Publisher's note: This post, by Brian Balfour, was originally published in Civitas's online edition.
Roy Cooper once again is displaying his blatant hypocrisy on corporate taxes. In a meeting with business leaders this week, he said "When business has a choice between further cuts in corporate taxes or investments in our teachers, I hope you will say investments in our teachers."
This comment comes a little over a week after his office boasted of granting a handout to Microsoft
potentially worth almost $8 million. Civitas cited about $195 million in tax breaks and handouts
to corporations made by Cooper in 2018 alone.
Cooper challenges corporations to oppose tax cuts, while he grants targeted breaks and handouts. In these cases, to use Cooper's own rhetoric, it is Cooper himself choosing corporate tax cuts over investments in teachers.
Moreover, Cooper insisted that "the CEOs I talk to aren't complaining to me about our corporate tax structure." Of course the CEOs Cooper talks to don't complain about the corporate tax structure, because they are the ones getting taxpayer handouts from Cooper!
If the terms offered in these corporate welfare projects are so enticing to business investment and job creation, why not apply the same terms across the board to all businesses? Imagine the economic growth.
But treating all businesses the same would take away Cooper's chance to - in part - centrally plan the state's economy and invite more political patronage. And he doesn't want to give that up.