In today’s America, there isn’t a single state that can boast it is immune to political corruption but that doesn’t mean you have to roll out the red carpets for it. I am speaking of the greatest government money giveaway since Mary Landrieu became FEMA Claus: the ridiculous Louisiana Film Tax Credit. In 2012 this self inflicted wound showered almost $240 MILLION in tax breaks to Hollywood’s wealthy in exchange for a few unionized, temporary jobs in film & TV production but it’s still not enough. Now a New Orleans based actor and California based producer are accused by the feds of taking their film tax credits and selling them to someone else to use. What’s that you say? You didn’t know that once awarded, a Louisiana film tax credit is like a Louisiana issued block of gold bullion!? What could possibly go wrong?
Three years ago members of the Saints organization were scammed by the allure of $1.9 million of film tax credit gold showing once again, that government sponsored plunder always winds up in the hands of those who need it the least but of course that shouldn’t matter. The geniuses that run this state’s government can’t predict where a Dutch boy needs to stick his levy plugging finger next so what makes anyone think they can choose winners and losers in business? That’s what a business “tax credit” is folks, a license for politicians to play venture capitalist with someone else’s money, namely yours.
To add insult to injury, these real-life Bugsie’s are grifting Louisiana citizens of Louisiana taxes, yet the convicted perps wind up serving time in federal prisons like former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. If we had responsible leaders in Baton Rouge, unafraid of being dis-invited to a Spike Lee cocktail party they would grab a director’s bullhorn, point it at the defenders of the Film Tax Credit and yell “cut!”