Gov. Sam Brownback deserves great credit for jump-starting the Kansas economy by providing tax relief for families and small businesses. However, in his call for extending the failed production tax credit for the wind industry, Brownback is upholding the corporate welfare policies that riddle the tax code.
In arguing that a tax credit is needed to boost employment in the wind industry, one overlooks what the rest of the economy gives up in exchange. Wind turbine makers may be able to hire more workers because the government pays them to do so, but the rest of the economy suffers. This tax credit diverts labor and capital away from more efficient areas in the economy, slowing overall economic growth.
Taxpayers would be better off if our elected officials stopped propping up inefficient technologies with our tax dollars. Government needs to quit picking winners and losers and instead, provide a level playing field in which all businesses can compete. A good start would be for Congress to allow the wind production tax credit to expire.
For more on the wind production tax credit, see Nation can no longer afford wind tax credit.