Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quiet on the set!

Cross posted at State Budget Solutions

It is well known that Governor Chris Christie is a tough guy when it comes to budgets, after all he must, in order to put New Jersey's financial house back in to some sort of order. One industry that will feel the pain of some cuts is the entertainment industry. Gov. Christie's budget cuts the twenty percent tax credit for certain production costs associated with film and television, and they are not happy. Yesterday, a protest was held by actors (semi-famous ones!), stunt doubles, producers, and lobbyists to show their discontentment with the budget cuts.
He was flanked by plasma-screen televisions that showed episodes of "Mercy" - NBC's medical drama shot on location in Jersey City. The tax credit's looming expiration led NBC to begin stripping equipment from its Secaucus warehouse and shipping it to New York, which has proposed boosting its incentive to $420 million annually.

O'Leary admitted "Mercy," which was recently canceled, was doomed anyway by low ratings. But the show may get picked up by a cable network, allowing workers to keep their jobs - if a generous tax credit program makes it financially viable, he said.
Ahhhh. So the tax credit is really more of a subsidy for a commodity that no one wants and therefore does not buy (watch). Notice, a "generous" tax credit is necessary to make the show "Mercy" financially viable. No wonder they are bummed about Christie's cuts.

The other gem gleaned from the article is the following:
People think of all the glitz and glamour that the motion picture industry brings," said Angela Miele, a vice president at the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents such firms as Disney, Sony and Paramount Pictures. "But what it really brings is lots of jobs. Our member companies operate like all other for-profit businesses and they will go where it is cheapest.
A basic economics lesson brought to you by the Motion Picture Association of America.


  1. I wonder how many jobs NY thinks result from that $420M?

  2. A tax credit is really a tax reduction. So this "cut" that threatens the TV show is really a tax increase. As a Tea Partier, I thought you'd be on the side of the TV show people, protesting a tax increase that threatens jobs.

    Maybe if Democrats could refer to more tax increases as cuts when talking to conservatives, maybe they get more support.

  3. have any of you ever been to jersey i would say "no" so here's the deal jersey is a rat trap much like detroit so they need as much help as they can get so go on do the knowledge google how much trouble j. c is in and then the next time you feel like being a smartass you'll do the research instead of going on a emotional feeling of fake righteousness

  4. Zing! I also thought it was odd that you would mock the private sector and defend high taxes. What's with that?

  5. Public Union catastropheJune 13, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    "Five people died in a Fremont apartment fire Saturday in the deadliest fire in Seattle in decades. Above, a firefighter waits for water as the fire rages. The first firetruck on the scene had a mechanical problem and was unable to pump water until another truck arrived"
    Seattle Times

    How much does it cost just to run that one fire station for one year? Including all the early retirement money and huge benefits?
    That is alot of money not to be able to get water on a fire.
    Maybe the fire fighters could cut back to one or two jobs instead of 3 or 4. Why is it they have so much time to have other jobs and yet the equipment doesn't work?

  6. Dancar and Victoria - no, contrary to your wishful thinking, it is not a tax increase for the people of New Jersey. At the moment, the taxpayers of New Jersey are SUBSIDIZING an industry that is faltering, meaning that they are paying higher taxes to subsidize these films and TV shows. If the shows were worthwhile and desired commodities, they wouldn't need to be subsidized because they would make enough money on their own, from selling a product that consumers wanted. In a free market economy, those commodities that are desirable do not need government "tax credits." It is a distortion of the market to do so. Additionally, critical services in New Jersey are in danger due to the massive debt and deficit. The people of New Jersey can no longer afford to keep a mooching industry afloat. This is a good fiscal decision by the Governor, and your misunderstanding of economics doesn't negate that fact.

  7. Double zing, LB

    A Tax Credit, unlike generally lower taxes, is targeted at a very specific, narrow activity and slice of the citizenry. You can agree or not agree with the ultimate goal of the tax credit, but you cannot dispute that it is meant to encourage some specific activity, i.e., social engineering. In order to offset and pay for tax credits, more tax money must be raised from the general taxpayer OR government spending must be cut. Some tax credits might be defensible in that, like a stone tossed in a pond, the benefits move outward in waves that eventually touch the entire pond. Credits applied to a relatively small and specific industry to subsidize its continued existence do not seem to qualify as benefitting the whole of a state's society. For those commenters who think subsidizing the TV industry in NJ is OK, may I suggest that tax credits for Talk Radio will have an equally salubrious result in increasing jobs.

  8. really then what about all the tax breaks bush gave to the rich and to the jobs that went over seas you all act like this whole problem started with obama but remember the last guy or are you still taking ignoreitall pills to forget the last 8 years

  9. No, we are not ignoring the Bush years. First, there is the inconvenient truth that the so-called "tax breaks for the rich" resulted in job creation that lowered unemployment to an average of 5.5%. And yeah, jobs have been going the 1990's and in the 2000's, under Clinton and under Bush. They are still going over there now. (Example: Per the Boston Globe, on Nov. 5,2009, Evergreen Solar (NSDQ: ESLR) announced plans to stop producing panels at its factory in Devens, Mass., and shift that work to China...And then there is this headline in todays World News Report: "Wind Energy Stimulus Money Not Creating US Jobs; Most of $2 Billion Going Overseas". Google these for yourself if you want to read more.)

    Unlike many Democrats who can never admit any wrongdoing by their politicans, many Republicans and many conservative-leaning independents voted for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 because they were sick and tired of big government spending by GOPers gone wild. We didn't elect Obama to continue and expand on Big Government spending...he was supposed to be smart, efficient and creative. Instead, he and the Democrat Congress have doubled and tripled down on inefficient, bloated government.

    The Bush administration has been gone for 18 months. Is there EVER going to be a point at which we can stop including a "Mea Culpa" about Bush anytime we write anything critical of Mr. Obama's lack of governing talent? Is there EVER going to come a time when we can talk about the here and now and the future without excusing current poor government performance on the basis that it is not the first?

  10. Liberty Belle FanJune 14, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Great post. While I did not vote Democratic this last election I certainly was sick of the Bush spending spree. But I was not taken in by the smooth talking community organizer. Some of the best speakers I have ever met have been drug addicts and they will lie right to your face as they are stealing your wallet.
    And that who is taking over America. Scam artists, drug addicts, victim groups etc. all with their hands out for the government crack. They all want a piece of Obama's (our) stash.
    People who think that by giving tax money to the government to help people are insane.
    And you are right again, I never have gotten a job from a poor person.
    America wake up! You are being taken for a ride by con artists and entitlement scum.
    Wake up! Stop the carnage. Starve the beast!


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