Incentives: An Accounting

LIBERAL MSM GETS IT RIGHT, NIKKI HALEY AND HER BUREAUCRATS GET IT WRONG We rarely link to stories in The New York Times because more often than not the paper is tripping over itself to apologize for big government – serving as the leftist edge of an increasingly leftward-moving mainstream…


We rarely link to stories in The New York Times because more often than not the paper is tripping over itself to apologize for big government – serving as the leftist edge of an increasingly leftward-moving mainstream media.

However as they say in South Carolina, “blind hogs do find acorns every once in awhile.”

Case in point?  The Times‘ compelling, front-page expose on government-funded incentives  – which exposes these crony capitalist bailouts as nothing but massive tax shifts that rip off individual taxpayers and small businesses for the purpose of funneling money into select politically connected firms.

What we’ve been saying all along, in other words …

The Times‘ piece concludes that South Carolina spends an estimated $896 million a year on these incentives – which of course feature zero transparency in terms of their amounts and outcomes.  That’s 15 percent of the state’s general fund budget and $200 for every individual South Carolina citizen.

By contrast, North Carolina spends $660 million a year on incentives – only 3 percent of its state budget.  It also spends just $69 per capita – less than a third of what South Carolina spends.  Ge0rgia also spends much less than South Carolina – 8 percent of its budget and $140 per capita – although they have a secret economic development weapon.

Not familiar with what we’re referring to?

Here’s a refresher … 

Anyway, the incentives tab in South Carolina has been expanding exponentially over the last fifteen years.  In 1998, only $34 million was spent on these “targeted tax credits” – or three quarters of one percent of the state’s $4.6 billion general fund.

The result of all these giveaways?  A “Lost Decade” in which small business expansion and individual income growth have been completely choked off …

This website has consistently maintained that South Carolina needs to focus on broad-based tax relief – not tax swaps and government-funded bribes – if it wants to create a lasting climate for economic growth.  In fact our state has numerous competitive advantages (location, aesthetics, etc.) that it could be leveraging if it only had a competitive tax code and a government that knew its limitations.

We thought S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – who campaigned as a “Tea Party” conservative – understood this basic premise.

Obviously, we never in a million years suspected that Haley would rush so quickly into the arms of the crony capitalists. Or that she would actively work against our state’s economic interests in order to advance her political career.

Then again we we never suspected The New York Times would run an expose highlighting the pitfalls of government-run “economic development,” either.

Wonders never cease, huh?

As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price (The New York Times)


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jimlewis,owb December 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

According to the Times article:

“South Carolina recently took on a $218 million debt to assist Boeing’s expansion there and offered the company tax breaks for 10 years”

What are the odds that in 10 years:

Boeing will move out of the state and tell SC to fuck off
Boeing will sell off all physical assets given to them by the State and tell SC to fuck off
Bobby Hitt will be dead and buried above ground to avoid soil contamination
Gypsy Queen Nikki Haley will be in Washington trying to convince anyone who will listen that her 50+ year old cooter is still attractive
South Carolina taxpayers will still be electing cockroaches, bending over, grabbing their ankles, sticking their head between their legs and watch the butt fucking they deserve.

junior justice December 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hey, isn’t that sort of —–HARSH!

BigT December 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

This is FITS at his MOST Ignorant…Those incentives PAY OFF BIGTIME over the long-term…

Obama invests in Lazy-@$$-Backward Unions…who Destroy companies…That’s why the NYT is mad…

And if you are patting the NYT on hre back for atatcking a Republican (as if that’s news)…you are a bigger Dumb@$$ than most liberals..

Common Sense December 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

as much a dumbass as someone who guaranteed a Perry, Bachman, Gingrich, santorium and finally a Romney landslide win? someone as absolutely butt stupid, ignorant and head so far up his own ass when he coughs he sees daylight..that much of a dumbass?

SparkleCity December 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

They had the NYT reporter of the story on “Morning Joe” this morning (sans Mika & Joe).

Pretty revealing………..

Looking at FITS numbers of percapita “incentives” by neighboring states, it appears my observation that South Carolina is the biggest “incentive whore” in the southeast (and maybe in the entire country) is correct.

SparkleCity December 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

“Aesthetics” a South Carolina advantage?????


One strip of coastline reserved for the priviledged few (Hilton head, Kiawah, etc.) The same for a lot of South Carolina mountains (which is a small footprint compared to other southern Appalachian states) and of course the holy grail that being Charleston. Big Whoop that……..

I guess you could call Sumter,Florence,Columbia,Barnwell, etc. “aestheticly appealing” locations couldn’t you???

Have you looked at all the trash littering the highways or the grass not being cut on the interstates last year????

This place makes New Jersey look like the grounds at Biltmore Estate!!!

Bob Hall December 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is no apparent data base to check but the Counties add to this in the form of property taxes. For a horror story just check the history of Fisher Tank formerly located next to Michilen in Lexington now in the Industrial Park in Batesburg Leesville. They made a fortune on the property sale. The property was transferred to Lexington County (check the property records) so that no property tax was paid for a period. Then they moved to B&L where thay have a brand new facitlity, twice the property all for 35 jobs. B&L paid more than $50,000 for sewer/water and gets $700 a year in property tax (check Fisher tax records on Lex Co. website.)

That is a horror story but it pales with the United Waste story, againg supported by tax records. Big obosolete building in Batesburg, no taxes for more than 10 years, never more than 40 jobs recycling tires etc which ruined the building. You have to visit Batesburg and see the building to appreciate the story.

Maybe we should have full time politicans so that they would lose more salary if not reelected and would pay more attention to the people.

Uncle Bob

BigT December 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

How much did Obama use of our money to bail out GM after the Union Sunk them???….How much (waste) of our did Solyndra get paid off with by Obama????

Until FITS is on top of that…he needs to STFU…

The businesses we attract have other states BEGGING them to come…because they hire PEOPLE and thos people pay taxes…and buy goods and fund schools….

This is one of the most IGNORANT mistakes of the so-called Libertarians…

Well-run Corporations-companies bring prosperity….Liberals bring Poverty (just look at the democrat-voting Corridor-of-Shame)….

That sad: it is a RISK to locate an industry in a democrat-voting county. Just like Obama, they’ll steal, sue and beg you dry…

scmajor December 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Yeah, Democrat induced poverty is so HORRIFIC!!

I was just in Newport RI and drove through the “corridor of shame” to Connecticut. The horror, the horror.

Functioning economies and roads that are drivable with jobs that pay a living wage.

I just can’t understand why these states don’t jump at the chance to follow in our states footsteps so they too can enjoy the utopia that the republicans have brought to SC.

If only they followed T’s wisdom…..

Common Sense December 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm

still offering his continually proven poor opinions to all the dumbasses he despises..hoping some day..some way at least one person will respect him..hey at least he has a solid career as a political forecaster..ROFLMAO uhhhh maybe not..

dwb619 December 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm

How about the $900 plus million the tax payers of South Carolina have given Boeing so far?>

Booyah December 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Boeing isn’t going to shitcan their plant when they run out of tax incentives, because that plant isn’t some trifling clothing factory.

Firms like Boeing think long-term and after their overseas outsourcing debacle they need a US factory they can play against their OTHER US factory over time.

When you let ideology DICTATE your thinking rather than being inquisitive, you aren’t looking for accurate information.

Crony capitalism IS capitalism. The real world has nothing to do with “magical thinking”/Capitalism as religious doctrine. In the real world, business is war. Government + business is the best war machine (and dandy for building war machines too!) which is why our COMPETITORS aren’t striving for some masturbatory purist fantasy. They are too busy turning a profit.


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