Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tax the Rich!

cross posted at Right Michigan

Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith thinks that voters are of a frame of mind that they might do something radical next year. They have been pushed too far!

She believes that citizens have noticed the way that Michigan's state government has shut down in two of the last three budget processes. She believes that teachers, parents and children have noticed too that their school's funding has been under attack. She is pretty sure that voters have noticed that prisons have been closed and that police have been laid off, that the state fair is being shut down, that libraries are closing, and that somewhere on a vacant stretch of little used highway far from civilization, there is a pothole.

Alma Wheeler Smith is running for governor and as a long shot candidate, she needs an issue to make waves and get attention. Amidst the government shutdowns, the layoffs, the budget cutbacks, closed schools, sidelined police cruisers, shuttered libraries, empty pig stalls, and remote potholes, she thinks she may have found it, and it is radical.

Tax the rich!

She may be on to something too, for no appeal to any voter will resonate louder than the one that appeals to the worst in each of our human natures; a calling that goes right to the heart of our greed and our envy. Here, Smith gets a twofer as reported by Up North Live.

Tax the rich and get something for nothing!

A veteran Michigan lawmaker and Democratic gubernatorial candidate says she thinks Michigan voters will support swapping the state's flat income tax rate for a graduated one next year.
And why wouldn't the vast majority of voters at face value prefer a method of taxation that shifted more of the costs onto others? This is simply human nature.

It is, of course, an undisputed fact that at both the federal and state levels a vast majority of taxes are already being paid by the very few in the higher tax brackets. It is also an undisputed economic reality that punishing behavior (through higher taxation) gets less of that behavior. Conversely, as was proved during times of tax reductions, lower tax rates on all payers will create more tax revenues for the public coffers, but these things don't matter overmuch to political operatives needing an angle of attack.

So Smith plows on.
She unveiled her plan Tuesday morning at a Capitol news conference. She says a comprehensive solution is needed to fix Michigan's budget problems.

Democratic state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith also is hoping lawmakers will vote in the next two months to eliminate a business tax surcharge and some business tax breaks while lowering the sales tax rate to 5.5 percent and extending it to services.
Please note that all of her comprehensive components include either raising taxes (or shifting them around a bit to increase their bite overall) and include nothing substantive about reining in out of control spending. In fact, her plan veers off into the opposite direction when it comes to spending.
Smith's plan includes a new income tax credit that would completely cover tuition at a state university, community college or vocational school, or preschool costs.
This is the second part of the twofer, appealing to the "get something for nothing" crowd. This crowd, incidentally, is a favored historical Democrat constituency proven to be willing to support a candidate for incentives a lot smaller than the cost of free tuition.

Of course the question of the hour is this. If we cannot squeeze enough revenue out of the taxpayers of Michigan to adequately fund our public schools and cannot pay the Promise Grant to current college students, how on Earth will there ever be enough money in the system to support this sort of grand larceny?

Each dollar that is sucked out of the taxpayer's pocket for benevolent redistribution is another dollar than cannot be spent on goods and services in the private sector. Our economy has already reached the saturation point and simply cannot absorb more taxation. All increased taxation now directly results in a shrinking of the tax base as blown away businesses close down and blown away potential workers have to flee to areas where jobs are being created by robust economies.

P.T. Barnum once said that there is a sucker born every minute, and Alma Wheeler Smith, while being a devotee of Barnum's, nonetheless hopes that he greatly underestimated the birth rate of voting suckers, at least here in Michigan.

She needs the sucker vote, and she is willing to promise to pay for it with the tax dollars of those citizens and businesses who have yet to buy a padlock or book a U-Haul. She had better hurry for there isn't much time left.

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