NASCAR Welfare

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Something Very Serious People never talk about is how most of the complexity of the Tax Code is there specifically to provide monetary entitlements to the Extremely Wealthy and our Corporate Citizens.

This post by masaccio about Turn Left Racing caught my eye and is well worth reading in full (even if it is a little technical and wonky at points).

Let’s Go Racing for Loopholes – Motorsports Tax Scam Wins a Grafty

By: masaccio, Firedog Lake

Friday January 28, 2011 2:28 pm

There is a special rule for Motorsports Entertainment Complexes, allowing their buildings, grandstands, parking lots and other improvements to be written off over 7 years. IRC § 168(e)(3)(c)(ii). To write the limitation so that it mainly affected auto race tracks, as opposed to dog tracks, took 213 words in IRC § 168(i)(15). The provision was set to expire December 31, 2009, but it was extended to 2011 by § 738 of the Obama Tax Capitulation Act of 2010, more politely known as Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

One of the fun parts of tax issues is to see who benefits from a loophole. The obvious answer is International Speedway Corporation, the publicly held company that owns a bunch of NASCAR tracks, including Daytona, Talladega, Michigan International, Darlington and Watkins Glen.

Now the Very Serious People will tell you these Tax Breaks are stimulative, that they create economic demand and jobs and by the Miracle of the discredited Trickle Down Voodoo Supply Side Economics of the last 30 years they somehow benefit you.

This is a bald faced LIE!

I refuse to believe that the availability of this deduction made the slightest difference in the budgeting decisions of International Speedway Corporation. This budget was set with full knowledge that the loophole would expire at the end of 2009, and projects were going forward without the exemption. The loophole did not create a single job. The extension is a pure gift to the company.

I call it a Miracle because it’s supernatural.  There’s not one shred of evidence that supports it, it’s just one of those things you take on faith like any true believing Jihadi Fundamentalist.  No more scientific than burnt offerings to Mammon.

I also liked the editor’s note-

(A)nother post in Firedoglake’s semi-regular series exposing and exploring ways in which the federal government spends vast sums or forsakes vital revenue in a perpetual, profligate and pathetic quest to assure corporate America that the elected representatives of we the people are really, truly, madly, deeply “business friendly.” With each story, we hope to highlight another government giveaway, tax break, or loophole handcrafted by lawmakers and lobbyists to keep the powerful powerful and make the rich richer. If the reverse Robin Hoodism rises to special heights, we will present it with the FDL Wealthy Welfare Award-or, as we have taken to calling it back here, The Grafty.


    • Noor B on January 30, 2011 at 23:32

    I mean, it offers a two-fer — breaks for the guys pushing one of the opiates of the masses (sports), and one that indirectly helps Big Oil.  One little tax break, so much joy.  

    Of course it’s outrageous and offensive.  WTF else is new?  ;->

    • RUKind on January 31, 2011 at 07:44

    Massive amounts are spent by attendees on alcohol, pot, t-shirts, barbecue, take-off-your-t-shirt t-shirts. Massive quantities of dead animal flesh. Open cooking fires. 24/7 party weeks.

    Then there’s the auto-body shops, bail bondsmen. trial fees, attorney fees, fines. Plus lots of general medical mayhem to clean up at the local ER.

    Tens of thousands of dollars spent on 4-8 mpg road machines. And finally the illegal immigrant clean up crew – because what Uhmerican is going to clean  up anothers puke?

    The Circus Maximus of the Machine Right near the Circus Maximus of Football.

    When you go to sleep tonight, I want you to envision that 300 lb. redneck stuffing six corndogs down his throat and washing it back with a 30 pack. The is Uhmerica.

    Want a laugh? Ask anyone under thirty how many states there are in the USA. Seriously. You will be amazed  at the array of numbers you get. Ask anyone at a NASCAR event where Jimmy Johnson is in the Cup Challenge and you’ll get two corndogs and a six pack – which just happens to be the correct Zen answer.

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