Letters to the Editor

Losing money doesn’t equal tax break

Re Oct. 23 Carolyn Callison Murray column, “A toxic trio: bias, politics, perceptions” and wire brief, “Bankrupt Solyndra gets break in court”

I appreciate Ms. Murray’s public statement and practice regarding the paper and attempts to retain journalistic integrity. The Sun News has allowed me and many other local conservatives over the years to appear in the paper as lengthy writers, not just more abbreviated letters. We have been given the opportunity to put forth conservative, even religious positions and to fully rebut liberal positions taken by staff, wire reporters and liberal contributors. I appreciate the fairly well balanced choice of liberal and conservative political columnists.

It was interesting to see in the same section an article that illustrates the problem. Bankrupt Solyndra, on page 3C, under Business Briefs, has this sentence, “The potential tax breaks may be as much as $341 million.”

Solyndra’s parent company, 360 Degree Solar Holdings lost $975 million on the Solyndra Investment. This somehow created a $341 million tax break? How does losing money create a tax break? Ah, they can deduct that $975 million loss against other earnings the company may have made.

But is that a tax break?

Taxis are in the news right now so let’s use them. Be Right There taxi company buys two vehicles. One is a gem, great driver, never needs repairs, gets 50 mpg and always runs with five passengers. It averages sitting still for 15 minutes a day. At the end of the year BRT made $20,000 on this car. The other car was bought from a brother-in-law. The first day the battery was dead and it was noon before the first fare. The driver was robbed three times. The transmission went out, along with the radiator, brakes, and fuel tank which split and dumped 20 gallons of gas on the Bypass. The EPA fined BRT $1,000 for that. At the end of the year BRT actually lost $20,000 operating that car.

At the end of the year their accountant says the business broke even and no income taxes were due. An investigative reporter writes, “BRT will not have to pay taxes on their $20,000 of earnings due to a tax break. You, the taxpayer, will have to pay an additional $7,000 in state and federal taxes to underwrite this tax break.”

Unrealistic? Read about the Exxon Valdez, BP Gulf oil spill, etc., and you will actually find legislators desiring to make cleanup costs, fines and damages nondeductible business expenses. Pundits then pose as reporters echoing the cost to taxpayers for cleaning up the messes. They want the company to pay taxes on money they did not earn. These expenses are a cost of doing business. It is not taxable profit until all the costs are deducted. It is not a tax break or cost to taxpayers, ever!

The wire reporter is either ignorant, biased, or both. He is not qualified to write a business brief as news. He is editorializing.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.