Liberals obviously need some remedial education on what it means to subsidize private companies, that’s the lesson in the aftermath of Boeing’s release of how much the money it saved due to state tax incentives.
Last week, Boeing announced it saved $305 million through state tax breaks last year. It’s the first time the company has ever been required to publicly disclose the information.
What did our state get in exchange for $305 million?
According to Boeing, the company 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.
Any reasonable person would acknowledge that Washington State benefitted. Just ask the Boeing workers whose jobs did not move out of state.
Yet, liberals aren’t happy with less tax revenue, ever.
So, instead of working to create an even friendlier competitive environment for job-creating industries like aerospace to grow and flourish in our state, liberals are questioning whether or not Boeing should continue “benefiting” from tax breaks in the future.
First, liberals began to attack the state Legislature (targeted at GOP lawmakers) for approving aerospace industry tax breaks via a special session in November 2013. At the time, lawmakers from both parties praised the measure as a job-saving measure that would keep billions in manufacturing value inside the state. That sentiment quickly ended for liberals, Jay Inslee went so far as to claim that Boeing “extorted” our state.
Of course, all these attacks conveniently forget the fact that the 2013 tax break was not a “frenzied” or out-of-the-blue decision (as liberals now portray it). Lawmakers extended existing tax breaks that were first approved in 2003 and set to expire in 2024. The new legislation extended them until 2040 to cover the expected life of the 777X production line. The deal ensured Boeing kept production of the 777X in Everett.
Ultimately, the measure aimed to align our state’s tax structure with similar taxes on aerospace companies in other states.
Now that liberals know just how much Boeing saved last year due to the deal, they are salivating at the opportunity to attack the job-providing corporation.
The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat recently referred to the state Legislature’s 2013 decision to extent the Boeing tax break as the “big giveaway weekend” and questioned our state’s propensity toward “corporate welfare.” Apparently, now that Boeing must release its savings, “people can scrutinize the numbers and judge for themselves whether subsidy deals like this are worth it.”
Westneat’s representation of the Boeing tax breaks — however “fair” he thinks he is being in his latest column — is far from objective or reasonable. First and foremost, referring to the Boeing tax breaks as “corporate welfare” or some sort of government “subsidy deal” is a gross misrepresentation of reality.
The fact that Boeing saved $305 million in taxes did not cost the state money. In fact, it cost taxpayers absolutely nothing.
It’s a tax break, not a government handout or subsidy or “corporate welfare” scheme.
To make it very simple for all the liberals out there, the state did not give Boeing money. Boeing saved its own money and, in return, invested billions in our state.
Boeing did not take $305 million from the state. If Boeing ever decided to pick up and move from Washington, the state’s share of the economic activity surrounding the aerospace industry would be virtually nonexistent.
No, the Boeing tax incentive is not an example of a government subsidy. What is an example of a government subsidy is the Obama administration’s decision to give a $535 million loan guarantee to now-failed solar company Solyndra. The company’s collapse soon after receiving federal backing cost American taxpayers more than $500 million — that’s an example of a government subsidy.
If liberals 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.