There once was a rag tag group that united to defeat a challenge as old as time – time itself.
These were a select group of citizens – specially chosen to serve a purpose greater than themselves. Entrusted with the power that allows them to take or give their countrymen’s resources as they see fit with a simple piece of parchment.
In this particular tale, the specially chosen agreed they wanted to give resources to a group that would be deemed unworthy of the gifts by a vast majority of their countrymen. Not only did they want to give resources to this group that would draw ire from the masses – they needed to go back in time to deliver them.
There was no way they could justify taking resources from the people to give to an elite enclave. There was also the time travel affair to consider. From the outside looking in, there was no way their plan would work.
But these were no ordinary citizens. So they concocted a plan.
The first problem they had to overcome was how to sneak the resources to the elite group without drawing an angry rebuke from their countrymen.
They needed a clever distraction.
So they decided to give a massive sum to a group that the people adore – the men and women that protect the people. Once that was on the list, few would question their other motives. As long as the most popular group in the country got what they needed, they were free from criticism. It was their protective shield.
But there was another problem. How could they go back in time?
You see, the distant founders of the country they serve gave this select group the power to take resources so they could give them for the greater good. Sometimes they give to encourage certain activities that would not happen without their support. However, in this tale, the activities they wanted to give the resources to had already been completed. So it was clear the activities did not need their support. There could be no justification to give.
Then, it dawned on them.
They had been taking resources from the future all the time – issuing massive sums of debt that unjustly and immorally steal the resources that the people that come after them will depend on. If the parchment let’s them travel through time to take resources from the future, why can’t they time travel to give resources to the past? The parchment doesn’t require legitimate justification or morality. It just requires their signatures.
Eureka, the plan was set!
Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act in February of 2018 – a wide-ranging and massive bill that could add up to $2 trillion to the already $20 trillion national debt. The Act included a retroactive renewal of Section 181 of the Internal Revenue Code for the year 2017. Section 181 allows for a deduction of the costs of production for films, tv shows, and theatrical productions up to $15 million ($20 million if it is produced in some low-income areas). This was supposed “to encourage film and TV production to stay in the U.S…. by giving investors a 100% loss against taxable income in the year or years the money is spent.” This allowed for “a smart investor [to] be assured of a 50%-70% return on investment regardless of whether the project was a success.” But this tax break expired at the end of 2016.
That means in February of 2018 – Congress provided $1.4 billion to incentivize films, tv shows, and broadway shows that had already been produced in 2017. Congress did the same for race horses, Puerto Rican rum producers, and 2-wheeled electric vehicles. But no one in Congress had to talk about those giveaways to past production – because all they did was point to the $180 billion spending increase for the Department of Defense.