Jay Inslee once portrayed Washington State as a “victim of corporate extortion.” Which, according to our green governor, corporation is the one that extorted our state?
The Boeing Company.
After prodding from unions, Inslee took his attacks on Boeing a step further just two weeks following the end of the 2016 legislative session. Inslee told a Seattle public-television audience that he believes it is “fitting” to consider adding “some measure of accountability” to a package of aerospace tax incentives passed by the legislative over a decade ago, and extended in 2013. That is the same “Boeing tax bill” which Inslee praised following its passage.
The state Legislature passed “the Boeing tax bill” during an emergency legislative session to keep 777X production in Washington State. At the time, lawmakers from both parties praised the law as a job-saving measure that would keep billions of dollars in manufacturing value in our state.
That positive sentiment about doing something good for our economy quickly ended for liberals once unions started howling, as Inslee demonstrated with his extreme “extortion” comments.
Other Democrats have following, demonstrating their regret for the Boeing tax bill. Recently, they have attacked Boeing by claiming the tax break will cost our state $8.7 billion. Of course, the reality is that the aerospace tax incentives that benefit Boeing and over 200 other companies cost taxpayers absolutely nothing.
Those tax incentives are based on economy activity that might not otherwise take place in Washington were the incentive not in place – that’s hardly a government handout.
Moreover, most of the Boeing tax breaks extended existing business-and-occupations tax incentives granted in 2003. The tax package was scheduled to expire in 2024. So, the state Legislature extended it through 2040 to cover the expected life of the 777X production line. Again, hardly a new government handout.
Ultimately, the measure aimed to align our state’s tax structure with similar taxes on aerospace companies in other states – which were competing for the opportunity to be the home of new airplane manufacturing.
It’s important to re-iterate — because Democrats continually fail to grasp the concept — that the state did not give Boeing money. The $8.7 billion sum was not ever in the state’s coffers—nor would have it been had Boeing decided not to produce the 777X in Washington. Had Boeing moved production, the state’s take on the economic activity surrounding the 777X would have been $0.
Moreover, according to recent estimates, because Boeing kept 777X production in Washington State, our state is expected to generate a whopping $22.3 billion in additional revenue.
But, that’s not the only benefit to result from the Boeing tax breaks. As GOP State Senator Mark Schoesler recently wrote in the Everett Herald:
“The good news is that Washington had the foresight to land the next generation of jobs with the carbon-fiber focus that comes with the new 777X plant.
“In addition, it was just announced that 286 companies from across the state were able to avail themselves of the aerospace tax incentives. These are good family-wage jobs from Kent to Spokane; from Frederickson to Mukilteo.
“The 2013 package of incentives did not require Boeing to maintain a certain statewide employment baseline, only to locate its major 777X-related operations here instead of some other state. Inslee understood that when he signed the legislation, and it would be dishonorable to change the terms of the agreement after the fact.”
Inslee is not the only Democrats who want to “change the terms of the agreement after the fact” — an agreement that, as we pointed out, is advantageous to our state.
According to a recent report, a Democrat candidate seeking to unseat GOP State Senator Barbara Bailey in the 10th Legislative District has also voiced support for changing the terms of the Boeing agreement. Democrat Nick Petrish is calling for “stopping corporate welfare” and suggesting they start with tax breaks for Boeing.
“Everybody has to start to pay their fair share and they’re not,” he said.
Petrish — like Inslee and many of his fellow Democrats — desperately needs some remedial education on what it means to subsidize private companies, a.k.a. corporate welfare. If Democrats like Petrish are so concerned with “corporate welfare,” perhaps they should take a hard look at all the failing “green” schemes they insist on propping up via taxpayer dollars, rather than attack the job-creating industries that sustain our state.
Boeing may have saved $305 million through state tax breaks last year. But, the company also spent a whopping $13 billion in our state last year alone. The $13 billion doesn’t even count the 777X composite wing center in Everett that’s opening next month — or the job creation the composite wing center will bring to our state.
Here’s the twisted logic of liberals: Rather than work to create an even friendlier competitive environment for job-creating industries like aerospace to grow and flourish in our state, Democrats are questioning whether or not Boeing should continue “benefiting” from tax breaks in the future.
Democrats’ obsession with “reexamining” the Boeing tax breaks has us wondering: do they have a problem with job creation?