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HesperiaStar.com
  • Make incentives universal

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  • George Runner, elected member of California’s State Board of Equalization, notes elsewhere on the page today that if the state Legislature has recently voted for a number of boutique tax incentives to keep businesses from leaving our state, “How then can anyone argue that California taxes and regulations aren’t driving jobs away?
    They can’t, of course, but Democrats do anyway, and among them is Gov. Jerry Brown, who says stories of businesses closing down their California connections are “apocryphal,” meaning they don’t really spell trouble, and are not representative of what’s happening.
    Yet even Brown and his party are finally coming round to the belief that creating jobs is important, albeit with a pick-and-choose approach that doesn’t really address the problem. For instance, Brown and state lawmakers attempted to pick winners by enacting a 15-year, $420 million tax credit to help defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing in efforts to secure a $55 billion Pentagon contract and bring well-paying manufacturing jobs to California. Northrop Grumman, feeling left out, complained, so lawmakers extended the credit to that government contractor too.
    As we’ve said in this space many, many times, if tax incentives to keep businesses in California are good for some members of the private sector, why aren’t they good for all? The answer is that of course that would be the best course, but then the granting of specialized tax incentives would no longer be available as a lever wielded by Democrats to curry favor among their corporate friends. Or, in fact, to keep the corporations as friends at all.
    The silver lining in all this is that if a majority of lawmakers in the Assembly and the Senate — Democrats — agree that the private sector needs to be encouraged, can a general amnesty from intrusive regulations and job-killing taxes be on the horizon? Let us hope. 

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