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4 Absurd Tax Breaks That Were Secretly Snuck Into the Fiscal Cliff Bill

Many of us have differing opinions on the fiscal cliff bill, but some of the details arising now will surprise probably every one of us. Below are some of the highlights of the bill as reported by the Washington Post and Naked Capitalism:

1) Sec. 317 ... “Extension of special expensing rules for certain film and television productions”

This essentially provides for tax credits of $15 million for Hollywood to film in the U.S., and up to $20 million to film in low-income area.

Estimated cost: $75 million annually

2) Section 322 ... The “Extension for the Active Financing Exception to Subpart F”

Per Dan Eggen, under this provision “financial services firms and manufacturers can defer U.S. taxes on overseas income from a type of financial transaction known as ‘active financing.’” Essentially, this provides a tax shelter to those corporations who move jobs overseas.

Estimated cost: $9 billion

3) Section 306 ... Railroads

Certain private railroad companies can get credits for maintenance of their tracks.

Estimated cost: $165 million

4) Section 312 ... “Seven Year Recovery Period for Motorsports Entertainment Complex Property”

The NASCAR provision. Allows those who build or maintain racetracks, bleachers, and concession stands, to deduct costs.

Estimated cost: $21.5 million

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For those who haven't counted so far, we are only at $9,261,500,000 in pork spending, and we have only pointed out four sections of this bill. By clicking on the hyperlinks at the beginning of this article, you will find details of additional spending, vastly increasing the $9.26 billion in spending already.

At a time when our country is in a debt crisis, should Congress not be looking to cut pork spending such as this? Much has been said of pork spending over the past decade, many in leadership positions have condemned it, yet we still see NASCAR provisions, Hollywood provisions, Goldman Sachs provisions, the list goes on.

What will it take for our leaders to recognize this as a problem and focus their efforts on clear areas were costs could be cut, such as pork spending?

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