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Tax Increase
Red Dawn Flickers in Kansas
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  • FriendlyGoat

    This isn’t “red dawn flickering”. It is “red” doing what “red” does whenever possible—–shifting tax burden from tax on net income to tax on transactions. Oh, the process in Kansas was awkward, but folks there with household income over $150k or so are slapping themselves on the back for having gotten away with it in spades.

    • JR

      What did they get away with? Working people in Kansas got to keep their money in a quantity that was larger than they expected. And what’s wrong with taxing consumptions as opposed to income? Rich people consume way more than poor people do. You want to buy that $25K Prada handbag for your mistress, Mr. Richey Rich? You can but it will cost ya… Seems like a fair solution to me.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Sure, it always sounds correct to conservatives to be sure that the wealth divide keeps on a-dividin’. This is why I said that the events of Kansas are “red” doing what “red” does.

        Mr. Richey Rich from Kansas may buy a $25K Prada, but he’ll probably do it in Hong Kong or Europe. The sales tax is going to mostly hit necessities and the cigarette tax is going to hit the smoking poor.

        • JR

          Sure. Let’s get rid of regressive sales taxes completely and institute a flat tax on income, where every time somebody earns a dollar, part of it goes to the government. More carry income this year, Mr. Hedge Fund Manager? Pay up.
          And US already taxes its citizens for income earned outside U.S. Only country in the world, so you can’t say we undertax those who try to hide their perfidious money making overseas.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m not a fan of sales taxes, but most of us recognize they are a fact of life for supporting state and local government in most states. I suppose you know that advocates of the so-called “Fair Tax” would like a 22% (or so) federal sales tax to replace federal income, estate/gift, corporate income and payroll taxes altogether. This one is the “holy grail” to screw the whole lower half of public forever, of course.

          • Thom Burnett

            There are fans of the ‘Fair Tax’. I haven’t seen any commenter on this site advocate the ‘Fair Tax’. Certainly not the people you’re discussing with here and now.

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            See above.

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            No, more like expose the lower half to the truth: that it is they who pay all those business and corporate taxes Progressives like to promote as “free” to the “little guy”.

            The Fair Tax exposes EVERYONE to the true cost of governance, every time they buy something. It is a better feedback mechanism for the voters to know how much the government is doing to them as they are doing for them.

            And its “prebate” feature mitigates the regressive nature of a pure sales tax.

            Goat, when are you going to acknowledge that the “little guy” has as much of a responsibility to engage their individual initiative as the “rich guy”? For the responsible exercise of individual initiative, coupled with neighborly interdependence, is THE alternative to having government “help” the “little guy” with Blue Model governance and all its failures.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am an opponent of the Fair Tax for the following reasons:

            1) It would greatly increase the wealth divide. Taxing sales instead of net income is a horrible idea, guaranteed to have the burden lightened at the top for no discernible reason.
            2) No one could predict the types of transactions which would be omitted as non-taxable by the time the lobbyists got done “tweaking” the bill before it got passed. You can be sure that NO ONE will ever pass this thing the way the book was written.
            3) It would make Social Security and Medicare into discretionary spending when those things were passed and intended to have dedicated revenue streams.
            4) By getting rid of the income taxes from which religious organizations have exemptions, it would cause the churches to get so excited about political speech “activism” that Jesus would not even recognize them. Net, net, it would absolutely ruin the churches—-and many of the members are too stupid to know it.

      • Jacksonian_Libertarian

        It is foolish to think that the rich are consuming their entire income as the middle class and poor do. Who live from pay check to pay check spending everything. While the rich are filling their investment accounts, retirement accounts, and expanding their businesses. The only fair tax, is a flat tax that taxes all income including capital gains. Sales taxes, telecommunication taxes, utility taxes, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes, car registrations, gasoline taxes, etc… all represent a far greater percentage of the income of the poor, than they do of the rich.

        • JR

          I’ve long argued that flat tax is the only way to go.

        • Thom Burnett

          Quite correct. Taxes on income without all the exceptions and caveats would be more fair in many ways – as well as more effective.

      • Andrew Allison
    • Andrew Allison

      Because the difference between income and expenditure represents savings/investment, a tax on consumption makes a whole lot more sense than a tax on income. I concede that the outlandish incomes being granted to some call for an income tax, but in general, consumption tax is much more logical than income tax. In anticipation of your objections, might I suggest that whilst people (rich or poor) can find ways of reducing income tax, consumption tax is a great leveller.

      • FriendlyGoat

        For people on the lower end who may have gotten very little income tax relief, their sales and cigarette taxes now go up. THEIR savings/investment goes down.

        • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

          Unless you include something like the prebate feature of the Fair Tax, which compensates everyone for the sales tax one would pay if their income was at the poverty line and they spent it all.

  • Andrew Allison

    Ah yes, the standard government response to running out of money, increase taxes rather than reduce expenditures. So much for TAI’s hope for reform.

  • Boritz

    Kansas is part of a larger project called the USA. That’s why tax cuts worked for Reagan but not for KS. Business has it right in Kansas and elsewhere. It’s time to hunker down, postpone or cancel expansion and retain cash.

    • Andrew Allison

      Reagan’s prescription for an outlandish federal government (starve it) would, and should, work at every level of government.

      • Fred

        The problem is the beast doesn’t starve; it just changes its diet, from taxes to debt. In the long term the debt will cause as much damage as excessive taxation, or more . Reagan’s tax cuts were necessary at the time. We have probably reached the point of diminishing returns on tax cuts now. Reforms are certainly necessary but simple tax cuts or tax hikes are like trying to perform brain surgery with a meat cleaver.

        • Andrew Allison

          You’re right, of course, about the Federal government (at least until the purchasers of the debt realize that we’re Greece writ very, VERY large), but this discussion is about state and local government, which already have constraints on borrowing. Who in their right mind, for example, would buy Illinois or Detroit debt?

          • Fred

            It’s still possible that the state and local beasts will change their diets to debt indirectly through bailouts that increase the federal debt. Politicians are certainly not above buying votes that way, especially Democratic politicians. I completely agree about the U.S. becoming Greece writ large, but that actually was my point. When the crash comes it will do more damage than excessive taxation alone, and the crash cannot be prevented by simple tax cuts or hikes, if indeed at this point it can be prevented at all.

          • Andrew Allison

            You may be right, but I suspect that when push comes to shove the Feds will let them screw the lenders rather than assume the debt. I agree completely that the crash is a question of when rather than if. Our reprehensatives are incapable of doing anything about it. The problem was summed up in a moment of candor by European Commission President (and former PM of tax-haven Luxumberg) Junker: We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.

  • Jmaci

    Reform First is the right idea. GOP presidential contenders ought to be hammering on that theme.

  • Anthony
  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    There is NO such thing as a temporary Government Program. Cutting Government once Government employees and beneficiaries of said program are an established constituency is impossible in a democracy. The fact is the only way to cut back, isn’t by getting rid of the programs but rather by cutting taxes so that every Government program must fight for a diminishing share of the budget. Or in other words Government is like a powerful castle, its walls can’t be stormed (reformed) as the defenses are too strong, and can therefore only be taken with a long drawn out siege, which starves its defenders and breaks down its walls.

    • Bruno_Behrend

      I disagree. We’ve tried “starve the beast,” and it is a failure, as Norquist never even tried to make the much more important case against spending.

      The fact is that making the case against spending is harder. So what. The case needs to be made in any event.

  • Bruno_Behrend

    There isn’t a state in America that couldn’t deeply cut education spending, in both k-12 and higher education.

    These institutions are patronage farms for massive amounts of needless administration.

    • contestjoiner

      No legs on that one, Bruno. Although you might believe otherwise, admin, in most LEAs is actually pretty thin, given all the worthless tasks they have to deal with. Blaming education for needless regulations and the personnel that have to deal with their compliance shouldn’t come at the expense of what actually takes place at schools. Get the federal government out of the business of bothering, bribing and blowviating at states and localities over worthless exercises in do-gooderism and locals will do a fine job.

      Your fixation on public education, as an evil, is proof of your participation on the continuous War on Women, since they make up 70% of teachers. Why not pick a more target rich environment, like over spending on our military?

      • Bruno_Behrend

        Anything that isn’t a teacher is an administrator. It makes up nearly 50% of public ed employment.

        Districts need to be dismantled, as they are engines of inequality and educational apartheid. A school should be independent, and run by a local board of a principal, a teacher representative, and 5 citizens with in 2 miles or so of the school.

        Centralization is a massive failure. Money needs to follow the child to a vast new array of independent education options.

        The rest of you post is twaddle.

        • contestjoiner

          Those damn custodians and lunch ladies. I’ll let them know that the expert on schools has deemed them “administrators.” $10-15/hr administrators.

          • Bruno_Behrend

            All of them should be privatized and bid out to the lowest acceptable bidder. The idea that we need an army of public employees is absurd.

          • contestjoiner

            Rather than admit that lunch line workers and custodians are not administrators you attempt to change the subject.

            Privatizing already low paying jobs just lowers the quality of the work. Custodial has been contracted out in Chicago Public Schools and it’s been a disaster. Employee churn, absenteeism and conduct issues abound.

          • Bruno_Behrend

            OK, they are not administrators.

            We still need massive decentralization of education, and anything not directly tied to educating the child should be considered tertiary (frankly, it should be the responsibility of the parent)

            The idea that massive brick and Mordor schools – with full compliments of transport, food, social work, and every other “service” under the sun – is a good way to educate children, is absurd. There isn’t enough money on the planet for that to work, particularly in America, where government employees are more interested in pay, political power, and growing their bureaucracy than they are in actually educating anyone.

            I aim to tear down the entire complex, and liberate the 12K/child spent from the greedy government monopoly.

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