Legislative Session Roundup

Democrat Governor Jay Nixon has been using his pen to veto some bills. His biggest veto, the HB 509, the Tax Cut bill, was overridden before the 2014 session ended. He waited until the session was over to veto these bills.

A number of these bills contain tax cuts or reforms in one fashion or another. Nixon’s constant screed was that the bills would cut revenues and unbalance the budget. Nixon did not acknowledge that it is the Legislature that creates the budget, not the governor. These vetoes prove, once again, that Nixon has never met a tax he didn’t like.

HB1296 – Allows a seller to advertise that the required sales tax will be assumed or absorbed into the price of the property sold or the services rendered if the amount of the tax is separately stated

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

HB 1455 – Changes the laws regarding burdens of proof for the director of revenue in ascertaining tax liability of a taxpayer

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

HB 1865 – Modifies provisions of law relating to sales and use tax exemptions for utilities used or consumed in the preparation of food

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 584 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 612 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 662 – Requires the Department of Revenue to notify affected sellers of certain decisions modifying sales tax law

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 673 – Modifies the duration of unemployment compensation the method to pay federal advances, and raises the fund trigger causing contribution rate reductions

06/17/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 693 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation, fire sprinklers and merchandising practices

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 727 – Modifies provisions relating to farmers’ market and SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 829 – Modifies provisions relating to burden of proof in tax liability cases

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

SB 860 – Modifies provisions relating to taxation

06/11/2014: Vetoed by Governor Nixon

If you read any of the veto letters, you will find a common theme.

“…the General Assembly disregarded the normal legislative process, slipping in costly provisions without public hearings and without fiscal notes reflecting the impact on the state budget. And, as legislators ignored the legislative process, so too did they ignore the budget process…”

The budget process is owned by the Legislature. They are constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. Nixon, however, by withholding funding to a number of areas, such as Education, has artificially created short falls in areas of state responsibility. The money was available. Nixon just chose not to spend it according to the budget. His hypocrisy is not surprising; he’s a democrat.

 

 

Passed…

As you can see, I have a blog today. That means I was not picked for the jury yesterday. Jury selection took ALL day. We didn’t get finished until nearly 5PM.

The trial promises to be a particularly nasty one. I’m glad, in a way, I wasn’t picked. I think I was excluded due to my answer to the first question yesterday morning.

The court officials were introduced, the Judge, the prosecuting and defending attorneys, and the court recorder. The first question was, “Do any of you [the potential jurors] know any of these officials?” I raised my hand. “Who do you know?” I was asked. “Judge Collins. We are acquaintances.”  I noticed later that everyone who knew Judge Collins was not picked for the Jury. Oh, well.

***

It appears the Nixon impeachment is stalled in committee.

IMPEACHMENT EFFORT NIXED — ‘Missouri House committee will not vote on attempt to impeach Governor Nixon,’ MissouriNet: “Efforts to impeach Governor Jay Nixon (D) will not be brought up for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee, its chairman told Missourinet Monday afternoon. Representative Stanley Cox’s (R-Sedalia) committee held two hearings in the last two weeks on three resolutions seeking to impeach Nixon on three different lines of reasoning. After a hearing last week he went to the members of that committee and asked them whether they wanted to vote on the resolutions. … Cox says he agrees with the decision of the committee members. … Cox says he believes there is strong circumstantial evidence that Nixon violated the laws of the state, but says he and the other Judiciary Committee members did not think the evidence and arguments met the standard for impeachment. … The articles of impeachment filed against Nixon accused him of violating the state’s Constitution in three areas.” — PolitcMO Newsletter, May 6, 2014.

Other bills, such as the Paper ballot initiative, are also hung in committee. On the other hand, Nixon’s veto of the Tax Cut bill could be overridden before this legislative term is over.

TAX CUT OVERRIDE IN SIGHT — Republicans believe they have the votes to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 509: ‘Mo. House plans Tuesday vote to override Nixon’s veto of tax cut,’ PoliticMo: “The Missouri House of Representatives is expected to vote on Tuesday to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a $620 million tax cut. By a party line vote on Monday, the Missouri Senate sent the tax cut bill back to the House on Monday afternoon, but Republicans opted to wait until Tuesday when all their members would be present to take a vote, House Majority Floor Leader John Diehl said after the House adjourned. Republicans need the support of all 108 House Republicans and at least one Democrat to override Nixon’s veto. The bill would reduce the maximum tax rate on personal income from 6 to 5.5 percent beginning in 2017 and allow a 25 percent deduction of business income on personal tax returns. Both provisions would be contingent on state revenues being $150 million higher than the highest of the three previous years.

“Democratic Reps. Keith English, D-Florissant, and Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, (the lone Democrat to support the bill initially) are considering siding with the Republican majority to override Nixon’s veto. “Do you believe you have the votes,” a reporter asked Diehl. “I believe I do.” Nixon has opposed the bill citing the potential negative impact of reduced revenue on education funding, as well as a potential “fatal flaw” that he had said could eliminate the entire income tax code above $9,000.”

— The bill has been the subject of a compressed campaign-like effort from both sides of the issue. Nixon has made more than a dozens of trips to cities and towns across Missouri urging residents to call their lawmakers and tell them to oppose the bill. Nixon, speaking in Springfield on Monday, pointed to the recent downgrade of the credit rating for the state of Kansas, which recently cut taxes on a similar scale. Nixon’s tour schedule since April 16: Jefferson City, Mo., Ozark, Mo., St. Louis County, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., Springfield, Mo., Jefferson City, Mo., Columbia, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., Savannah, Mo., Springfield, Mo., De Soto, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., Jefferson City, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., and Springfield, Mo.

— Agriculture and business groups have lined up in favor of SB 509 in a way many tried to avoid during the HB 253 fight last year. The groups include the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Associated Industries of Missouri, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri Association of CPAs, Missouri Retailers Association, Missouri Realtors Association, Missouri Poultry Association, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Grocers Association, Missouri Dairy Association, and the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.

HOW THEY SEE US — A12 of the New York edition of the New York Times today, Julie Bosman from Jefferson City, ‘In Missouri, Republicans Prevail on Tax Bill’:  “In a showdown over tax policy, the Republican-controlled State Senate on Monday overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a major tax-cut bill, setting the stage for sharp reductions in state personal income taxes. The Senate debated the bill for less than 30 minutes before overriding the veto on a 23-to-8 vote. The Republican-controlled House is expected to vote on the override on Tuesday. Myron Neth, a Republican member of the House, delivered an impassioned speech on the floor in favor of the bill Monday night, arguing that the state needed to give businesses tax breaks in order to stay competitive.  …

The vote was a rebuke of Mr. Nixon, who last September lobbied so vigorously against a different tax-cut bill championed by Republican legislators that the lawmakers failed to override his veto of that measure. The governor, who had described the new tax-cut bill as ‘ill-conceived,’ said in an interview Monday night that he was prepared for it to now become law. … Democratic senators who spoke against the bill said they worried it would threaten Missouri’s excellent credit rating and reduce state funds for education. … After the legislature failed to override the governor’s veto last year, the Republicans came back this spring with a shorter bill, only five pages long. They rallied more support in the business community and argued that the tax cut would boost small businesses. In the halls of the Capitol, they posted black-and-white placards outside their offices, displaying the number of businesses in their districts that they said would benefit. And perhaps most crucially, after the governor vetoed the most recent bill last Thursday, they moved quickly to schedule an override session, hastily gathering members on Monday.” — PoliticMO Newsletter, May 6, 2014.

***

And for a parting shot, here’s an editorial how Tea Partiers are terrorizing the GOP Establishment.

PRUDEN: Tea Party challengers terrorizing the Republican establishment again

By Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times, Monday, May 5, 2014

This might be the year of the state senator. That’s not necessarily a good thing. It’s how Barack Obama got his start. Several ambitious state senators are challenging incumbent Republican senators, and the prospect of surprises from the heartland terrifies the Republican establishment.

Some incumbents apparently no longer actually live in the states they represent, having outgrown their bucolic origins and aspire to the undisturbed life in Hollywood on the Potomac, bathed in the twinkle and tinsel of an ersatz Hollywood.

The patricians of the Republican establishment — party moguls from yesteryear, aspiring kingmakers, PAC artists and corporate patriots — are trying to kill the Tea Party graveyard dead, so the patricians can retreat to the gentle Capitol Hill life of going along to get along. Tea Party zealots, who think passion and zealotry in the cause of reform is what the market is waiting for, are out to teach the party establishment to treat them with a little respect. No more Rodney Dangerfield.

Establishment Republicans, with their green-eyeshade DNA, are always afraid of controversy, and learn to deal with it reluctantly, and usually not very well. This puts them at disadvantage, often fatal, with Democrats, who love hubbub, chaos and brawling. “Democrats are like alley cats,” a wise old party elder in the South once observed. “Democrats fight, and alley cats fight, and the result is more Democrats and more cats.”

Tea Party Republicans usually come equipped with more fire and zeal than smarts and moxie, but they’re learning. In the recent past they had to learn the hard way with little help from the experienced party establishment. The Republicans might have taken the Senate four years ago if several of the party regulars who could have helped inept nominees had not jeered from the sidelines after their candidates lost in the primary.

Several Democratic senators were begging to be picked off, but incompetent nominees, including two who said dumb things about rape and abortion, saved the Democratic majority. They were left twisting slowly, slowly in the wind. Two years ago, the establishment got the candidates it wanted in North Dakota, Ohio and Montana, and lost just like the Tea Party upstarts.

The Tea Party, says Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who managed the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2010 and 2012, says the Tea Party movement “was the wind at our backs in 2010,” but when fissures opened the party produced “candidates who could get nominated but who couldn’t get elected, and that’s obviously not the goal.”

Two upstarts this year are state senators, Joni Ernst in Iowa and Chris McDaniel in Mississippi. Mrs. Ernst looks like a fashionable Junior League matron, rides a Harley hog, commands the largest battalion in the Iowa National Guard as an Army lieutenant colonel (her husband is a retired sergeant major), and talks like an earthy Democrat. She boasts that as an Iowa farm girl she learned to castrate hogs and that will make her effective in cutting pork in Washington. Some Iowans thought this was in bad taste, but her polls number jumped at once. She emerged from also-ran to contender almost overnight.

Mr. McDaniel has mounted the most brazen challenge of all, as Republicans define brazen. He’s challenging Sen. Thad Cochran, who is running for his seventh term, and he has the endorsement of every Republican who ever sat on a veranda at the country club, sipping pink gin or a Pimm’s No. 1 cup.

Mr. McDaniel, like any well -brought-up Southerner, shows the senator, 76, respect and due deference, but argues that he’s not conservative enough and that six terms is enough for anyone. The Republican establishment, led in Mississippi by Haley Barbour, the former governor, likes the senator for the reason that Mr. McDaniel doesn’t. He’s the king of pork and the emperor of earmarks, just the sort Joni Ernst wants to confront with her pig shears.

The senator has a shrinking lead in the polls, but has little organization — until this year he never needed one — and he lent credence to the charge that he’s out of touch with Mississippi when it was discovered that he lists a rented Capitol Hill basement apartment as his “primary residence.” This is only a little more persuasive than the “rented room with bath” in Dodge City that Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas lists as his Kansas residence. Mr. Roberts is hotly pursued by Milton Wolf, locally infamous as the second cousin, once removed, of Barack Obama. Suddenly, the Republicans are getting to be fun.

Y’all have a great day!

Call-in Campaign to Override Nixon’s Vetos

This post is a continuation from yesterday and last week. It should rightly be titled, Lead by the Unwilling and the Fearful, Part II.

After yesterday’s post, I continued to have an exchange with a Jeff City staffer. He provided some additional information why Tim Jones, Speaker of the Missouri House, is unlikely to bring the tax cut veto override to the floor—the pols in Jeff City claim they are receiving no or very few calls in support of the veto override!

Him: Mike, if you ever go hunting, you know there are two basic rules on target selection:

1.) Make sure you have a clean line of sight;
2.) Don’t hunt what you can’t kill–make sure you have enough ammo to take down your target.

Right now, there isn’t enough ammo. And the bad part is (and I speak from experience because I work in the Capitol) is that 95% of the offices are getting ZERO calls from constituents and only a few emails on the subject. The reps aren’t changing their positions because they’re not getting any contact telling them to.

Right now, the only voices on the issue are the people who want to keep the status quo. I can tell you for a fact that Jones wants to get this done, but he also knows that he needs the members onboard. If he pushes the vote, he makes reps take a vote that is potentially dangerous in a political sense, and he knows that it will fail. That doesn’t help out the conservative agenda in any way–it’s seppuku without any reason. Do you think it helps out the conservative agenda to have that vote fail AND have it be partially or fully responsible for Democrats regaining 5 or 10 seats?

I can understand his and his boss’s position, although I vehemently oppose it. He’s a staffer for a Rep on the eastern side of the state. That eastern district abounds democrat controlled districts and his district is likely to have the conservative majorities we on the western side of Missouri possess.

But, even if we do lose five to ten house seats, we’ll still have a majority. Our majority in the House is more than a handful of seats. Of course, his boss is concerned about losing HIS seat. That can be a motivator but it does speak volumes about his political courage. His override vote could be turned around to get support from voters, not lose support.

But again, I say they are taking counsel of their fears. Instead of being afraid of democrats, they should be in fear of their ‘Pub constituents.

According to the staffer above, he made the rounds of some ‘Pub Reps and they say they’ve received few calls, 5 at most, In support of the veto overrides. Many have received no override calls through the summer. You can bet your house they are getting calls and visits from the dems, union reps, and teacher’s union official AGAINST the override.

If you, like me, want Nixon’s vetos overridden, call your Representative and Senator. If you can, visit them in support of the veto overrides. In addition, attend the rallies planned for 9:00AM and 12:00 noon on September 11, 2013 in Jeff City. The first rally is to support the override of HB436, The 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. That rally is followed at noon by the rally to override Nixon’s veto of the tax cut bill.

If you can’t attend because it is a work day and you can’t get off, CALL your representatives! Write them in support of the veto overrides—snail mail. E-mails seem to be ignored so personal communications is extremely important.

If you don’t know the phone number of your Representative, here is a link to the House website that contains the Representative’s contact numbers.

http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx

Call! Now! Be counted and force those cowardly Reps to be YOUR representatives. Make them understand their longevity in Jeff City is dependent on them obeying YOU, not the dems and their union sycophants.

And when you have finished calling, hangup and hand the phone to your spouse and have them call. Include your voting age children—have them call as well. The more calls, the greater the pressure on those waffling ‘Pubs to do the right thing.

It’s up to us.

Lead by the Unwilling and the Fearful

I wrote yesterday about the lack of leadership and principles within the GOP establishment. Later, during an exchange of Facebook comments about Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Tim Jones, I read a prime example why the GOP is dying across the country.

Yes, I said, dying. The real tragedy is that the GOP seems blissfully unaware of its coming demise. It needn’t happen but unless there are changes—immediate and massive changes, the party will go the way of the Whigs.

I still think of myself as a Republican. I would like to remain a Republican. Unfortunately, the GOP, at the state and national levels, is making that choice more and more difficult.

This is the article that started the comments.

Speaker: Override of veto not likely

Nixon calls tax-cut bill a ‘fiscally irresponsible experiment’

House Speaker Tim Jones said Tuesday his chamber will probably not try to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a Republican tax-cut bill.

Jones made his comments on the St. Louis public radio program “Politically Speaking.”

Asked about the bill, Jones said, “It is likely, likely I would not even attempt an override.”

Jones’ comments are an apparent victory for opponents of the bill, who have warned of dire consequences if the bill is signed into law.

“Overriding this veto will be monumental if it happens. Right now, I have to say, I don’t know if we have the numbers for it,” Jones said on the program.

The Missouri General Assembly will convene for its veto override session on Sept. 11.

Jones said that unless Republicans who voted no on the bill tell him definitively they will vote yes, an override vote is unlikely because Jones believes all Democrats are likely to vote no on the measure. Additionally, six Republicans did not vote at all when the bill came up.

Without any Democratic support, Jones would need all 109 Republicans to vote to override to reach the necessary two-thirds majority.

The House vote on the bill was 103-51.

The most charitable thing I can say about Speaker Tim Jones and his followers is that they have taken counsel of their fears. If I weren’t charitable, I’d call them sniveling cowards, without any principles except to remain in office, unfit to hold any public office.

I came down hard on Tim Jones. I’ve spoken with him on a number of occasions but I doubt he’d remember me amongst the crowd. I didn’t come bringing cas…no I’ll not say that. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.

The FB post had a commenter who agreed with Tim Jones. I’ll not identify him. I believe he was sincere in his opinions. I just think those opinions are grossly wrong and will lead to the dissolution of the GOP in Missouri.

HIM: First of all, there are a few faults with the bill that need to be fixed. But even assuming those could wait until next year, you want Republicans to take a vote that is being publicized as hitting schools hard (thus making it politically painful to some), with a 99.99999% chance that it won’t pass. I understand doing the right thing, but the numbers aren’t there. It’s a stupid thing to ask people to risk a seat to Democrats and/or liberals when there is absolutely nothing to gain.

He continued this theme in another following comment in response to mine.

MW: Pass, then fix it. The schools “issue” will be screamed by the dems and RINOs anyway. Override the veto. We’ll never achieve anything if all we do is quiver in fear of dem/lib accusations.

HIM: It’s not quivering in fear, Mike. It’s simple political calculation on the part of Jones. He has most likely had extensive talks with Republicans who are either opposed or are on the fence. He would need 100% of the Republican caucus to do it because its understood that a member of one party–even if they voted for a bill during session–will VERY rarely vote to override the veto of a governor who is in the same party. Democrats won’t come over for this bill.

So, if it is a hard vote to make, that could cost party members seats, AND you know for a fact that it won’t pass regardless…then you don’t take the vote. Even if the reasons suck, the outcome will be the same and holding a vote will only endanger chances of keeping seats for things down the road that can be done.

I hear this mantra time and time again. If we don’t give in to the democrats they’ll call us bad names and we’ll lose seats. Bull! What it really means is that our elected Legislators don’t have the guts to stand up for principles—or that they don’t have any real principles other than to remain in office.

They’ve failed to remember, if they knew at all, that we didn’t elect them to maintain a party majority. We elected them to change the state in accordance to our political principles, in this case, tax cuts.

“We’ll lose seats!”

“We must conserve out strength for down the road.”

Gah!

Comments like that enrages me. We elected these people to change our state for the better to regain our economy, create jobs, bring industry to the state, return money, in the form of lesser taxes, to the state’s citizens. What use is conserving our strength if that strength is never used? If our legislators are unwilling to act, what makes them think we’ll re-elect them?

Oh. The state GOP establishment will do that.

So they think. It mindset like the one expressed above that is killing the GOP.

This was my closing comment to that FB post. I hope it makes people think.

You’ve given me food for my daily blog. I didn’t name you but I did use your comments. You see, all those reasons you gave why we shouldn’t push for the Tax Cut override is exactly what is needed. Lose seats? You may anyway? If not from the dems, by primary challengers. “Save our strength?” If now isn’t the time to use that strength, what it a better time? We may not have that strength in the future but we’ll let this opportunity for postive change pass for fear of the future.

No, that future is now. If we don’t use our political strength now, what use is it? It’s worthless, like money saved for a rainy day but never used.

By kowtowing to the dems, and that is EXACTLY what it is, we become their enablers. If we don’t oppose them at every opportunity, we aid them. If we don’t override vetos such as this one and the anti-2A bill, we support their agenda.

No, the time to use our power, our strength is now. If we lose seats, sobeit. We won’t lose them long.

If we don’t act now, come future elections, the GOP may not have the support to retain its majority in Missouri.

This scenario is repeated all across the nation. The GOP is at a crisis and many in the party are blind to see it and the coming consequences if we don’t act now.

Continuation of a theme

I will be very busy the next few days with errands and other business. Today’s post will be short and it’s likely there will be no post tomorrow.  Life should return to something like normal by Friday.

***

Yesterday’s post topic was about all the new, higher taxes that will be appearing on paychecks. The Heritage Foundation itemized and clarified some of those new, higher taxes.

13 Tax Increases That Started January 1, 2013

Tax increases in the fiscal cliff deal:
1. Payroll tax: increase in the Social Security portion of the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for workers. This hits all Americans earning a paycheck—not just the “wealthy.” For example, The Wall Street Journal calculated that the “typical U.S. family earning $50,000 a year” will lose “an annual income boost of $1,000.”

2. Top marginal tax rate: increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

3. Phase out of personal exemptions for adjusted gross income (AGI) over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

4. Phase down of itemized deductions for AGI over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

5. Tax rates on investment: increase in the rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

6. Death tax: increase in the rate (on estates larger than $5 million) from 35 percent to 40 percent.

7. Taxes on business investment: expiration of full expensing—the immediate deduction of capital purchases by businesses.

Obamacare tax increases that took effect:

8. Another investment tax increase: 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($200,000 for singles).

9. Another payroll tax hike: 0.9 percent increase in the Hospital Insurance portion of the payroll tax for incomes over $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers).

10. Medical device tax: 2.3 percent excise tax paid by medical device manufacturers and importers on all their sales.

11. Reducing the income tax deduction for individuals’ medical expenses.

12. Elimination of the corporate income tax deduction for expenses related to the Medicare Part D subsidy.

13. Limitation of the corporate income tax deduction for compensation that health insurance companies pay to their executives.

Each of these 13 tax increases will slow the economy, meaning that businesses will create fewer jobs. Fewer jobs will make it even more difficult to land a job than it already is for the more than 12 million Americans looking for work.

President Obama demanded these higher taxes. Obama’s tax increases, in Obamacare and through the fiscal cliff deal, will not curb deficits and debt, because growing spending is driving America’s budget crisis. Congress needs to immediately turn its attention to the actual cause of our deficit and debt problem: too much spending. The proper way to address this problem is through reforms to entitlement programs.

However, the taxes above aren’t enough for the democrats. They want more. One Trillion Dollars more! Their rapacious appetite for money and spending is criminal.

Dems look for up to $1T in new revenues

By Alexander Bolton – 01/07/13 05:00 AM ET

Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending.

Democratic leaders have had little time to craft a new position for their party since passing a tax deal Tuesday that will raise $620 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.  

The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes.This sets up tax reform as one of the biggest fights of the 113th Congress, which began on Thursday.

Republicans say tax reform should be revenue-neutral. Additional revenues collected by eliminating or curbing tax breaks and deductions should be used to lower rates.

If you read that last paragraph carefully, you’ll see that the ‘Pubs are proposing tax increases, too. Their method is just a bit different. They want to eliminate some long-time tax deductions—mortgage interest, charitable giving, tithes, perhaps. If that is their plan, why not just institute an across-the-board flat tax like that proposed by Malcolm Forbes, jr.? A flat tax works and is used around the world from Ecuador to Russia to Communist China.

According to a poll, only 8% of Congress consider themselves Tea Partiers. This is down from 24% in 2010. It’s time for the Tea Party to flex its muscles, again, and remove these hypocrites come 2014.

Daryl Cronk liked this post

Random Points

Today is a historic day.  It’s been 43 years since Teddy Kennedy swam off abandoning Mary Jo Kopechne and leaving her to drown.

1969: After a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy drives off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond and his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, dies.

***

It’s the Primary season here in Missouri.  The primary will arrive on August 7th, less than a month away.  Here in Cass County ‘Pub yard signs are sprouting like mushrooms — or toadstools if you’re a democrat.  If you’ve been observant, you won’t see many, if any, democrat signs.  Why? Because they have tightly controlled their members to insure there is no primary opposition.  Like a swarm of lemmings, the dems are in lockstep with their party.  That right there says a lot about them.  Mindless robots operating according to their party’s programming.

The following article is for the ‘Pub winners. I know the dems won’t read it. They’ll follow orders blindly. At least the ‘Pubs show more independence…usually.

Keeping Taxes Low At State Level Is Key To Growth

By REX SINQUEFIELD AND TRAVIS H. BROWN

 Posted 07/17/2012 05:45 PM ET

State taxes impact economic performance more than most people imagine. While the majority of attention is paid to the federal tax code, the evidence suggests that state taxes are just as important in determining economic competitiveness and often mean the difference between economic success and failure.

The level and form of state taxation varies greatly, from no-income-tax states such as Florida and Texas to states like Hawaii and Oregon, which have the highest personal income tax rates in the nation (11%).

Similarly, economic performance over the last decade has varied dramatically among the 50 states, with Illinois, California and New York performing very poorly, while Texas flourishes. Differences in state tax policies help explain this record.

The U.S. economy, in the words of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, is heading for a massive tax cliff. The expiration of the 2001-2003 tax cuts, the expiration of the payroll tax cut and new taxes enacted as part of ObamaCare will completely upend the existing federal tax code.

Given this state of affairs and the political gridlock in Washington, D.C., the best one can hope for is the extension of some of the existing tax rates and the avoidance of a disastrous, massive tax increase in January 2013.

The chances for substantive tax reform that would make the U.S. more competitive are slim, given the administration’s preoccupation with tax “fairness” and demonizing the rich. On the other hand, state taxes are ripe for reform, and many governors around the country are leading the charge to reduce or do away with their state income taxes all together.

Tax reforms happening at the state level are much more likely to succeed than anything coming out of Washington D.C., and the evidence shows that cutting state personal income taxes can have a dramatic impact on economic performance. State tax reform is, therefore, the best chance to improve the competitiveness of the United States in this global race for jobs and prosperity.

If you have read any of my writings, you know that I am not a fan of replacing the income tax with a sales tax.  After conversations with a number of folks, I’m modifying my view…somewhat: I am not supporting replacing the income tax with a sales tax—at the federal level.

We don’t have the conservative strength to implement the concept at the federal level. What we will have is both a national sales tax—morphing into a VAT tax the next time the libs gain control of Congress—as well as an income tax.  However, I now believe the concept, replacing the income tax with a sales tax, can be done correctly at the state level.

There is ample evidence of the impact that state income taxes have on economic performance. Taxpayer data from the IRS Division of Statistics shows that during the last 15 years, Texas and Florida have gained $20.7 billion and $84.3 billion in annual adjusted gross income (AGI) due to migration, respectively. During the same time period, New York, California and Illinois have lost $58.6 billion, $32 billion and $26.3 billion of annual AGI, respectively.

Nine states today do not levy a broad personal income tax, while two of those nine tax only dividends and interest. Altogether, the nine states without a personal income tax have gained $146 billion in annual AGI, while the nine states with the highest income taxes have lost $124 billion. This translates to $26.7 million gained per day for the no income tax states, and $22.6 million lost per day for the highest tax states.

Critics claim that migration has nothing to do with taxes, that it occurs for other reasons such as climate or “long established migration patterns.” Yet great weather hasn’t helped Hawaii, which has lost almost $300 million in AGI over the last 15 years. Similarly, if “migration patterns” are responsible, why is Nevada, which has no income tax, gaining wealth, while its neighbor California, which has some of the highest taxes, losing wealth?

The correlation between wealth migration and tax policy can even be seen in the Dakotas, with North Dakota (which has an income tax) consistently losing wealth to South Dakota (which does not impose a state income tax). The differences in economic performance between the states are profound and cannot be explained by anecdotes. — Investor’s Business Daily.

For those of you unfamiliar with wealth migration, it’s more popularly known as “voting with their feet.” One of my continuing concerns about any sales tax is that it taxes behavior and consumption.  Like anything being taxed, when you tax something, you get less of it. 

That is true with consumption taxes as well. A decade or so ago, the feds decided to tax “luxury” items. Items like personal aircraft, yachts and other items.  The Law of Unintended Consequences kicked in.  The Yacht industry was destroyed. At my last look, there are still no US owned yacht builders in the US. Most went out of business or moved off-shore. (Thank you, democrats.)

The private aircraft industry fared little better. Historic aircraft companies like Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft filed for bankruptcy. None of them are now US owned.  In fact Beechcraft, now known as Hawker-Beechcraft, was just sold to a Chinese company. It is a lesson to be remembered. Taxing consumption kills businesses.

Wealth lost by a state is wealth lost forever. Individuals pay not only state income taxes, but also sales taxes, property taxes and various other government fees. When taxpayers leave, they take with them not only this year’s income but also the present value of all future income and taxes, not to mention the impact that their consumer spending would have on the local economy.

Similarly, when businesses decide to leave, they take jobs with them. Over the last 15 years, New York State lost $58.6 billion in annual AGI. When using a 5% discount rate, the present value of this lost income is over $1.1 trillion, while New York City’s entire operating budget in 2011 was only $65.8 billion, according to its budget office.

While in any given year the gains or losses due to taxpayer migration may seem small, this impact becomes huge when compounded over time.

There are lessons to be learned here that our state representatives and senators should—must understand. Per capita spending in Missouri is surprisingly high. Higher than all our neighbors, even Illinois. We’re fortunate that the port fees on our rivers provide a significant portion of our state revenues. That can change quickly, however, if we, as a state, aren’t observant and proactive to preserve our non-tax sources of income.

I urge you to read the entire article. There’s much more than I’ve quoted here. It is an education.

A sickness in the land

I’m a conservative Christian. Unlike some, I don’t spout scripture at the drop of a hat. The reason is that I have a fault…I can’t remember text. My memory is visual based.  When I was in High School, I got a C in Literature instead of an A because I could not memorize a scene from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.  I just couldn’t do it.

Consider my surprise when I had this piece of scripture floating in my head this morning. More so, since it must have been decades since I read it.

Jeremiah chapter 8 v. 22: “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of my [God’s] people?”

Imagine my reaction when I scanned my morning news websites and came across this item.  It seems that Kansas has passed an income tax cut promoted by Sam Brownback, the Governor. The tax rate was cut from 6.45% to 4.9%. The wailing and gnashing of teeth can be heard from Colorado to Nebraska to Oklahoma to Missouri.

Kansas tax cuts arouse opposition instead of applause

Monday, June 18, 2012 – Red Pill, Blue Pill by Al Maurer

DENVER, June 18, 2012 — There’s an interesting fight going on in Kansas between Governor Sam Brownback, who believes that tax cuts stimulate growth and seemingly everyone else in Kansas who lives off tax revenues.

It hasn’t been pretty so far.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback lobbied for and finally got a tax plan through the Kansas legislature which will reduce income taxes by $847 million in 2014, and eliminate income taxes for 191,000 Kansas businesses. It creates a 3 percent income tax for the first $15,000 of a single filer’s income, and the first $30,000 for a married couple. Income above that would be taxed at 4.9 percent – instead of the existing rate of 6.45 percent.

If you’re a free-market person, a small business owner or a Kansas taxpayer you should be thrilled. The plan, passed by both houses of the Kansas legislature, should have generated a flood of positive reporting.

It did not. Lowering tax rates always results in job creation and increased net tax revenue but you’d never know it by listening to the reporting.

It all sounds good, doesn’t it?  But not if you listened and read the commentaries from across the state. Here is a sample of the opposition.

The headline in small-town Gardner, Kansas is all about the process, not the substance: “House passes tax plan using rare parliamentary procedure.” Were they talking about the Obamacare bill? The “rare procedure” turns out to be cutting off debate to force a vote.

Emphasized at every turn is the prediction that the tax cut will result in a $270 million deficit by 2014 or  a $2.5 billion deficit in 2018. Not much is said about where those numbers come from.

The Kansas National Education Association said in a press release that the impact on education will be the equivalent of shuttering the Pentagon. I’m not sure I can even begin to understand what was meant by that phrase. What do schools have to do with defense? As I understand it, the bill restructures how taxes are calculated. What does that have to do with the number of tax dollars schools receive?

Perhaps one of the most innovative criticisms of the plan came from The Kansas City Examiner back in January, where writer Whitney Bell opined that the proposed tax plan is unbiblical, immoral and unjust because it hurts the poor. — Washington Times.

Just how a lower tax rate would injure poor taxpayers, Bell doesn’t explain.  Perhaps she’s wailing about less money for free goodies that she believes are necessary to sustain dependency-addicted welfarites?

This continuing clamor for more for the dependency class, the greed of public service unions who demand more while delivering less, is an illness that must be cured. One way or another. The opposition deliberately ignores history that tax cuts allow for economic growth which in turn provides more tax income that would have been realized if the tax cut had not occurred. We only need to look at past cases from Kennedy to Reagan to Clinton (although he was forced to cut taxes by the Gingrich led Congress) to Bush. In this last case, just consider how devastating 9/11 would have been if those tax cuts hadn’t cushioned the blow.

Instead we hear the same worthless complaints from those whose hands dip into the public till.

The Brownback administration hired economist Arthur Laffer to help them design the proposal in January. In an article on the topic then, writer Scott Rothschild led with the phrase, “Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to increase taxes on poor Kansans…”

Hardly unbiased reporting.

One could accuse Rothschild of missing the point but he was obviously trying to make his own editorial point. Laffer is referred to as “consultant” rather than “economist” and we are given his salary for the project. The clear implication is that his advice shouldn’t be trusted because he was paid to give it. Really? I’m an IT consultant by day and I certainly wouldn’t be giving my advice if I weren’t being paid for it. What nonsense. — Washington Times.

Kansas has been losing jobs for the last five years. I would predict that this tax cut, if it doesn’t reverse that trend, will at least halt it.  Tax cuts encourages businesses. If the cuts do not allow businesses to expand, at least they will help them survive until the morass in Washington is remedied and we eliminate the waste and fraud there.

The pathological addiction to taxes…and the concomitant spending is the real sickness in the land. The lust for freebies, for public money is a sickness that could be mortal unless we take steps to remedy it now.