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.

Muse Fugit

I’m museless this morning. I’ve scanned all my usual sources for topics and have come home empty.  Yes, I could write about Obama by-passing Congress and enact the dem’s “Dream Act” by fiat.  We know that McConnell and Boehner will sit on their thumbs lest some democrat is offended.

Or I could expand on Obama’s claim that the private sector is doing fine while continuing to blame Bush for his failings.  But, Glenn McCoy beat me to that one.

Or, I could write about Holder’s stonewalling Issa’s Committee and the possible contempt citation, but Lisa Benson beat me to that one too.

I suppose I could discuss the leaks of classified information apparently from the White House. Unfortunately, Bob Gorrell was there ahead of me.

Then there’s Taxageddon that is approaching in 2013. But I was scanning my comics and found that Dick Locher had that topic covered.

Everywhere I look it seems someone had thought of the topic before me. Nothing stuck my fancy today.  Maybe by Monday my muse will return. I’m going back to bed.

Tax Reform—at last!

Until Herman Cain brought forth his 9-9-9 plan, a 9% personal income tax, 9% corporate income tax, 9% national sales tax, no one in the GOP herd had the guts to bring forth this topic for national debate.  All that has apparently ended and it’s a good thing, too.

The State Media immediately attacked it.  The Atlantic called it three VAT taxes in one.  Clearly they’d never bothered to actually read the proposal but relied on what other libs said about it. 

ABC news said, “However, a much longer list of economists say Cain’s plan would be a tax hike for the lower middle class and a tax windfall for the wealthy.” In short, they’re against those who have never paid any income taxes, paying some and they’re also against the abolition of punishing taxes against those who are successful.

In that same vein, the Chicago Tribune went to more libs for their opinion. You shouldn’t be surprised, their opinion was negative.

But Bruce Bartlett, a former Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush who studied Cain’s plan and wrote an analysis Tuesday for the New York Times, said Cain “offers no evidence for this assertion; it is simply put forward as self-evident.”

Bartlett called the plan “a distributional monstrosity.”

“The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and a good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase,” Bartlett wrote.

That’s because two of Cain’s three 9s – the income tax and the national sales tax — would disproportionately impact the 47% of tax filers who don’t pay any federal income tax under the current system – many of whom are elderly or poor.

Yes, those people who have never had skin in the tax game, suddenly would!  What’s fair for some, is fair for all.  If you had an income, you should pay tax on it.  That’s the spirit of the 16th Amendment that authorized the income tax in 1913.

The issue, as it seems to me, is that the proposal would have taxes applied equally to all. The existing code benefits 47% of the population that pays no income tax at all. The dems and libs think that, is fair.

I don’t.

But to continue,  the discussion about tax reform is continuing.  Rick Perry is about to introduce his version of tax reform—a flat tax.  The Christian Science Monitor has this short piece.

Rick Perry flat tax plan: Don’t expect a 9-9-9 retread

Rick Perry says his flat tax plan is a major part of his broad prescription to revive the economy and create jobs – a move he hopes will also revive his campaign.

By Brad KnickerbockerStaff writer / October 19, 2011
Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, runs prior to delivering a keynote address during the Western Republican Leadership Conference, Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Las Vegas. Perry said he’ll be announcing details of a flat tax plan next week.
Isaac Brekken/AP

Enlarge


“It starts with … scrapping the three million words of the current tax code, starting over with something simple: a flat tax,” the Texas governor told GOP activists at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas Wednesday.
Like businessman Herman Cain, whose 9-9-9 plan came under fire at Tuesday’s debate, Mr. Perry wants to do away with the current tax system. Although Perry won’t reveal the details until a speech scheduled for next week in South Carolina, the similarities likely end there.
Personally, I have some concerns about Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. It includes a new tax, a tax we’ve never had before, a national sales tax.  There is great danger there and the potential of the dem/lib party raising that 9% sales tax in some future year to an intolerable level.
Don’t get me wrong, I like what I’ve seen and heard so far about Herman Cain. I’m just not sold on the totality of his plan.

On the other hand, I’ve become disillusioned with Rick Perry.  He had a good start, good credentials and a reasonably good record in Texas.  He also had some serious weaknesses in his stance on immigration and education. I’m open on his flat-tax plan. I’m a bit impatient to discover more.

Regardless, the topic of tax reform, is out of the closet and out in public view.  It’s about time.