Hollywood’s Hypocrisy on Taxes

A recent comment by actor Alec Baldwin of TV’s 30 ROCK shows how hypocritical Hollywood can be when it comes to taxes.

During a local cable show in New York City, Baldwin rebuked New York Governor David Paterson for suggesting that the cancellation of a 35% tax credit for movies shot in New York City could help reduce the state’s $7 billion deficit.

“If these tax breaks are not reinstated,” Baldwin said, “film production in this town is going to collapse, and television is going to collapse, and it’s all going to go to California.”

The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Baldwin’s comments were echoed by Hollywood’s recent support for tax breaks in Michigan, Texas and California, despite the recent economic downturn that has affected the budgets of all states.

Despite Hollywood’s penchant for promoting self-serving tax breaks, the Journal reports that the Motion Picture Production and Distribution industry gave 89% of its $14 million in political donations to pro-tax candidates like Barack Obama in the Democratic Party.

Also, in California in recent years, Hollywood director (and Democratic Party supporter) Rob Reiner has led campaigns for several tax increases for various liberal projects.

Hollywood should not get tax breaks, the Journal’s editorial board argues.

“It makes much more sense for cities, states and the federal government to lower tax rates for everyone,” it concludes.

Most economists and historians point out that across-the-board tax cuts in the past result in the creation of millions of jobs and increased government revenues, especially in times of economic hardship and downturns.

– Source:  Wall Street Journal, 03/14/09.


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