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Fact check: Editorial on government favoritism off the mark

Fact check: Editorial on government favoritism off the mark

We have good news for Investor's Business Daily, which expressed concern yesterday in an editorial about possible government favoritism in payments made under the wind energy production tax credit (PTC): it's a problem that doesn't exist.

Yes, the tax credit was taken by a campaign contributor, but no, no winner (or loser) was picked, and there was no favoritism or influence involved.

How do we know?  Because no government official has any choice in who receives the incentive.  As with all tax credits, the policy applies only to those who produce energy and anyone who does gets the exact same amount. The credit is not like loan guarantees or other programs that are only available to companies chosen through an application process. This has always been the case with the wind production tax credit and it’s the same way with the “Section 1603 program” put in place during the economic downturn.  
 
By law, the payments were nondiscretionary, and no official or agency was picking recipients or influencing the outcome in any way.  There are not too many things we know with certainty in politics, but this, I'm happy to say, is one.

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