NC Chamber: It's not right to make companies pay their fair share of taxes

Lest anyone accuse me of being anti-business, I'm writing as a person who has started and led a number of companies over the past 30 years. I appreciate first hand the value of jobs and the important contributions private companies can make. So when I find myself reading slippery propaganda from the head of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, I feel compelled to weigh in. Here's an excerpt from today's edition of Profits Before People, courtesy of the N&O.

To characterize a proposal to increase our state's already high personal income tax rates merely as tax increases on rich people is ridiculous and bad for North Carolina. It's these small businesses that provide the majority of jobs for our working families. Increasing their tax burden, when they're struggling to survive, makes little sense.

As Chris Fitzsimon says this morning:

He neglects to mention that under the House tax proposal, a millionaire would pay an additional 1/4 of one percent of his or her income in taxes, hardly a devastating increase.

And then there's this excerpt from the Chamber chief:

Another proposal that would force major employers operating in additional states to potentially pay taxes on income not attributable to North Carolina would not only raise the cost of jobs already here, but would also make our state less hospitable to companies looking to bring new jobs.

Potentially? Now there's one of my favorite weasel words. Would the new proposal actually force national and multinational companies to pay taxes on income not attributable to North Carolina? The answer is no.

Robert Stolz, the writer of the column, appears to be a well-connected guy, having been appointed to economic development boards by both Governors Hunt and Easley. But it's hard to take a person seriously who says on one hand that he's all for fairness and good schools and apple pie, and on the other hand misrepresents the impact of proposed legislation.


Say What?


And that's as coherent a comment I can make on this.

I am "pro-business" but anti-Chamber of Commerce

I do not believe that being in favor of business means that you have to support the Chamber of Commerce, a group that is as radical and right-wing as any I can think of.

Let's not forget that it was the Chamber's cronies who headed up the Bush administration's economic cabinet and staffed the government's regulatory agencies. Their 8-year reign is what put us in this economic mess. Those same right-wing ideologues, of course, moved back to the Chamber in 2009 and their anti-EFCA efforts have become an over-glorified welfare program for out of work Republican political operatives.

I'm biased, of course, as a labor organizer. The NC Chamber does have a lot of Democrats in its ranks. But as we all know, a D next to ones name doesn't mean a thing in North Carolina when it comes to progressive public policy.

Thanks for this James.