Politicians Thought Slashing Taxes for the Wealthy Would Boost Our Economy. It's Not.
Politicians in Raleigh believed that tax breaks for the wealthy and profitable corporations would lead to a better economy in North Carolina, but that's not the case. Instead, North Carolinians are not experiencing a growing economy and these same politicians are complaining that they don't have the money to invest in education and infrastructure. The wealthy and profitable corporations that experienced tax breaks aren't creating good, high paying jobs like politicians in Raleigh expected them to and North Carolinians are suffering because of it.
Given the known limits and damaging results of this flawed and theoretical approach to growing the economy, it is breathtaking how pervasive it has been in Raleigh over the past few years. Policymakers ushered in the first round of tax cuts that primarily benefited the wealthy and profitable corporations in 2013 under the flawed assumption that if we all pay more in sales taxes, it would free them up to create jobs.
However, it turns out the wealthy and profitable corporations don’t create more jobs when they don’t pay taxes. They create jobs when people buy their stuff or they see an opportunity to create or pursue a new market. In the case of wealthy millionaires, the chance that they will be job creators at a large scale is even smaller. And the average tax cut of $14,000 received by millionaires recently isn’t likely to prompt wealthy North Carolinians to hire on its own.
And that is just one reason why prioritizing the tax cuts over all else has missed the mark. The other reason is that the tax cuts being pursued have left few resources for useful investment or economic development approaches for communities and businesses. Lew Ebert, CEO of the NC Chamber and proponent of the tax cuts for profitable corporations strategy, told The News & Observer that the economic challenges the state faces can be solved by increased education funding and investment in infrastructure. Those public investments cannot happen while more tax cuts are pursued.