The formal capitulation took place yesterday, and signals an end to Gov. Dayton’s ill-conceived, ill-timed, and ill-executed attempt to dominate the Minnesota legislature in the same way that predecessor Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R, MN) did during his term in office. The very short version, for those not following along: Minnesota Republican legislators wanted a $34 billion dollar, two-year budget with no new taxes; Dayton wanted $3 billion in business-killing tax hikes. Republicans told him no, and sent him a budget, which Dayton vetoed. The Minnesota government shut down – which meant, among other things, that Minnesotans were in critical danger of running out of beer and not being allowed to fish. Faced with such proven evidence of abject incompetence and idiocy on Dayton’s part, eventually the Governor was brought to heel like a whipped dog; his formal capitulation soon followed. Final score: $35.7 billion over two years with no tax hikes – and legislators in Minnesota have to pretend that Gov. Dayton was not savagely politically beaten. No, seriously… apparently this is supposed to be framed as being a ‘compromise.’
Interestingly enough, post-capitulation news articles on this don’t seem to mention Pawlenty nearly as much as they did, pre-capitulation. Although that may just be a sort of terrible pity towards Dayton, who did turn out to be a very slender, and trivial to break, reed…
Nothing is stopping so-called ‘Patriotic Millionaires’ from doing it on their own. Well, nothing except the minor detail that it’s all the other rich people who should pay extra. Somehow not enough people are ever ready to voluntarily share in the sacrifice that they’re advocating. Think I’m being cynical? Check this out: Massachusetts has a feature where you can voluntarily pay more state taxes on your return. This dates back to 2000, when it was a compromise to get a reduction of the state income tax rate down from 5.85% to 5.3% (it was originally supposed to be 5%). As of the beginning of April 2011, the state has gotten 1,740,000 tax returns back this year. Guess how many people are paying the higher rate?
How many Massachusetts residents are cheering on the idea of making the rich pay more? How many rich Massachusetts residents are cheering on the idea of making the rich pay more? I’m willing to bet that in either case the number is greater than 862; there are a lot of hypocrites in that state*.
Just on the off chance that Alec Baldwin ever runs for political office in the near future… whoever is researching this, be sure to have your boss ask Alec how that residential status tax audit turned out. Or why he fought it in the first place, seeing as Baldwin was for raising taxes on… well, people as rich as him… back in 2006.
Deceiver.com. Doesn’t always have stuff that you can use – but when they do, it’s usually tasty. And they have the saving grace of bipartisan finger-pointing.
In the face of the dueling deficits, the best approach is a compromise: extend the tax cuts for two years and then end them altogether. Ideally only the middle-class tax cuts would be continued for now. Getting a deal in Congress, though, may require keeping the high-income tax cuts, too. And that would still be worth it.
I’d feel bad about the way that the administration is grinding metal on this, if only… actually, I cannot conceive of a situation where I’d feel bad about watching the administration squirm as it realizes that it has to break yet another badly thought-out and hastily-made campaign promise. Although I suppose that we haven’t plumbed the depths of stupidity, at that: the depths of stupidity would be to impose a new tax of roughly the same amount to the average taxpayer and claim that this wasn’t breaking the huge albatross around his neck his most famous badly thought-out and hastily-made campaign promise: Continue reading #rsrh What’s as permanent as a temporary entitlement?
I’m frankly impressed that Rasmussen was able to poll them anyway on tax policy. I’ve known for a while that pollsters would dearly love to be able to bypass the brain’s censor circuits and find out what the American voter really thinks; I’m just mildly surprised that research along those lines has paid off so early. Then again, if you’re in a coma you probably will see a tax decrease, at that – so are they even wrong?
Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters still expect their taxes to increase under President Obama, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Just nine percent (9%) think their taxes will go down, and 39% expect them to stay the same.
Better and better, the percentage of people who have made a rational assessment of this administration’s tax policy has risenby a third in just a year and a half (in 2008, only 31% thought that our taxes would go up). Nice to see that we’re having an impact. Or that the administration’s antics are. Hard to say, really.
If you drill deeper down, you’ll find that a majority of Mainstream (Rasmussen’s term for ‘normal’) class voters think that their taxes will go up, while a majority of Political (Rasmussen’s term for ‘self-identified elitist’) class voters think that their taxes will stay about the same. Hopefully, this will make you feel better about the 39% generally who expect their taxes to say the same; a large number of them are actually still reachable. The others… are not. Don’t worry about it over-much, mostly because there’s no point anyway.
When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”
Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.
“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
…since any Social Security plan would probably preserve benefits for those nearing retirement, it would not help the administration achieve its goal of reducing the deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product, from 10 percent, within a decade.
One way to reach that 3 percent goal, by the calculations of Mr. Obama’s economic team: a 5 percent value-added tax, which would generate enough revenue to simultaneously permit the reduction in corporate tax rates Republicans favor.
Reporting from Los Angeles and Sacramento – Starting Sunday, cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners — holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear.
Technically, it’s not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives. As part of a bundle of budget patches adopted in the summer, the state is taking more money now in withholding, even though workers’ annual tax bills won’t change.
If I ever become a convert to Objectivism, it’ll be because of California: that state seems determined to ignore the elementary fiscal rule of Don’t spend money that you don’t have, you idjits. I realize that this sounds like a simplistic solution to what is a very complicated problem, but so is Robbing Peter to Pay Paul. Except that in this case it’s more like Robbing Peter and Paul while telling them that they’ll be getting the money back. Unless they need to make the robbing permanent. Which they probably will, because they got away with it in the first place, right?
I admit that this is harder to memorize.
PS: Another bit of elementary fiscal wisdom: It is absurd to think that you can transfer 1.8 billion in funding from things that generate wealth (business) to things that consume it (government) without it having an effect on the larger economy. I mention this because said wisdom has unaccountably eluded everybody defending this policy as being not being all that bad.
PPS: Hey, do you know that a top Californian state official – Lt. Governor John Garamendi – is actually within the reach of at least one CD’s worth of voters? He is, he is. If you live in CA-10, by all means: show your disapproval by voting for David Harmer on Tuesday.