Voting with their…


Sean Hannity is off the air in Kansas City. He has been for months. The local station dropped him after his last contract expired. He was replaced with Michael Savage. I believe Savage may have two or three listeners.

Due to Hannity’s absence, you may not have heard the news. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said conservatives weren’t wanted in New York (Hannity lives on Long Island.)

Hannity soon received offers to relocate by the governors of Florida and Texas.

Sean Hannity Becomes Another High-Profile Tax Refugee

The TV host can save as much as $1 million a year just by escaping New York's tax regime.

The TV host can save as much as $1 million a year just by escaping New York’s tax regime.

Now we can add Sean Hannity to the growing list of celebrities to abandon their New York residencies in favor of states with better economic climates.

The popular TV and radio host has long been a New York resident with second and third homes in both Florida and Texas, two of the brightest stars in our nation’s economic constellation.

But on his primetime Fox News show, he recently told Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: “You’re soon going to be my senator.” He will split his time between a home in Naples, Fla., and a small ranch in Texas and end his New York residency, which means he’ll no longer be taxed by the Empire State.

Why this move after so many years as a New Yorker?

Well, in January of this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a firestorm when he contended that conservatives have “no place” in his state. In response, both Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Texas Gov. Rick Perry invited Hannity to consider a move to their states — invitations Hannity has gladly accepted.

It’s quite obvious why Hannity would not want to live in a state where his party is vilified by the governor. Yet there are many compelling financial reasons that favor Florida and Texas.

For one, neither Florida nor Texas levies a personal income tax — quite appealing considering that New York’s marginal income-tax rate for top earners like Hannity is over 13%. For New Yorkers making over $1 million a year, a move to Florida and Texas will let these top earners take home at least $130,000 more after taxes.

Hannity no doubt pulls down an income that will save as much as $1 million a year by saying so long to New York.

He isn’t alone in choosing sunny economic climates over New York’s shakedown tax system. Between 1992 and 2011 (according to data from the Internal Revenue Service), New York lost $71.36 billion in net adjusted gross income (AGI). By comparison, Texas gained $27.34 billion, while Florida gained a whopping $100.53 billion.

With population growth outpacing New York’s nearly 3-to-1, Florida has now passed the Empire State as the nation’s third-most populous.

The annual state report by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation confirms that Hannity is making a wise financial decision. Its 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index places New York dead last on the list as a result of high income, corporate, sales and property taxes.

The article continues onto a second page, here.

Hannity’s operation pays a significant amount of taxes to New York and well as to the local government. Now Cuomo’s bombast has lost the state and Long Island. Hannity could save as much as $130,000 a year by some estimates. A drop in the bucket, perhaps, for New York—if Hannity’s decision was the only one involved. However, it isn’t. Hannity isn’t along leaving New York. Rush Limbaugh moved out several years ago after a series of harassing tax audits that netted New York nothing.


Photo-ID. Last Tuesday was the primary election in Mississippi. The media was focused on the race between Chris McDaniel and Thad Cochran. They conveniently overlooked another significant event in the election—the requirement for a photo-ID to vote.

The Biggest Non-Story in Tuesday’s Elections? Mississippi Voter ID Implemented With No Problems

It wasn’t the biggest story following Tuesday’s elections in various states, but it was the biggest and most-ignored non-story.

Mississippi’s new voter ID law got its first run in the June 3 primary, and the sky did not fall. Despite the tiresome and disproven claims by opponents that such laws cause wholesale voter disenfranchisement and are intended to suppress votes, Mississippi “sailed through” its first test of the new ID requirements, according to The Clarion Ledger, the newspaper of Jackson, Miss.

Aside from being able to use any form of government-issued photo ID, like every other state with ID requirements, Mississippi provides a free ID for anyone who does not already have a government-issued photo ID.  Contrary to the claims of those who say large numbers of Americans don’t have an ID, Mississippi estimated that only 0.8 percent of Mississippians lacked an ID.  In fact, even that may have been an overestimate since the state had to issue only about 1,000 voter ID cards. All those who forgot their ID on Tuesday also could vote by an affidavit as long as they returned and showed an ID within five days.

The Clarion Ledger reported how few problems there were in the implementation of the new requirement. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said the state “devoted countless hours of time and training to election officials across the state” and the result was that there were hardly any complaints. There was only one reported case of a man mistakenly being turned away for lack of an ID, at which point an election commissioner was sent to solve the problem. But this was one of the few reported problems across the entire state in which almost 400,000 voters turned out to cast their ballots in the primary elections, including in the fiercely contested Republican U.S. Senate primary where incumbent Thad Cochran faced off against challenger Chris McDaniel in a razor-thin election.

As Sid Salter from the Clarion Ledger put it, the voter ID law was a “non-event” and “voters expressed little, if any, inconvenience at the polls due to the new law.” So how is the new law being covered by the media? Instead of reporting that the voter ID law is “sailing through,” the mainstream media has instead elected to remain silent. As Hosemann said, “No news is good news.”

An interview of Sharyl Atkission, formerly of CNN and under attack by Media Matters, slams the current crop of journalists as being tools, easily manipulated by Obama and the liberal establishment. Atkission left CBS because of the restrictions by CBS on her reporting. She was immediately attacked by CBS and Media Matters for her claims of liberal bias in the news.

Cartoons of the Day

I’m pressed for time today. Here’s a couple of items to hold you over while I scurry around doing errands.
This one is from Glenn McCoy.

And this from Michael Ramirez.

Y’all have a great day!

Truth in Government—Really!

Hidden in the US budget (or at least the last time we had one,) is funding for a number of governmental offices that are “off budget.”  These are agencies like Freddie Mac and the US Post Office.  These offices are knows as GSEs or Government Sponsored Enterprises.

There are a number of GSEs (government sponsored enterprises) that are considered off budget.  Politicians use off-budget entities like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Postal Service to obfuscate the true cost of government.  Additionally, the government runs a number of credit programs, in which taxpayers are on the hook for loan guarantees.  These guarantees include loans for college students and for energy programs, such as the one that purveyed failed green energy programs like Solyndra. RedState

The “On Budget” cost covers only what these agencies actually do. But not budgeted is the results of those actions nor the money that passes through their hands.

Under current law, Congress only factors in the cost of the loan itself when formulating the annual budget.  Perforce, if the money is paid back with interest, there is no cost to the government.  However, as we have learned so painfully, the loans are, all too often, never paid back.  Taxpayers have been called on to bailout a modicum of failed loan guarantees.  In the private sector, they use “fair value” accounting in calculating the costs of credit programs.  Fair value accounts for the costs of the market risk the lender incurs by issuing a loan, in addition to the actual borrowing costs. — RedState

The US House has passed H.R. 3581 that will force these costs into the open.

H.R. 3581 would modify the budgetary treatment of federal credit programs such that the cost of direct loans or loan guarantees would be calculated on a “fair value” basis, which includes not only the borrowing costs of the federal government, but also the cost of the market risk the government is incurring by issuing a loan or loan guarantee. Under current law, the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA) requires that the credit subsidy cost of federal direct loans and loan guarantees be measured on a net present value basis which determines the cost of a loan program based on calculations using the interest rates on Treasury securities and estimated losses that would be expected from defaults. However, this calculation ignores additional costs associated with market risks. According the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “By incorporating a market-based risk premium, fair-value estimates recognize that the financial risk that the government assumes when issuing credit guarantees is more costly to taxpayers than FCRA-based estimates suggest.” By more accurately accounting for the costs of federal credit programs, H.R. 3581 would increase the estimated costs of such programs compared to measures used under current law.

When I read this article, I wondered if Missouri had similar funding issues?  Are there agencies in Missouri that have off-the-books costs that aren’t covered by budget?  Missouri has a balanced budget requirement.  But the state also receives Federal funding to support some state operated agencies…schools for instance and Medicaid.

People build a degree of expectation, of a level of performance from these agencies and programs.  The funding passes through our state government and on to the end recipient.  If, for some reason, federal funding is cut or stops for these operations, the state would have to provide the funds, cut back the offices and programs, or cancel them all-together.

The people and organizations (schools for instance) receiving aid, assistance or funding through these federally co-funded agencies and programs would feel their expectations are not being met.  Rightly or wrongly, the lack of federal funds would place a burden on the state.

Does the state budget correctly account for these federal funds?  I don’t know, but it’s a good question to ask.  I would expect, at a minimum, that agencies and programs who are dependent on some degree of federal funding, and those who use or are dependent on federal funding passing through the state government, be made aware of the situation and under what circumstances funding may be cut or ended.

We should also be informed, if federal funding was gone, how much additional state taxes would be needed to maintain that level of operation.  Much, much more than we can afford without a doubt.

I would strongly suggest to our state legislators that we begin to wean ourselves from such federal funding scams.  The state must live within its means and those means cannot include federal funding that can suddenly disappear.

We don’t want to become another Greece.

Doing your homework

It’s a slow day for news, at least so far. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is today’s submission by Glenn McCoy. Enjoy!

According to Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), it’s been over 800 days since the federal government had a budget. The dems had total control of Congress since 2007. Why has there not been a budget? One isn’t needed when you pass bills with built-in spending authorizations. Can we say TARP? Obamacare? Stimulus packages 1 and 2?

Doing your homework

It’s a slow day for news, at least so far. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is today’s submission by Glenn McCoy. Enjoy!

According to Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), it’s been over 800 days since the federal government had a budget. The dems had total control of Congress since 2007. Why has there not been a budget? One isn’t needed when you pass bills with built-in spending authorizations. Can we say TARP? Obamacare? Stimulus packages 1 and 2?

Truth in Taxation

I was lying in bed this morning, trying to decide if I was awake enough to get up, when a thought occurred to me. A number of items we buy every day, like gasoline, have the taxes rolled into the displayed price.  In other cases, taxes are lumped together into a single line item on you receipt.

My thought was, “What if taxes were printed as individual line items on receipts?”  In Missouri, the state and federal taxes are posted  on the pump.  The Missouri state gas tax is $0.173 and federal tax is $0.184 per gallon. A total of $0.357 per gallon. Missouri ranks 44th in total gasoline taxes.  The “blue” democrat controlled states, such as California ($0.661/g), New York ($0.656/g), Hawaii ($0.642/g), Connecticut ($0.636/g), Illinois ($0.612/g) and Michigan ($0.561/g) are the top five in highest gas taxes. 
There may be some additional sales taxes imposed as well.  If I recall correctly, the pumps locally say that the gas tax is $0.42 per gallon. Taxes are the single largest item in the end price of gas.
Too often, taxes are hidden.  While some taxes may be necessary, in most cases we pay taxes grudgingly because we’re forced to pay by the authority of the “governmental” gun.  
The control of  taxes is awareness.  Being aware of the total taxes we pay will drive the public to control taxation—and spending.

What I propose is that each tax be line-itemized on all receipts. When you buy gas, the receipt documents all the taxes, local, county, state and federal, included in the final price of the gas.  When you buy an item at Wal-Mart or other retail outlet, the receipt will itemize each individual tax that is added to the price of the item.  I would propose a prohibition of merging various taxes into an “omnibus” tax whose sole purpose would be to hide individual taxes levied by various agencies. 

There would be a small cost to make these changes, but almost all point-of-sale devices today are computerized.  It would take only a few man-hours to change the program to print the taxes.  After all, they already know the rates. They already collect the taxes.  Now, put some truth in the receipts and list each individual tax.

People have a right to know not only how much they are taxed, but also my whom they’re taxed.  Call a tax a “fee” is a mis-direction, a lie to put it frankly.  People have come to expect their government to lie.  It’s time to make some corrections and put some truth back into government—and in taxation.