Friday, July 13, 2007

Bad for Business

When is a tax break bad for business?

When it goes to your competition and not to you, too. That's playing favorites with the tax code, and it's a game politicians play all too well.

It's especially bad when it's big business getting the tax break, and small business paying the taxes. That's worse than robbing Peter to pay Paul. It's more like robbing David to pay Goliath. And it's exactly what the South Carolina Legislature is going to do. Surprise, surprise.

Governor Sanford vetoed a bill that gave big box retailers a tax break. The Governor said, correctly, that the bill did "what we should never do to small businesses in our state—it takes their money to subsidize a large corporate competitor that could well put them out of business.”

The Legislature, however, disagreed. It overrode his veto, and big business got what it wanted. The little guy got the bill.

This isn't free enterprise. It's a free for all. In the scramble for political favors, big business has most of the advantages, and ends up with most of the loot.

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