Tax Analysts Blog

Michael Moore and Film Tax Credits

Posted on Dec 27, 2012

My liberal friends love Michael Moore. He is the guy behind Bowling for Columbine, Roger and Me, Sicko, and other documentaries in which he tries to illustrate how screwed up America really is. I must admit I find his movies entertaining, albeit often misleading. Here is what we know about Moore. He is a liberal with a capital L. He is constantly fighting for the little guy. He cares about the poor and dispossessed. He wants higher tax rates. He wants more gun control. He wants less military adventurism. He wants universal health care. He is the darling of the left. As The New York Times recently reported, and what most people do not know, Moore took $841,145 in tax incentives from the people of Michigan to film his documentary “Capitalism: A Love Story.” The movie slams America's commitment to capitalism and seems to find every flaw -- and there are many -- with the system.

But the film tax credits Moore received illustrate one of the greatest flaws of the system. American politicians are very quick to use tax and regulatory policy to benefit corporations. They hand out tax breaks to favored industries -- in this case film, companies that threaten to leave, or companies that promise to stay. Tax incentives and other goodies are the epitome of cronyism. They also violate the principal of neutrality. The government should not using the law to pick winners and losers. I find it hard to understand a guy like Moore who makes his living criticizing corporate avarice and turns around and accepts corporate welfare.

Read Comments (3)

Rusty SteeleDec 26, 2012

"Do as I say, not as I do."

Nancy GDec 27, 2012

Seriously? Isn't that a lot like saying that anyone who rides in a
petroleum-fueled vehicle is a hypocrite to advocate carbon-emission reduction?
The system we are bound to is worthy of criticism and change, no? While
advocating change, we're stuck with what we've got. Why give only the
capitalist all the advantages of the warped system the capitalist has created?

lucas rachubaJan 31, 2013

Isn't that a lot like saying that anyone who rides in a
petroleum-fueled vehicle is a hypocrite to advocate carbon-emission reduction?"

Yes it is and yes he is. Slowly, you're learning.

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