina Republicans (who control both state houses and the governorship) are actually trying to do.

North Carolina state representative Mike Hager has been fighting hard to promote a general tax credit on that basis.

“What you're doing is you’re picking winners and losers,” Hager was quoted as saying by Raleigh radio station WRAL. “You’re saying, ‘I prefer the film industry over the building industry. I prefer the renewable industry over another industry […] So, what you’re saying is they’re more important to me. It’s more sexy, you know. It feels good.”

Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013