How Walt Disney Cashes In on Corporate Welfare

Why are taxpayers picking up the tab for Mickey Mouse?

(Page 2 of 2)

According to the Internet Movie Database, more than 424 individual productions, which would be applicable for the tax credits, were filmed in Florida in 2012. More than half are tied to Disney production companies.

These include the TV hit Cougar Town and films such as Iron Man 3 and Step Up Revolution.

These productions are also eligible for up to $8 million in film incentives set up by the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment, which helps applicants acquire state and federal tax credits, as well as sales tax exemptions.

Disney’s 2011 financial report reveals more than $2 billion in overall tax benefits from 2009-11, while a 2004 report by Reason magazine details more than $4.5 billion in special loans, land grants, credits, and investments in the prior decade.

Disney’s head lobbyist on Capitol Hill is Richard Bates, a former executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

He has spearheaded Disney’s lobbying activities since 2010, including support for more than 25 bills in the past congressional session, issues as diverse as immigration reforms, strengthening of copyright laws and tax reform measures, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks spending and ethics on Capitol Hill.

The Fiscal Boon

On Jan. 2, the first day the stock market opened after the fiscal cliff deal was signed, the Walt Disney Co. hit a three-month high of $51.10 per share on the New York Stock Exchange.

Some analysts say the fiscal cliff deal is most likely responsible for the jump.

“Once the fiscal cliff passed, futures went way up,” said Andrew Horowitz, president of Horowitz & Co., a financial planning firm based in Fort Lauderdale. He also hosts The Disciplined Investor, one of the top rated business podcasts, according to iTunes.

“By increasing what Disney gets, it’s essentially allowing them to continue on the path to expect government money,” he told Florida Watchdog.

Horowitz said the expectation of the film tax credits might have played a role in the stock jump, but it is more likely due to the finalized deal from Congress, which will give hope to the markets.

“There’s no significant benefit for anyone in the deal, other than extending tax breaks which already existed. The taxes may be going to Disney, but spending still isn’t restrained,” said Horowitz. “There was supposed to be a $300 billion decrease in spending that just disappeared in a few hours.

“Congressmen have stock and they’re definitely afraid of the stock market. But this didn’t really do anything to address spending or tax issues,” said Horowitz. “This was a plan. A plan to give tax relief for a number of years, and then after a while, we’d pay it back.

“The film credits really have no business being handed by the federal government. At the very least, it should be handled by the states.”

This article originally appeared at Watchdog.org.

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  • Diogenes of Sinope||

    Great, another welfare queen.

  • sandy_jones||

    what Kenneth said I am blown away that you can earn $5907 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you see this web link. http://google.com.qr.net/j4qT

  • Xenocles||

    This new anon bot sucks.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    These comment threads deserve a better class of anon bot.

  • Xenocles||

    It's the spam we need, not the spam we deserve.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    this seems like a scam.

  • ||

    $5907 sounds too specific to be a scam. He must be on the level.

  • Rich||

    And he *did* mention Kenneth.

  • Sevo||

    Kenneth's not here, man...

  • Almanian.||

    Kenneth's out trying to determine the frequency.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    30MHz.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Let's not forget the Mouse's biggest welfare payout: perpetual copyright protections of its intellectual property.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Great, now here we go...

  • Rich||

    And don't forget: If Mickey had been aborted, he probably wouldn't have gotten circumcised.

  • Ted S.||

    What if Mickey and Donald Duck want to get gay-married?

  • ||

    Depends if their employer allows such interoffice relationships. Is their union located in a right to work state?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Walt Disney made Song of the South because he understood that the Civil War was not really about slavery, but instead was a play by Yankee liberals to override the Constitutional limits to the Federal government.

    Minnie Mouse had an abortion, because she listens to rap music.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Atlas Slugged||

    They would probably be okay with it. Disney has been very proactive about extending benefits to life partners. Otherwise, who else would perform at the parks? Not a lot of hetero men who want to sing & dance (and do it well).

  • Radioactive||

    Mickey: I ddin't say Minie was crazy, i said she was fucking Goofy...

  • HSchickel||

    Question - (the article is not clear on this...)

    Is this a tax deduction as implied here:

    "The film credit, first introduced in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, allows production companies to deduct the first $15 million in filming costs from taxes, $20 million if the project is completed in a low-income community, according to the IRS."

    Or is this a tax credit as implied in the following paragraph:

    "In 2010, Disney received $110 million through the federal tax credit, nearly 75 percent of the total $150 million allocated by Congress." ???

    It seems a deduction (while distortionary) is far less bad than a credit (which is distortionary, creative of large scale malinvestment and is arguably in this context an outright theft).

    Thanks for any clarification.

  • ||

    Deductions are always fine, as are the non-refundable portions of a credit. There's nothing wrong with Disney wanting to reduce (or eliminate) its tax burden.

    The article could be more clear though.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Here's another question.

    allows production companies to deduct the first $15 million in filming costs from taxes

    Shouldn't they be able to deduct all of their filming costs as it is a cost of production? Isn't that a little like saying that Ford can deduct the first $15 million in steel costs....

  • Sevo||

    Agreed.
    Probably not how it sounds, but you won't find out from the article.
    Mr. or Ms. Ossowski needs to be more clear.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Yeah but also the NHL lockout is over!

  • Sevo||

    I didn't notice it was on.

  • C. Anacreon||

    What is it that "NHL" stands for anyway?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Srsly?

    National Hockey League

    /or were you being obtuse on purpse?

  • C. Anacreon||

    On purpose, extending Sevo's "I didn't notice". But hockey was my first true sports love as a kid, when the Blackhawks home games were only on the radio. For some reason hockey was more exciting on the radio, it's hard to follow on tv -- perhaps that is why my interest waned as I grew older. It's definitely fun to see in person, but our local team is a long way away in San Jose so a rarely catch a game.

  • ||

    Every Yaël I've known was a girl. I thought it was a girl's name. Yet this seems to be a dude. What the hell?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    what the Yaël?

  • Diogenes of Sinope||

    I have a name that's usually considered for a woman in modern America. Historically, and in other English-speaking countries, it's considered a man's name.

  • Ted S.||

    What difference does it make whether the author has a vulva or not?

  • ||

    It doesn't, I was just wondering if it was usually a girl's name or not. Seeing as I'm not Jewish I just wanted to know. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

  • John Galt||

    Jael is a girl's name of Hebrew origin, so it's very likely feminine.

  • John Galt||

    I was wrong, a Google image search revealed Yaël to be a dude.

  • ||

    Yael is the name of a woman in the Torah. It's a common female name in Israel.

  • Mike M.||

    Damn you, Steamboat Itchy!

  • Evan from Evansville||

    Now you be a good Pinicchio!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Disney's biggest evil is Animal Kingdom Park. They ultimately had to add a roller coaster in order to dispel rumors that it was just a zoo.

  • Atlas Slugged||

    an evil petting zoo?

  • Radioactive||

    an evil petting roller coaster...

  • AlmightyJB||

    When you wish upon an Obama.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Disney added Obama to the Hall of Presidents attraction. They also added narration by Morgan Freeman. It's a truly irritating thing to watch for a libertarian.

    (Trivia: When the animatronic Abraham Lincoln debuted at the 1964 World's Fair, the hydraulic fluid used to operate had a red dye added to it. During a preview of the attraction, the hydraulic line failed and started spraying red fluid everywhere as Lincoln was giving his speech.)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Is there a reason Disney shouldn't have added Obama to the Hall of Presidents? He is president (much as we all hate it), right?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I was referring to the new Morgan Freeman narration more than anything. It's a tribute to the Imperial Presidency, culminating with the Obama administration. In no ironic terms, the message to little kids is that the highest they can strive for is to be elected president.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yes, Woodrow Wilson has a speaking part.

  • Caleb Turberville||

  • C. Anacreon||

    Is there a reason Disney shouldn't have added Obama to the Hall of Presidents? He is president (much as we all hate it), right?

    Yes, but when all the presidents bow obsequiously to him, and cheer his every word, it is a bit much. Especially when they all say "We are not worthy!" as he smiles insensately over them.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not to mention the part where animatronic Obama pisses all over the Carousel of Progress while screaming "You didn't build that!"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The current Carousel of Progress is begging to be replaced by the original script. Don't get me wrong, the current script is fine and entertaining. But the fourth act (the one that was added in the 90s) is way too silly to believe that it could ever be our future. It's best to go back to the original script, which is also outdated, but at least there's no condescending pretense that it could ever prophesy our future.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    That being said, it is great and cruel that Disney devised a stage show that would never hire any struggling actors. Thank you, Disney.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But the fourth act (the one that was added in the 90s) is way too silly to believe

    I forget. Is that the part where senile grandma blows up the house due to the talking appliances?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yep. The attraction was once updated continually including 1971, 1975, 1985 and 1993, but for some reason it hasn't been updated since. It's got too much of the early 90s technological idealism of virtual reality and talking appliances. You would think that it would have been updated by now to reflect 21st century technological sensibilities (internet, smart phones, etc.)

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Probably, Disney didn't want to sink money into constantly updating the attraction, which I can understand. But you might as well revert it back to the old 1967 version and keep it there.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You would think that it would have been updated by now to reflect 21st century technological sensibilities (internet, smart phones, etc.)

    Probably because Disney is still pissed off at the Internet and media streaming for all the piracy that goes on.

  • Radioactive||

    Isn't Obama a talking appliance?

  • Sevo||

    Heroic Mulatto| 1.6.13 @ 3:25PM |#
    "Not to mention the part where animatronic Obama pisses all over the Carousel of Progress while screaming "You didn't build that!""

    I'd love the tomato concession for the line; that bot would be streaming tomato juice and seeds, and I'd be rich!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What about the part where animatronic Obama blows up a wedding with animatronic drones.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I heard a similar story as a youth, but instead of spraying red hydraulic fluid, the Lincoln animatronic smashed his desk to pieces.

  • Caleb Turberville||

  • C. Anacreon||

    As Lincoln falls over, he is giving his "Speech to the 148th Ohio Regiment": ... Nowhere in the world is presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest amongst us are held out the highest privileges and positions.

    Youtube commenter Sarah Muffin, who no doubt considers herself smart and hip, and likely voted for Obama because Romney was going to outlaw abortion the day he was elected, apparently does not think very much of Lincoln's words. Her comment:

    "what i hear:: derp derp heeeeeerp derp. derpity herp."

    This is why we can't have nice things!

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    "and likely voted for Obama because Romney was going to outlaw abortion the day he was elected,"

    You forgot legalizing rape and bringing back slavery.

  • Radioactive||

    or nice muffins?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    OT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOO8TjKyGr4

    Dude, there's entrapment, and then there's just plain wrong.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Nice touch having firearms drawn.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Just curious about this show -- do they only do older men going after young girls? How about older men going after boys, or older women going after boys or girls?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    As that video would seem to show, I imagine it's way harder to find an 18 year old male that can pass for 13

  • np||

  • ||

  • Xenocles||

    Skins came to play, looks like.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    at least for the first quarter they did.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Russell WIlson is healthier than RGIII, but Alfred Morris's threat on the read option and Griffin's touch on the deep ball ought to give Washington the kind of dynamics they need to beat Seattle's defense.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    RIP RG-knee

  • Almanian.||

    Someone buried their heart there

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    BREAKING NEWS: Dr. James Andrews never cleared Nancy Lanza to give her son access to her assault rifles.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    RGIII used to be a quarterback like you, but then he took an arrow to the knee.

  • Mike M.||

    Seattle is a much better team than the Redskins even if RGIII is completely healthy. They should actually have won this game by something like 24-30 points.

  • Sevo||

    Mike M.| 1.6.13 @ 8:45PM |#
    "Seattle is a much better team than the Redskins even if RGIII is completely healthy."

    I certainly make no claim to an ability to rate the NFL teams, but I'm pretty sure your claim is going to get a lot of raspberries.

  • Mike M.||

    My claim is fairly obvious when you look at all the relevant statistics. The Redskins played in a weak division, had a fairly easy schedule, and were probably lucky to even get into the playoffs at all. The Seahawks on the other hand are legitimately one of the best teams in the NFL.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Yeah, the She-hawks didn't get any undeserved wins, right?

  • Sevo||

    Mike M.| 1.6.13 @ 10:40PM |#
    "My claim is fairly obvious..."
    Yeah, well, did your bet cover the spread? How'd you do over the entire season? How much money do you have on the SB? Let's hear it NOW, not after X beats Y.
    Talk's cheap; takes money to buy booze. And I'm sure the body will be found near a body of water...

  • Cowboy||

    OT: Episarch isn't as crazy as you'd think

    NY rep. Jose Serrano has re-introduced bill H.J. Res 15: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment.

    Sure it didn't go anywhere last year, and it probably won't this year. But who knows 2 years from now. The point of the matter is someone is actually trying, and that's troubling.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Personally, one term sounds long enough for me.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Since Team Red will never be elected again, I don't see what could possibly go wrong with this idea.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Whichever party doesn't control the WH is never going to allow an amendment like that to pass. 34 senators or 13 states are enough to block it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    NY rep. Jose Serrano has re-introduced bill H.J. Res 15: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment.

    NY Rep. Jose Serrano is an evil fuck who should be ridiculed publicly at every opportunity. The shit should be non-stop: scrolling on every TV station; planes flying over his district proclaiming him as a mendacious asshole; bus ads; subways ads; the fucking works.

    Anyone who proposes such an amendment should be immediately removed from office post haste.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I heard he titled it "Hugo's Amendment"

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa (LAOL-PA)| 1.6.13 @ 8:34PM |#
    "I heard he titled it "Hugo's Amendment""

    Is Hugo dead yet? If not, why not?

  • SIV||

    Episarch isn't as crazy as you'd think

    The eliminated that from the DSM-II in the 7th printing back in 1974.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    That midfield Redskins logo is in sad shape

  • Almanian.||

    1) I was not aware the Koch brothers had purchesed Disney. Thank you for that information. I blame Bush.

    2) Huh - plenty o' good seats available at the Native Americans/Oceanic Birds game. I blame Bush for this, too.

    3) Also, fried chicken.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment.

    Even assuming a highly improbable success, I wonder if that dummy realizes the One True Zero will probably have died of old age before the process plays out? Maybe repeal will come just in time to keep Jenna Bush's eldest son in the White House in perpetuity.

  • Sevo||

    "I wonder if that dummy realizes the One True Zero will probably have died of old age before the process plays out?"

    Ya know, there are times I look at what the founders did, and I am seriously IMPRESSED!
    It's not for nothing that certain activities require an amount of time. I'm only sorry they didn't build more delays into the system.

  • Agammamon||

    He's been doing the same thing (and he's no the only on to submit this sort of bill) every couple of years back to '97 - its not a pro-Obama gesture.

    Maybe he just really hates elections.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Yeah, yeah. "Corporate Welfare". Blah, blah, blah. Of all the things the nitwit government does that I would like to see ended abruptly with the jailing of all hands, monetary incentives for Disney to make motion pictures is WAAAYYY down the list. As in, when the list in unrolled, that segment is hidden by the curvature of the earth,

    Ok, yes, if Disney is actually getting money from the government, I'd like to see it stopped. If, on the other hand, the House that the Mouse built is simply taking every chance it can get to pay less taxes, then I'm far less worked up. The government has demonstrated, repeatedly, throughout my lifetime, that any money that can be kept out of its grubby paws is probably A Good Thing.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Corporate welfare is a misnomer, to say the least and dishonest on the part of the author. When I write off my mortgage deduction am I receiving welfare?

    Unless Disney is receiving a check from the government they are not receiving welfare.

    WFT with all the Leftarded articles about "corporate welfare" that are nothing of the sort? There aren't enough articles about envying the productive that Reason has to add to the pile of bullshit?

    Solyandra received more from the government than they paid in taxes. Disney, or MobileExxon, pay literally millions in taxes every year. They receive tax reductions, not welfare.

    The only way you can call tax writeoffs "welfare" is if you believe that the government owns all of the money they are collecting in taxes. The Leftarded believe this, what is reason's fucking excuse?

  • Mike M.||

    Agreed. The cultural Marxist bullcrap is really starting to get out of hand.

  • Lukej||

    But despite the illustrious international influence enjoyed by Mickey Mouse and the Disney Empire, it could not have been possible without substantial help from Uncle Sam.

    Except that Mickey Mouse has been around since 1928, as your first paragraph states, and this whole article is about a tax credit that was not introduced until 2004.

  • mr simple||

    This was my initial reaction. Disney might be taking money from the government or just not paying as much in taxes, but you can't say the company would't exist without substantial help from government. This article seems to suffer from too much progressive retardation.

  • waaminn||

    Corporate America makes me sick man!
    www.AnonMix.tk

  • CHAUSSURES FEMME AIR MAX 90||

    Perhaps that is why the company pushed for the resolution of the “fiscal cliff,” specifically the portions that renewed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal film tax credits.

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