From Wyoming to New York: America’s Best and Worst States for Tax

April 5, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

I’m very disappointed in my beloved California; we’re only #4 on this list. Surely we can do better and drive more people and jobs away!

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Last August, I shared a fascinating map from the Tax Foundation.

It showed which states have chased away taxable income and which ones have attracted more taxpayers (along with their taxable income).

In other words, what are the “Golden Geese” doing with their money?

Well, the obvious and unsurprising answer is that they are escaping high-tax states and moving to states that aren’t quite so greedy.

Now we have another map from the Tax Foundation. They’ve just released the latest data on state and local tax burdens as a share of state income. Because of lags in data, we’re looking at 2011 numbers, but that’s not important. The main thing is to notice that the states with the highest tax burdens are very much correlated with the states that suffered the great loss of taxable income.

State-Local Tax

You can tell a few additional things just by looking at the…

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A Primer on the Laffer Curve to Help Understand Why Obama’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy Won’t Work

February 7, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Busy day today, but this should give readers some good ammunition against nitwits preaching redistributionism and class warfare.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

My main goal for fiscal policy is shrinking the size and scope of the federal government and lowering the burden of government spending.

But I’m also motivated by a desire for better tax policy, which means lower tax rates, less double taxation, and fewer corrupting loopholes and other distortions.

One of the big obstacles to good tax policy is that many statists think that higher tax rates on the rich are a simple and easy way of financing bigger government.

I’ve tried to explain that soak-the-rich tax policies won’t work because upper-income taxpayers have considerable ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income. Simply stated, when the tax rate goes up, their taxable income goes down.

And that means it’s not clear whether higher tax rates lead to more revenue or less revenue. This is the underlying principle of the Laffer Curve.

For…

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What Motivates the Left, Envy or Greed?

February 4, 2014

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Why do statists support higher tax rates?

The most obvious answer is greed. In other words, leftists want more tax money since they personally benefit when there’s a larger burden of government spending. And the greed can take many forms.

They may want bigger government because they’re welfare recipients getting handouts.

They may want bigger government because they are overpaid bureaucrats administering ever-growing programs.

They may want bigger government because they’re lobbyists manipulating the system and it’s good to have more loot circulating.

They may want bigger government because they’re one of the many interest groups feeding at the federal trough.

Or they may want bigger government because they are politicians seeking to buy votes.

But greed isn’t the only answer.

Some statists want higher tax rates for reasons of spite and envy.

Consider this poll from the United Kingdom. It shows that an overwhelming majority…

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California: Governor Brown panicking over High-Speed Rail? Updated.

January 8, 2014
Boondoggle

Boondoggle

From The Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters. It looks like Governor Brown, faced with recent legal defeats for his “Train to Nowhere,” may be starting to panic:

Jerry Brown may be getting desperate about keeping the state’s increasingly unpopular – not to mention financially and legally challenged – bullet train project alive.

Faced with a judge’s insistence that the project follow the law about having its financial ducks lined up, Gov. Brown is now poised to shift money from the state’s “cap-and-trade” fees on greenhouse-gas emissions into the bullet train.

Brown, it’s been reported in The Bee and elsewhere, will propose in his 2014-15 budget that a portion of the fees being extracted from California business be committed to the bullet train.

Problem is, the money my fellow Californians allocated (1) to fight global warming climate change the evil demon threatening Gaea is “hardwired” by statute; the court may not accept that as a funding source sufficient to let construction go forward. Even if it does, the legislature, whose dominant leftist faction gets a lot of donation money from environmentalist groups, may not agree to reallocate the funds. But, if they do, and if the judge accepts this as a legal source of funds for Jerry’s Choo-Choo, it may still set up the mother of all Blue-on-Blue battles in Sacramento as environmentalist groups and their voters will likely raise an unholy stink over any money being diverted from their religious crusade.

And, when that happens, I’m doubling my popcorn order. smiley popcorn

Footnote:
(1) Passed in a fit of  “It’s for the environment! It must be good!!” Look, I live in a beautiful state and consider myself a conservationist (But not an environmentalist. I don’t join cults.), but passing a crippling new tax to fight a problem that does not exist was stupid and self-destructive for the state. Unfortunately, that’s what you get when an electorate votes with less consideration of the issues than they give to buying a head of lettuce.

UPDATE: There is no way I’m taking Moe Lane’s bet. That’s a sucker’s bet if I ever saw one.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Instead of a Government-Guaranteed Income, How About a Practical Plan to End the Washington Welfare State?

December 20, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Hmmm… Block-granting the entire welfare state to the states to allocate as they need, then gradually eliminating it — a federalist approach. I like it.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

The welfare state is a nightmare.

Programs such as Medicaid are fiscal catastrophes. The food stamp program is riddled with waste. The EITC is easily defrauded, even sending checks to prisoners. And housing subsidies are a recipe for the worst forms of social engineering.

The entire system should be tossed in the trash.

But what’s the alternative? Some libertarians argue that we should eliminate the dozens of Washington programs and replace them with a government-guaranteed minimum income. I address this issue in an essay for Libertarianism.org.

Some libertarians argue that the state should provide a minimum basic income, mainly because this approach would be preferable to the costly and bureaucratic amalgamation of redistribution programs that currently exist. It’s hard to disagree with the notion that the current system is a failure. The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner has produced a searing indictment of the modern welfare…

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Another Misguided Plan to Burden America with a Value-Added Tax

December 5, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

File this under: “Bad Idea” The only way we should have a VAT or national sales tax is if the amendment authorizing an income tax is repealed. Otherwise, Washington will greedily raise both. For the public good, of course.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

It’s no secret that I dislike the value-added tax.

But this isn’t because of its design. The VAT, after all, would be (presumably) a single-rate, consumption-based system, just like the flat tax and national sales tax. And that’s a much less destructive way of raising revenue compared to America’s corrupt and punitive internal revenue code.

But not all roads lead to Rome. Proponents of the flat tax and sales tax want to replace the income tax. That would be a very positive step.

Advocates of the VAT, by contrast, want to keep the income tax and give politicians another big source of revenue. That’s a catastrophically bad idea.

To understand what I mean, let’s look at a Bloomberg column by Al Hunt. He starts with a look at the political appetite for reform.

There is broad consensus that the U.S. tax system is inefficient, inequitable and hopelessly complex…

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New York City Is About to Become New France

November 7, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

By electing de Blasio, New York City has put itself back on a path at the end of which lies the corpse of Detroit.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

We know that countries suffer when taxes get too high, in part because investors, entrepreneurs, and other successful taxpayers escape to jurisdiction with less oppressive fiscal regimes. France is a glaring example. On steroids.

We know that states also suffer when the tax burden becomes to onerous, leading to an exodus of jobs and investment.Jerry Brown Promised LandCalifornia and Illinois are case studies of this self-destructive practice.

But it’s especially foolish for state governments to over-tax because it’s relatively easy to move from one state to another. Escaping a high-tax nation, by contrast, is a much costlier step and some governments impose quasi-totalitarian barriers to emigration.

Well, if states are foolish for imposing excessive taxation, then local governments that do the same thing are downright suicidal. It hardly requires any effort to move to another neighborhood on the other side of a city’s borders.

That’s why Detroit was doomed…

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#Obamacare: since it’s a tax, make the Democrats admit it, own it

November 1, 2013
"Shakedown"

“Young Americans under Obamacare”

I agree with Randy Barnett:

Remember, in 2009, the president emphatically denied to George Stephanopoulos that the Affordable Care Act imposed a tax increase. Yet, after the Supreme Court decision, going into the 2012 election, the White House again seemed to deny that the mandate was a tax, notwithstanding the administration’s argument to the Court.

Now, as the price for delaying the implementation of the court-created tax penalty, Republicans should demand truth in labeling. The Democrats in Congress must now admit they have imposed a tax on young and healthy Americans to get them to take the bad deal that is Obamacare. And any suspension of this tax must be scored by the Congressional Budget Office so the public knows the size of the tax increase that will be imposed on the American people when the delay ends and the tax kicks in. No longer will congressional supporters of the ACA be able to evade political responsibility.

On the other hand, if the Democrats insist that the penalty is not a tax, then they will be admitting that it is unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s decision. If Congress contradicts what the administration told the Supreme Court, a new challenge can be brought under the precedent of NFIB v. Sebelius. The president, and those who supported this law, should now be forced to bear the political consequences of their legislative and litigation legerdemain. If Obamacare can only legally live by the tax, then its supporters in Congress must politically die by the tax.

The Democrats got what they wanted, now let them choke on it.

via Instapundit


The French Death Spiral

October 21, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

You know it’s bad when even the EU thinks France taxes too much!

Originally posted on International Liberty:

There’s a tendency in public life to exaggerate the positive or negative implications of any particular policy.

This is why I try to be careful not to overstate the potential benefits of reforms I like, such as the flat tax. Yes, we would get better growth and there would be less corruption in Washington, but tax reform would not be a panacea for every ill. Many other policies also need to be fixed to generate sustained prosperity.

Likewise, I’m obviously not a fan of Obamacare, but I try to remind people that our system was already messed up even before Obama was elected. As such, repealing Obamacare – while the right thing to do – is just one of many things that need to happen to restore a competitive and efficient healthcare system.

Now that I’ve warned about the risks of overstatement, I’m going out on a…

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#IRS watching conservative groups as recently as two weeks ago?

September 19, 2013
"Rogue agents, Cincinnati field office"

“Rogue agents, IRS Cincinnati field office”

You’d think, after admitting wrongdoing back in May and being thoroughly pilloried by the public since then, the IRS would have had the good sense to stop singling out groups based on political beliefs. You would also be wrong:

Republicans investigating the IRS targeting scandal said Wednesday that the agency continued to conduct secret surveillance on tea party groups even after approving them for tax-exempt status.

Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said he shut down the monitoring program after he found out about it, and said he has halted all audits of tax-exempt organizations based on political activity as he tries to get a handle on the embattled agency.

(…)

In May, the IRS acknowledged subjecting conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny and delaying applications for far too long before approving them. Some applications are still awaiting approval after three years.

The newly revealed surveillance, however, applied to applications that had been approved, but where the IRS apparently wanted to determine whether the groups strayed too far into political activity to keep their tax-exempt status.

Mr. Werfel quibbled with calling the continued “surveillance” and said he didn’t see any evidence that groups on the list for scrutiny was improperly influenced by any IRS employees.

But he said the program was troubling enough that he shut it down two weeks ago.

This deserves one of those “Hitler in the bunker” Downfall videos of its own. I mean, what was going on, here? Did Boris Badenov, one of those hypothetical rogue agents in Cincinnati, twirl his Evil Mustache(tm) and laugh maniacally while receiving orders from Fearless Leader to carry on with Phase Two?

Whether this latest harrassment was born of arrogance or cluelessness –or both– it is yet another example of why the IRS needs to be seriously reduced in size and power, if not eliminated altogether, and why our tax code should be radically simplified and flattened so that one’s entire tax filing fits on a single postcard. The permanent bureaucracy as a class is fundamentally hostile to that large swath of Americans who prefer smaller, less intrusive government, which makes it the natural ally of those political factions that see the State as the solution to all problems and the ultimate arbiter of fairness.

And a mindbogglingly complicated tax code is a weapon in their hands to harry those they disapprove of, as we’ve seen time and again these last few months. The pols don’t even need to give explicit instructions to their allies in he bureaucracy; as ST reported, a “wink and a nod” is enough. The simpatico is that strong.

We don’t need to trim the federal government. We need to take a chainsaw to it.

Be sure to read the rest for the latest on Natasha …er…  Lois Lerner. Sadly, she’s not hypothetical.

via Bryan Preston

RELATED: Ed Morrissey noticed a very, very interesting coincidence in dates. As I’ve been saying for years, Obama is at his core hostile to freedom of speech, and now he has the IRS abetting him.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Even European Commission Bureaucrats Realize that Taxes Can Be Too High!

August 27, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

When taxes are too high even for Eurocrats, maybe the (Social) Democrats here in America should take notice. Nah, they never will. The addiction is just too strong. (Okay, that graphic came out a bit… wrong.)

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’m not a big fan of the European Commission. For those not familiar with this entity, it’s sort of the European version of the executive-branch bureaucracy we have in Washington. And like their counterparts in Washington, the Brussels-based bureaucracy enjoys a very lavish lifestyle while pushing for more government and engaging in bizarre forms of political correctness.

But just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, it appears that the European Commission is right once every century. Or perhaps once every millennium would be more accurate. Regardless, here are parts of a story I never thought would appear in my lifetime.

Olli Rehn: “Taxes shouldn’t be any higher than this”

According to the UK-based Independent, the European Commission – or at least one European Commissioner – now realizes that there’s such a thing as too much tax.

Tax increases imposed by the Socialist-led government in France…

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Democrat congressman accidentally honest with public

August 4, 2013
"Shakedown"

“Shakedown”

I’m sure Rep. Ellison will get an earful from Minority Leader Pelosi for giving the game away:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told a gathering of Democrats, “The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it.”

So, there you have it. It’s not your money; it’s Washington’s to redistribute as it sees fit. Like Obama. Ellison thinks the government has first call on your money. Unlike Obama, he wants it all. The President, at least, only wants your excess income.

“Excess” as defined by the government, of course.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#IRS: Delaware officials suddenly can’t find records Congress wants

July 24, 2013

Hey, remember Christine O’ Donnell? She was one of the more… “interesting” candidates to run in the 2010 “Tea Party wave” election, losing eventually to Chris “Bearded Marxist” Coons. A few days ago, it came out that O’Donnell, the same day she announced her candidacy for that race, the IRS hit her with a “mistaken” lien:

That same day, the IRS put a tax lien in her name on a house she no longer owned, arguing that O’Donnell owed the government $12,000, according to Grassley’s office.

O’Donnell told [Senator Charles] Grassley’s office that she provided the IRS with documents needed to clear her tax record “four or five times, and they kept getting ‘lost,’” the aide said.

The IRS later said it had made a mistake, which the agency said was the result of a computer glitch, and removed the lien.

The lien is significant because O’Donnell’s opponents cited it as evidence that she was financially irresponsible even though she espoused financial stability for the federal government.

I remember that incident with the lien; it became a significant part of the argument on the Right about whether O’Donnell was or wasn’t a total flake. Now it looks like she may have been “investigated” by state tax officials in her heavily Democratic state inappropriately accessing her federal tax records. This has caught the eye (and ire) of Senator Grassley (R-IA), who wants to see Delaware’s paperwork on this case.

And yet, now –O! What a coincidence!!– Delaware just can’t find those records:

Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.

The revelations to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office came Tuesday as the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, formally reopened its investigation into the matter by re-interviewing Ms. O’Donnell.

O’Donnell claims the state access to her records occurred on March 9th, 2010, a date given to her by the Treasury official who alerted her to the breach. Delaware says it was late March, and only after they’d seen the newspaper item (that alleged no wrongdoing on her part), but, gosh, they can’t find the records to prove their claim, so we’ll just have to take their word for it…

There’s no evidence (yet) that the Delaware Division of Revenue was part of the “inadvertent” smear of O’Donnell, but consider the situation in 2010: Riding a tidal wave of Tea Party support, Republicans were making a serious effort to take back Congress from the Democrats. Delaware was one of several states that could have been crucial to gaining control of the Senate. How convenient for the Democrats, then, was it that IRS hits her with a lien that guts her claims of fiscal responsibility, making her campaign in a Democratic state that much more difficult? Sure, they admitted the mistake, later, but the damage by that time was done.

And what were state officials doing digging at whim in her federal records? Perhaps a fishing expedition to look for more dirt, trying to do their part to help the national “party of government?” We don’t know, because they’ve destroyed records that could answer a few questions.

But it sure stinks.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


New Academic Research Confirms the “High Price” of High Tax Rates

July 6, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

The takeaway: lower tax rates for “the rich” — the job creators and business builders– are better for all concerned, rich and not-rich. Too bad empirical results never seem to penetrate the Left’s need to be “fair.”

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I periodically cite new academic research about tax policy and economic activity. I sometimes even publicize research from international bureaucracies showing the link between taxes and growth.

I’m not naive enough to think that any particular study will change minds, but when the bulk of the research unambiguously tells us that lower tax rates are better for economic performance, I think (or at least hope) that it may have some impact on government officials.

Which is why I’m particularly interested in some new research by Professor Karel Mertens from Cornell University.

Here are some key findings from Professor Mertens’ study, beginning with some observations on existing research.

To what extent do marginal tax rates matter for individual decisions to work and invest? The answer is essential for public policy and its role in shaping economic growth. The strand of the empirical literature that uses tax return data…

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Going Galt: More Americans Vote with their Feet against Obama

May 11, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Taxes here are getting so bad, Americans are abandoning their passports.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’ve written many times about how investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners and other successful people migrate from high-tax states to low-tax states.

Well, the same thing happens internationally, as France’s greedy politicians are now learning.

It’s a lot harder for Americans to escape our tax system, though, in part because of reprehensible exit taxes that are disturbingly reminiscent of some of the awful policies of past totalitarian regimes.

But it still happens, and that’s a very damning indictment of Obamanomics and a worrying referendum on the future of the United States. Here are some blurbs from a recent Fortune article.

Americans are ditching their U.S. passports in record numbers, a sign of growing frustration with a system that taxes U.S. citizens on their global wealth whether they live in Montana or Mongolia. …on the list, published quarterly by the Internal Revenue Service, is Isabel Getty, the daughter…

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Hide your IRAs: Obama admin. — “We think you’ve saved enough!”

April 12, 2013
"Shakedown"

“We’re here for your fair share.”

Or maybe it’s the off-ramp to Cyprus.

Over at lefty blog Talking Points Memo (h/t Joel Gehrke), Brian Beutler has noted an interesting item in the White House’s latest budget proposal: a cap on the amount one is allowed to save in tax-deferred accounts. Anything over that is open to the taxman.

Per the budget, “Individual Retirement Accounts and other tax-preferred savings vehicles are intended to help middle class families save for retirement. But under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.”

But how would they close this loophole?

One way experts believe financial managers avoid the current annual contribution limit to IRAs is by using IRAs to participate in investments and assigning those investment interests a nominal value vastly below fair market.

Obama wouldn’t curb this practice directly. Instead his budget calls for an overall cap of about $3 million on the net balance across all of an individuals’ tax-preferred accounts. Only have one IRA? It can hold $3 million. Have three? Their holdings must sum to $3 million or less.

The $3 million figure is approximate. A formula would set the cap at a level just high enough to finance an annual distribution of no more than $205,000 per year in retirement for someone retiring this year.

Now, I can imagine TPM is just thrilled with this; it just reeks of class warfare disguised as “fairness.” We’ve got “reasonable levels” (Defined by whom? Oh, wait…) and the ever popular “loophole,” with its scent of someone getting away with something, cheating the rest of us.

What the administration is talking about, I believe, are self-directed IRAs  and other retirement vehicles that allow you to invest your money where you see fit (1). When you sell the stock and withdraw the funds, under the rules you’re taxed at a much lower rate. It’s a great vehicle for wealth creation and the encouragement of saving for retirement.

And that’s what they can’t stand. The rules as written prevent them from taxing this sheltered wealth to fund their bloated spending, so they’re going to change the rules. Oh sure, they say this is aimed the the “Romneys” of the world, those rich people who have sheltered more the $3 million, but how long do you think that barrier will last? About as long as it takes them to realize they need more.

Rocco always wants more.

This idea to tax sheltered money isn’t new; FDR, to whom Obama acolytes compare him, has his own undistributed profits tax, to punish businesses that were holding on to cash. (Look out, Apple!) That scheme blew up in Roosevelt’s face as business investment collapsed and the nation entered a new recession in 1937-38. You can bet a move like this would have its own unintended consequences, which the social engineers at Team Unicorn would blame on anyone but their own ham-handed, grasping, greedy policies.

This is progressivism showing its face as Leviathan. Forget that it was your skill and acumen and good habits that accumulated that wealth (and, through investing it, helped others by creating jobs, &c.); forget that this is, in the end, your money, yours to dispose of as you see fit, beyond that portion needed to fund the basic functions of government.

Forget all that.

The administrative state beloved by progressives knows what’s best. It has its plans and goals for us all, because it has divined the national will. Thus all the resources of the nation are at its disposal to meet those goals.

Including your retirement accounts.

This budget is dead on arrival, thank Heaven, but don’t think this scheme is going away. Oh, no. Once broached, it’s out there, waiting.

PS: I wonder if this is where Obama got the idea?

Footnote:
(1) You know: your money, your property, your liberty.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This is why California can’t have nice things: taxing email

March 28, 2013
taxes IRS shakedown

“Shakedown”

Not yet, but a Berkeley (natch) city councilor thinks it’s a grand idea:

Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, proposed taxing email messages during a recent city council meeting in an effort to reduce the spread of “spam,” or unwanted emails.

Wozniak also said an email tax could raise money to keep the U.S. Postal Service functioning.

“There should be something like a bit tax … [it] could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year,” he said.

First question for Mr. Wozniak: are you taxing the senders or the recipients? If the former, how do you plan to get Nigerian scammers and Chinese porn spammers to comply? If the latter, then how…. Wait, I know: “It’s for the good of the community.”

Can you imagine how fast businesses would leave California if email messages (or data transfer) were to be taxed? Hint: hard to believe, but even faster than they are, now. And what about people who rely on email for their small or micro-businesses, or their hobbies? The Internet has been a fabulous engine for wealth creation, so naturally progressive Luddites want to kill it through taxation.

And what is it with the leftist obsession with preserving dying institutions? The Postal Service is collapsing, in large part due to the efficiency and convenience of email. It can’t compete, so let it go and let other, better services take its place. Just like their obsession with railroads, “progressives” boldly look to the past, when the future is staring them in the face. And because the future frightens them, their reaction is to tax it to prevent it.

Meanwhile, a suggestion to Councilman Wozniak: If spam email so annoys you, stop whining and get a service or software with a good spam filter.

And keep your grasping paws off my wallet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


March 23, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

“Caring about the environment” is just a cover. What they want is more revenue, and “fighting climate change” is the fig leaf used to hide it.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Seal of the United States Department of the Tr...

Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest Post by Christopher Horner, CEI

In November, I and CEI sued the Department of the Treasury to produce emails and other records mentioning “carbon”. See Joint_Scheduling_Agreement PDF

I sought emails and other documents from two offices: Environment and Energy (really), and Legislative Affairs. This action after the administration first ignored us, which they followed with an unfortunate stumble, trying to delay us with fees — even absurd and surely anti-’green’ ones, like $1,800 to photocopy electronic mail, typically copied on a disc for no charge — which fees, even when they’re not mindlessly trumped up like that one, not-for-profit groups which disseminate government information are exempt by statute from paying.

Delay can only work only so well once we file suit, and recently Treasury turned over a first production of approximately 770 pages of reports. Despite its…

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Senate Democrats rush to repeal tax they rushed to pass without reading, first

March 22, 2013

Remember how the Democrats pushed and pushed to ram through Obamacare as fast as they could, despite huge public opposition? So fast, most didn’t even bother to read the bill before voting on it? So fast, the Senate had to use “Rube Goldberg” procedures to pass it? So fast, Nancy Pelosi said they’d have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it?

Those were the days, my friends.

But, now that they’ve found out about at least one part, the idiotic “medical devices tax,” Democrats, especially those from states where the medical device industry is important, are joining with Republicans to repeal it:

The Senate gave sweeping bipartisan approval Thursday to a proposal by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to put senators on record in favor of repealing a tax on medical devices – a key part of President Obama’s controversial health care law.

The Hatch-Klobuchar amendment to the GOP budget plan is the latest effort to roll back the tax that applies to a range of medical products, from surgical tools to heart devices. It’s among several taxes in Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul.

The amendment passed the Senate by a vote of 79 to 20. The bill that it was attached to did not pass, but the sponsors used it as an opportunity to rally support for repealing the tax — as well as a separate bill they’ve introduced to achieve that. 

“Today, bipartisan members of the Senate spoke loudly and clearly that this tax on medical devices simply must go.  It is a drain on innovation, on job creation and on our ability to provide ground breaking medical technologies to patients,” Hatch said in a statement.

The Affordable Care Act levies a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices with the goal of raising nearly $30 billion over the next decade.

The Obama administration, naturally, is opposed to repeal of the tax, because the money it is expected to raise is crucial to Obamacare’s funding. But Democratic senators from vulnerable seats don’t want to have to explain to angry voters why their pacemakers and prosthetics cost more, or why the pace of innovation will slow, as the profits that would have been plowed back into R&D instead goes to the Treasury.

Expect this to happen more and more as the full weight of the PPACA kicks in. An already impossibly unwieldy law will become increasingly unstable as people demand unpopular taxes be repealed or find ways to avoid them, until the whole structure just collapses.

Of course, some would argue (and I would agree) that this collapse is an acceptable outcome to democratic socialists like Obama and Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowski, who think and hope that the turmoil caused will lead people to demand what the Left really wants: state-run single-payer health care.

Our job is to remind people every day that Obamacare is itself the problem, that the only solution to rising medical costs is a program of patient-centered, market-based reforms that remove the price distortions caused by government intervention and respects the liberty of the individual. If someone says that “Too late, Obamacare is set in stone, we can only tinker with it,” just give them a one-word answer: “Prohibition.”

Meanwhile, we can enjoy the spectacle of liberals like Senator Klobuchar running screaming from the monster they helped set loose.

RELATED:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


March 14, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

An illustration of why Jindal is my front-running choice for POTUS in 2016.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Two months ago exactly, I appeared on TV to talk about the concept of eliminating the personal and corporate income tax in Louisiana.

Now Governor Jindal has unveiled a specific proposal.

The plan will eliminate two major tax types: personal income tax and corporate income and franchise tax. Eliminating income taxes in a revenue-neutral manner and improving sales tax administration will dramatically simplify Louisiana’s tax system and reduce administrative problems for families and small businesses. The effective start date of the program is January 1, 2014. …The plan will ensure revenue neutrality by…[b]roadening the state sales tax base and raising the state rate to 5.88%.

This is a superb plan.

Of all the possible ways for a state to generate revenue, the income tax is the most destructive.

My new man crush

That’s why researchers consistently have found that states without this punitive levy grow faster and create more…

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