Today the House is expected to vote on HB 1224, a bill that has been bounced around between the House and Senate, a couple committees, has had amendments added, and has garnered quite a bit of controversy among legislative leaders.
The two main components of the bill include a cap on the local sales tax, and an expansion of the state’s corporate welfare efforts.
At minimum, these two components should be separated into different bills. They are unrelated and should be voted on separately.
More to the point, however, is the question of whether or not the “conservative” leadership supports corporate welfare and cronyism, or free markets. I’ve written recently about how cronyism not only slows economic growth because it directs scarce resources away from their most valued uses, but it creates a climate to encourage political horse-trading that favors large corporations at the expense of small businesses.
Furthermore, if the “conservative” leadership supports such corporate welfare schemes, they signal that they are actually comfortable with continuing the type of cronyism they criticized during past administrations, as they offer up the same justifications we saw in the Perdue and Easley administrations.