2017 was quite a year for North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who doled out millions of dollars in taxpayer-backed financial incentives to lure large corporations to our state.
While the Governor and his allies have tried to spin this blatant corporate welfare as a good deal for taxpayers, we believe young North Carolinians have a right to know that their hard-earned tax dollars are subsidizing massive corporations that don’t need the help. Through our “Duck, Duck, Cooper” campaign, we’ve been educating young North Carolinians about the true price tag of the Governor’s incentives, which are costing taxpayers here millions of dollars.
Today, unfortunately, the editorial board of the News & Observer (N&O) attacked us and defended Cooper’s handouts, arguing that they’re simply “targeted tax breaks” that will “attract new businesses to North Carolina.”
The truth is, “targeted tax breaks” are just another term for corporate welfare, wherein average taxpayers are forced to pay corporations to do business. In North Carolina’s case, Cooper has given away over $40 million to international banking giant Credit Suisse, over $20 million to IT behemoth Infosys, and nearly $12 million to AXA, a multinational insurance firm.
All told, Gov. Cooper has handed out $185 million in corporate welfare so far. This is absolutely absurd, especially considering that North Carolina was recently ranked as the best state in the country to do business in thanks to economic reforms that were passed before Gov. Cooper was elected. With low tax rates, low business costs, and a young, educated workforce to hire from, large corporations already have all the incentive they need to set up shop in our state – they don’t need Raleigh to pad their pockets with our tax dollars.
The N&O’s editorial board also slammed our spokeswoman, Anna Beavon Gravely, for saying recently that “corporate welfare is taxpayer money being given to rich businesses, which takes away from people who are struggling to make it.”
“This from a group that applauds sweeping cuts in federal and state taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals,” the editorial board panned.
We aren’t sure where the irony is here. Yes, we believe that one of the best ways to grow the economy, increase wages, and create jobs is by reducing tax rates – not just for a select few with lobbying clout, but for all. North Carolina’s aforementioned number one ranking is irrefutable proof of that and the new tax reform bill that Congress just passed is already benefitting businesses and their workers, alike. What we’re saying – and many will agree – is that it’s unfair to force struggling individuals and families to subsidize large corporations who don’t need help.
What’s also true is that picking winners and losers, which is what Gov. Cooper is doing, puts smaller businesses and entrepreneurs at a major disadvantage compared to their larger competitors. Businesses should succeed on their merits – not their ability to use their political connections to secure taxpayer giveaways from the government.
At the end of the day, young North Carolinians deserve better than to see their hard-earned tax dollars converted into corporate welfare for large, wealthy businesses who don’t need any convincing to come to our state. If you agree that corporate welfare has no place in North Carolina, we encourage you to contact Governor Cooper today and let him know.