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Mattera’s book inspires questions about ‘Game Change’ film and tax dollars

Jason Mattera’s book Hollywood Hypocrites should have felt like a sucker punch to the culture that is the subject matter. Mattera has opened the door for bloggers and anyone interested in politics. If you’re tired of being told how to live and whom to vote for by the sector of the entertainment class aligned with the Left, Mattera’s book will engage you.

His book plants the seed for supporters of Gov. Sarah Palin to take a look at whether a film that was possibly politically motivated benefited from taxpayer dollars.

Mattera explained Hollywood welfare kings and queens:

In fiscal year 2010, the forty-three states that offer film subsidies spent $1.5 billion of your tax dollars subsidizing film and TV production. (2) Let’s put that in real terms. Hollywood’s 2009 welfare payemtns would have been enough to pay the salaries of 23,500 middle school teachers, 26,600 firefighters, and 22,800 police patrol officers. (3) [pg.15]

Most states are eager to court the film industry. It’s likely Maryland was happy that ‘Game Change’ chose the state for the primary filming location. The Maryland Film Office, part of the Dept. of Business and Economic Development, assists film makers with matters like location and pre-production research.

The Film Office also oversees perks available to film makers. Sales tax breaks are conferred for certain items—corporations avoid paying a 6 percent surtax that would otherwise go into state coffers. Tax credits were already in place when the new governor of the state and his legislature revamped them for 2011. The credit Maryland specifies is hefty—“ A film production entity may receive a refundable income tax credit of up to 25% of qualified direct costs of a film production activity.”

Mattera explains that in some states the tax credits are transferrable—even a bank can purchase the credit to save money on taxes. There’s no information about this credit on the Maryland Film Office Web pages.

Most celebrities swing Left, and many of them have lobbied for federal income tax hikes sought by President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats.

Whether the state film offices benefit from federal tax dollars is unknown.

The information Mattera discovered suggests leftwing filmmakers are quite happy to receive tax subsidies.

Conservatives took a dim view of ‘Game Change.’ The film focused on Palin, but the book the film was based on was more expansive. The original title of the book was Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime.

It’s likely most filmmakers don’t dare to make a film about Obama or the Clintons, at least not if those filmmakers want to continue to work in an industry long associated with Leftist values and practices but quite content to suck up tax dollars for profits.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 20, 2012)

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Reader Comments (2)

It pays to appear liberal in Hollywood. But in Hollywood, like everywhere else, it doesn't really pay to practice liberalism.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermspy review

mspy, thanks for feedback--best, KBD

March 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterKay B. Day, Editor
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