Jan 02 2013

If only I were a little smarter…

Category: taxesamuzikman @ 11:59 am

I recently had a conversation on Facebook with a very bright young man.  The topic was taxation.  I made the comment (half tongue-in-cheek) that if taking more in taxes from the rich is better, then taking everything from the rich must then be best.  He ridiculed me for saying something so clearly ignorant and then proceeded to teach me about the relationship between income and taxation, how it was not a continuum but that there were optimal points of balance at which the right amount of government revenue was taken in taxes, while still maintaining a healthy, growing economy.  I replied to his instruction with a simple question:  Why is it, according to the political left, that these “optimal” points of balance ALWAYS involve the government taking more?

Apparently he either missed seeing my question or decided I was simply too ignorant to merit an answer, because I never got one.  On second thought he was probably busy, back on Facebook proclaiming the colossal ignorance of all conservatives.


Aug 16 2012

We all pay large corporations’ taxes

Category: taxesharmonicminer @ 10:43 am

The fact is that our income goes to pay everyone else’s taxes until April or May of each year. The article below makes it sound as if taxpayers “subsidize” CEO pay, but the fact is that we all pay the taxes of everyone with whom we do business, including corporations and small businesses. These are taxes on income, capital gains, property, luxury items, etc., and fees of all kinds that the government charges and which boil down to taxes.

The government (federal, state and local) now confiscates about 30% of the national GDP, all told.

Taxpayers Subsidize CEO Pay, Report Says – Yahoo! News

The Institute for Policy Studies, a self-described “progressive multi-issue think tank,” analyzed the link between tax loopholes and excessive executive compensation and concluded that the loopholes created an “uneven playing field” between large companies and small businesses and led to lost tax revenue. The latest edition of the institute’s annual Executive Excess compensation study found that in 2011, 26 CEOs received more in compensation than their companies paid in taxes, and that the four major tax loopholes contributing to excessive executive pay cost taxpayers about $14.4 billion a year. “The report is timely at a time when the tax debate is so intense in this country,” Sarah Anderson, the institute’s global economy project director and the report’s co-author, told ABC News. “Some leaders are saying we need to reduce the corporate tax burden even more while major companies are taking advantage of loopholes to lower their tax bill.”

Is there anyone reading the article above who is ignorant enough to think that the taxes and government fees paid by corporations, small businesses, etc., are not calculated directly into the price of every item we buy?   The next time you go to the grocery store and buy a box of cereal, think about all the companies that participated in growing it, processing it, packaging it, and transporting it, all of whom paid taxes, all of whom paid each other’s taxes, and all of whose taxes you are going to help pay as well, when you buy it.

It is a myth that the poor don’t pay income taxes.   They pay Exxon’s taxes every time the fill up the tank at an Exxon station, along with the taxes of the station owner, the trucking firm that delivered it, the owner of the refinery that made it, the ships that brought it here from Saudi Arabia, etc.

There are lots of misleading articles like the one above that pretend to have found a “loophole” (really just the letter of the law) and pretend that there is something unusual in taxpayer’s “paying the taxes of the rich.”

Taxes on corporations and businesses, along with government fees and impounds, are built into the price of everything you buy, whether you are rich, poor or middle class.

You may think that if the taxes of those nasty corporations and businesses were cut, they wouldn’t pass the savings along to you….  but if you think that, it means you don’t understand the fundamental laws of supply and demand, and the way pricing works in the marketplace.   Do you really think that if Walmart can sell the same item for less than K-Mart that it won’t do so?   Any given business’s self-interest is in attracting more customers by offering the lowest possible price consistent with making a profit.

The only rational thing is for the poor to campaign loudly for tax cuts for corporations and businesses, and reduction of capital gains taxes, all of which will result in more products at lower prices, in the end….  not to mention more jobs available so that the poor don’t have to stay that way.

 

 


Aug 24 2011

Two stories on the disaster that is the California public employee pension morass

If you’re a lefty, you might be inclined to dismiss this first story, since it’s posted at BIGOVERNMENT.COM, and so biased to the right (although lefties continue to trust the New York Times and the LA Times… funny, that). But the second story, below, is based on a Standford University study…. and we all know what a hotbed of ultra-rightwing radicalism is found at Stanford.  I hate that the state has done this, because I have some family members who are counting on the state system to work properly.  That is, however, what comes of trusting Democrats to run a budget, let alone make financial projections into the next decade.

» California Admits to Almost $1 Trillion in Unfunded Pension Obligations

 

The three largest California public retiree plans (CalPERS, CalSTRS, and UCRS) that administer pensions of approximately 2.6 million State and Local public current and retired employees have been under tremendous scrutiny since last year’s release of the Stanford University Institute for Public Policy report: “Going For Broke”. The study concluded that California retirement plans liability was under-funded by over $500 billion.

The report blamed most of the shortfall on the pension plan’s expectation of future annual investment returns of 7.75%; versus a realistic expectation of a 4.14% annual return. The cabal of California politicians, bureaucrats, and crony consultants that justified granting lucrative benefits to employees while failing to contribute enough to support the true pension costs; solemnly dismissed the Stanford report as unsophisticated reflections by academics. But now that a swarm of local governments want to abandon the floundering retirement trusts; the State plans are only willing to credit a 3.8% expected return. If the California State pension plans adopted the same 3.8% rate they are only willing to credit when participants want to leave; their published $288 billion in pension shortfall would metastasize into an $884 billion California State insolvency.

It doesn’t take a Stanford MBA to realize producing consistently high investment returns since 2007 has been a difficult in the extreme. The California State pension plans that currently control $432 billion in assets, suffered a $109.7 billion in losses during the 2008 to 2009 recession. Pension plans normally require employers and their employees to mutually increase contributions to make up pension shortfalls. But public pension plans are notorious for not requiring employees to make significant contribution. California police, prison guards, firemen, and lifeguards can retire at age 50, but have never been required to contribute to fund pensions. With headlines that California plans are in big trouble; many government agencies applied to withdrawal from the State plans. But as calculated below; compounding investments at 7.75% grows to more than three times the amount of compounding investments at a 3.8% rate of return.

When I was elected as Orange County, California Treasurer in 2006, I was flabbergasted to discover that the County’s $8 billion of retirement investments was covertly leveraged up by $22 billion of derivatives. I quickly learned that many unions see pension benefits as contracted rights; and pension investing as a no risk crap-shoot for extraordinary returns.

 

If the pension investment returns sky-rocket, the unions will bargain for increased benefits. If the pension investment returns crash; the public employees are protected by rock-solid contract law that prevents any reduction in benefits. In 2007, I was fortunate to gain the support of enough OC Pension Trustees to reduce speculative derivative use by 90%. At the time, Trustees for the California public pension plans solemnly dismissed Orange County as unsophisticated. Shortly thereafter the stock market crashed and the State Pension Trustees stopped making comments.

Once famous as the Golden State for leading the nation in high tech growth industries that provided excellent wages; California is now tarnished for having the second highest unemployment and worst state credit rating in the nation. Forbes recently quoted a top venture capitalist that compared the California business climate to France: “I try not to hire here, and I certainly would not launch a company here. But the wine is good.” Tripling of the burden for under-funded pension liability to almost $1 trillion will probably ruin the taste of California wine for most taxpayers.

 

California state pension funds going broke, Stanford study finds

 

California state pension funds going broke, Stanford study finds

New calculations by Stanford graduate students show that California’s three main public employee pension funds are in more dire financial trouble than previously believed.

L.A. Cicero
Howard Bornstein and Lisha Wang 

 

Students Howard Bornstein and Lisha Wang spoke with reporters after a news conference where they and the other members of their research group announced their findings about the state retirement system.

BY GWYNETH DICKEY

California public employee pension systems are worse off than anyone previously projected, according to a new report generated by five graduate students in Stanford’s graduate Public Policy Program. The result could be greater pressure on the state budget and a shortage of pension funds in the future.

“This is a really dire situation,” graduate student Howard Bornstein said today at a press conference at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), which is publishing the students’ findings. “If we don’t do something now, we’re going to have major issues in just a few years.”

Bornstein and his fellow graduate students examined public records of past performance of three pension funds – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the University of California Retirement System (UCRS), which together administer pensions for approximately 2.6 million Californians.

The students ran computer simulations to predict the unfunded liabilities of the pension funds over the next 16 years.

Major investment needed

“The simulation shows that the state would need to invest more than $200 billion, and possibly as much as $350 billion, today to return the fund to a minimum responsible level of funding,” said Bornstein, who noted that the figure is approximately four times the current state budget.

“It’s an enormous number,” said Joe Nation, a public policy lecturer at SIEPR and the adviser for the research team. He said it’s important to look at the shortfall relative to state resources. Pension funds fluctuate with market performance, but state employees are guaranteed a fixed pension regardless. If the market performs poorly, the state is obligated to step in and provide the missing pension funds. That takes money away from other public projects, such as education and healthcare, Nation said.

“The students did an amazing job providing a better sense of unfunded liability for those three pension funds, and I hope observers out there will begin to understand that this is a financial train wreck that is not very far down the tracks,” Nation said.

In the report, Bornstein and his fellow graduate students suggest policies to fix the shortfall and prevent a similar one in the future.

They propose that the managers of the pension funds project more realistic rates of return, which would indicate higher liabilities in the future.

“The whole approach that the state currently uses is inherently flawed. They look at averages as opposed to a fan of outcomes,” said Bornstein. “If you instead look at the range of outcomes in the future, you’d see there’s over a 60 percent chance of a deficit greater than $250 billion for CalPERS alone. This is something that really scares us.”

The students suggest that the minimum level of caution should be for the pension systems to aim for an 80 percent probability of having at least 80 percent of the funds necessary to cover the pensions. They also advocate investing more conservatively, taking fewer risks.

“Funds in other parts of the country are in similar situations, and they are beginning to invest in riskier assets,” Nation said. “That’s exactly the wrong thing to do. If the market doesn’t perform well, the taxpayer ends up paying.”

Suggested fixes

The students suggest either reducing pension benefits or moving to a hybrid system in which retirees receive a smaller fixed pension combined with a 401(k)-style plan. This would relieve some of the burden on the state and give employees more responsibility for their retirement. Two-thirds of Californians would support such a plan, according to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

“The biggest challenge with this is making sure elected officials understand the severity of the problem,” Nation said. “It’s a political hot potato and most politicians shy away from the issue because you offend a lot of the constituencies by acknowledging the problem exists.”

But, he said, citizens and institutions are increasingly aware of the situation and are speaking out.

“The University of California is engaged in this debate because they finally understand that as pension fund benefits grow, there will be fewer dollars for higher education,” Nation said.

The report was prepared for the Office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of the Graduate Practicum in Public Policy, a two-quarter sequence required for master’s degree students in the Public Policy and International Policy Studies programs.

In addition to the masters’  program in Public Policy, Bornstein will earn his Masters in Business Administration degree this June.

SIEPR conducts research on important economic policy issues facing the United States and other countries. SIEPR’s goal is to inform policymakers and to influence their decisions with long-term policy solutions.

What’s funny is the heading above, “major investment needed.”  The left wants to make a major investment, alright.  An Obama-style investment, called enormous tax hikes to fund impossible promises made to public employee unions.

Something will have to give.  Higher taxes to fund impossible-to-fulfill promises will just postpone the disaster, and not by very long.  A complete, structural, top-to-bottom readjustment is needed, and people have to lose the idea that they can work for 30 years and retire at the age of 55 and still get paid till they die at 95.


Aug 18 2010

See you at the movies


I hope this one is a big hit at the box office, but it’s a cinch it won’t win any Oscars.  Hollywood has no problem with raising prices to see a movie, or with raising the price to give someone a job, or even with raising the price to have a job.  Of course, Hollywood permanently inhabits never-never-land, so a movie that just tells the simple truth is bound to be horrifying to them.

Looks like it ought to be a winner.


Feb 12 2010

Arming the feds

Category: government,guns,taxesharmonicminer @ 9:09 am

IRS Acquiring Shotguns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division. The Remington parkerized shotguns, with fourteen inch barrel, modified choke, Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight and XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock, and Speedfeed ribbed black forend, are designated as the only shotguns authorized for IRS duty based on compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory, certified armorer and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.

Submit quotes including 11% Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) and shipping to Washington DC.

Those tax return auditing sessions must be getting really, really tense.

Seriously, this underlines the essential threat of violence that underlies all taxation.  How is it that so many people who claim to be nonviolent, and to support only nonviolent policy, are the ones who vote for MORE taxation and redistribution to cure the “inequalities” of society?

h/t:Of Arms And The Law

UPDATE:  That bit about “compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory” is interesting.  That implies a rather large existing inventory, since if you’re buying sixty new ones, you wouldn’t worry about whether they were compatible with only a small number of currently owned ones.

Hey…  maybe they’re just going skeet shooting.

Do skeet pay taxes?


Jan 02 2010

Putting the “New” in New Year!

John Updike once said, “Americans have been conditioned to respect newness whatever it costs them”.  I think he’s right – after all, newness is a part of our heritage.  For one, we live in what was referred to by Christopher Columbus as “The New World”  We’ve got several states and cities given names that are a combination of the word  “new” with names brought by the pilgrims  from the “Old World”.  New Jersey, New Hampshire, and New York are on the “new” list of states.  The cities list includes New Orleans, New Haven and New Brunswick.  Yes we do seem to be attracted to all things new.

Our music is saturated with references to newness.  We all remember the big Disney hit, A Whole New World.  And can you imagine even for a minute that James Brown would have sung, Poppa’s Got A Slightly Used BagYou Make Me Feel Brand New, Brand New Day, New Kid On The Block….the list goes on and on.  In fact there is an entire genre of music known as “New Wave”.  Of course classical composers have jumped on this bandwagon too.  Dvorak penned the New World Symphony and he wasn’t even American..go figure!

Our politics (The New Deal), our literature (Brave New World), our advertising (“new & improved!”), and our vernacular speech (“turning over a new leaf”) all attest to our love of new. We compliment others when we say, “it’s the new you!” And when someone has been ill we give encouragement by telling them that in no time they’ll be “good as new”.

Nothing displays our love of new more demonstrably than the celebration of New Year’s Day.  We mark it as a fresh start, an annual genesis, a time to initiate personal improvement.  We make New Years resolutions, we begin a new calendar year.  It’s “new” at it’s best.

Politicians understand Americans and their love of “new”, and they use it as a very effectively campaign tool.  With each election cycle and with debate on major issues like health care, taxes, banking, finance, the military, etc, we are told new is good and old is bad.  Political candidates who successfully market themselves as a part of “new” and completely disassociate with “old” usually stand a pretty good chance of being elected, especially if “old” is unpopular.

In many instances we embrace “new” and equate it with “better” even though most of us have had experiences with new versions of something that does little more than make us long for the old version (software!).  And who hasn’t picked up a familiar food product in new packaging to note that there is now less of the product inside the package, but it costs more!

But “new” is NOT always “better”.  And we need to learn that lesson once and for all. I think John Updike is right.  However, this time the price tag on “new” is costing us more than we or our children can ever afford to pay.


Apr 10 2009

Killing the patient with care

Category: Congress,economy,energy,government,Obama,taxesharmonicminer @ 8:37 am

An earlier version of this was posted Oct 21, 2008.  It has been edited slightly to reflect current conditions, but it is basically accurate still.
____________________________________

The patient takes vitamins and minerals in doses recommended by most physicians, and gets plenty of exercise.

The patient eats a reasonably healthy diet. However, the patient depends to a large degree on imported food, which is often expensive, though the price goes up and down to a degree, and while the patient could grow plenty of home grown food, the patient hasn’t been planting enough lately to sustain present and future dietary needs. So the patient is hungry, and losing weight

The patient is mysteriously ill. Upon examination, it appears that the patient has been slowly poisoned. The patient’s immune system and general state of health might have been sufficient to cover the symptoms of the poisoning longer, except for the strain imposed by the recent hunger and weight loss. The symptoms have been coming on for sometime, but only recently have they become indisputable, as what seemed subclinical does of the poison accumulated in the tissues enough to cause big problems.

Some physicians suggest simply stopping the poison immediately, engaging in a crash program to feed the patient, and growing lots more food for the future, starting today. The basically healthy patient’s immune system and generally good habits will reverse the effects of the poison.

Some physicians suggest continuing the patient’s calorie restriction, cutting back on the vitamins and exercise, switching to a different poison (but reducing the dose) and using leeches to drain away the bad blood. When it’s pointed out that the vitamins and exercise are usually good things, and that poison is usually a bad thing, these practitioners assure the patient that the problem was an unexpected reaction between the nutritional supplements and the low grade poison dose, and the new poison is really a purgative to help clear the system of the effect of too many vitamins, and won’t do any harm. When these doctors are asked if the patient really shouldn’t be eating more, they say it’s good to be skinny, and research shows that skinny people live longer, anyway. They point to all kinds of studies that seem to prove all of this, and cite complicated sounding theories to justify the counter-intuitive nature of their prescriptions. Trust them: they’re the experts. And besides, even if the patient starts growing more food again, it will be many years before enough can be grown to adequately feed the patient (aren’t growing seasons usually annual things?). And even if the patient eats more, the patient will just start exercising more again, and burn the calories, and what good will that do?

I know which advice I’d follow, if I was the patient.

The patient, of course, is the US economy.

The vitamins and exercise are the tax cuts put in years ago by the Bush administration and Congress. Strictly speaking, the vitamins are the tax cuts (think antioxidants that prevent cross-linking), and the exercise is the additional economic freedom those cuts created for productive activity that drove the huge success of our economy for six years after 9/11, until the combination of oil prices and the housing/financial meltdown drug it down about a year ago.

Did you get the pun?  The housing/financial meltdown “drug” the economy down.  Ouch…

The diet is oil and energy, and we don’t make anywhere near enough of our own, which is part of the reason prices were so high not long ago.  Don’t be fooled!  Even though prices have fallen far off the $150/barrel highs, oil is still in short supply for an active, vibrant economy.  You can’t have a speculative bubble without an underlying “shortage,” and right now people are simply doing less that demands energy. But our access to energy is going to reflect itself in our ability to “rev up” the economy as we grow out of the recession.  The combination of a true structural energy shortage for a vibrant economy, plus the inflation that is going to result from the printing of new money, is going to result in higher oil prices than we’ve ever dreamed of, within a relatively short time, as the economy improves, demand goes up, and the worth of money goes down.

The mysterious poison (that “drug” we mentioned, the one with inevitably serious side effects) is government interference in the marketplace, particularly in trying to repeal the basic laws of economics. One of the main things that poisons do is to interfere with normal biological processes, and market interference is little different. There are many of these poisons, and when one of them is having an obviously negative effect on the patient, too many so-called experts suggest we try a different one. The problem is that all such interference is toxic for our economy. Some amount of government interference is probably inevitable; after all, we take medicines that are essentially poisons, because our overall organisms can handle it in small amounts, and the medicine sometimes helps resolve a short-term problem. But you will die young on a steady diet of high doses of all kinds of medicine, regardless of how beneficial some medicines are in short term use for very specific problems. A body can tolerate just a very few “maintenance” medicines for a long life, and they must have very mild side effects to be survivable.

A few years ago I had some blood tests that revealed serious problems.  My doctor couldn’t figure it out, and sent me to a specialist.  He looked at the list of medicines I was taking, and simply took me off everything but the absolute minimum.  My blood-work improved dramatically, as did my overall health.  What had happened was “medicine creep”, where the doctor prescribes one thing, then another to deal with the side effects of the first, then another, then another, and so on.  It took an expert to decide to do very little, while the mediocre practitioner tried to do too much.

We are toxic with government economic medicine right now. The physicians who are prescribing it were wrong about the LAST ten prescriptions, with side effects they claimed we wouldn’t experience, and with frequent failure in the purpose of the medicine, even WITH the deleterious side effects. And they are planning to send us the bill for their professional services, anyway. The very best thing they could do is to withdraw all but the very minimum of economic medicine (meaning a tolerable toxicity), and let the body heal itself. It will.

But our president and Democrat congress have big plans. They want to put us on about a dozen VERY STRONG maintenance medicines for life, medicines with serious toxic side effects, medicines that have not ever worked for any other patient over the long term, and send our children the bill.

I wish politicians had to take the Hippocratic oath before taking office, which includes, if memory serves, this promise:

First, do no harm.

Unfortunately, instead of Hippocrates in office, we have hypocrites.

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Apr 09 2009

Random & Sporadic Thoughts

Obama is proceeding with “immigration reform” (spelled a-m-n-e-s-t-y) in spite of the fact the American people clearly and unequivocally voiced their opposition to this the last time it was proposed.  Why?  Because amnesty and citizenship for illegals qualifies them for union membership.  And an increase in union membership is an increase in Democrat voters.  Obama has made no effort to disguise this as his motivation.

Obama is radically pro-abortion.  He is in favor of the killing of unborn infants with no restrictions, paid for with a government check.  He is also in favor of killing children born alive as a result of a botched abortion.  He is in favor of forcing doctors to perform abortions even if those doctors have a moral objection.

Does anyone remember Obama’s soft-spoken, relaxed and seemingly innocuous little comment to Joe the plumber?  “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody”.  We now see that what he meant was a wholesale destruction of capitalism and a premeditated effort to replace it with socialism.

Obama is robbing our future generations of any hope of prosperity by an orgy of federal spending unheard of in our country.

Obama is reaching into the board rooms of private companies and firing employees.  He has crossed a line between public and private sectors that is unprecedented.

Obama has just completed an international trip with the message of appeasement to our enemies.  When, in the course of human history, has appeasement ever worked?

Iran is on the threshold of becoming a nuclear power.  Is there ANYONE who thinks this is a good thing?

The laundry list of Obama appointees who were revealed to have unpaid taxes is shameful.  Is there ANY private citizen who could get away with this wanton disregard for tax laws by simply saying “Oops, I’m sorry”?

The Republican Party is currently populated with political eunichs.  Where is the voice of opposition?

Obama wants to socialize medicine.  If this happens it will complete his coup d’état and America as we know it will be gone forever.

Many citizens of this great country are simply left speechless by this apparently unstoppable. radical, ultra-liberal assault on America.  So many of us feel a combination of powerlessness and outrage in the face of what is happening.  Many are asking, “What can I do to stop this madness?”  Not all of us have a public forum from which to vent our frustrations.  Not all of us are eloquent of speech or skilled in writing.  But we all have family and friends.  We all live lives that are made up of relationships.  This is where the battle must be fought – one friend, one family, one realtionship at a time.  Those of us who do believe America is essentially good – that it was founded and made great on a firm foundation of Judeo-Christian beliefs, that it is a place where people can be free, that perserverance and hard work will be rewarded and that anyone can acheive the American dream – must share our convictions and persuade our family and friends that it is an America worth fighting for.  For outrage is not enough, feeling helpless and powerless is no excuse, and inaction is not an option.

Yeah, I know it’s starting to sound like there should be a choir humming “My Country Tis Of Thee” in the background.  I don’t care. It is a battle worth fighting…but we had better start now.


Mar 16 2009

Algorithmic Angst

Category: economy,taxesharmonicminer @ 9:46 am

Handy Stimulus Flow Chart

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Feb 15 2009

I give up. We’re doomed. REDUX

Category: economy,government,taxesharmonicminer @ 10:40 am

The California legislature is about to drive California straight off the Santa Monica cliffs into the Pacific Ocean.  They appear to be driving blind, in the fog, with their eyes shut, on icy roads, without seat belts in a vehicle without airbags….  or doors, or brakes, for that matter.

They are essentially refusing to make any significant cuts of any kind in state spending (a couple of cosmetic reductions, but nothing that matters, or will actually make a difference…  remember they call it a “cut” when all they’ve done is increase it by less than they’d planned).  And they are making a HUGE tax increase, across the board, in a state with very high taxes already.  They’re reducing the child deduction credit, hugely, directly increasing the tax bill of families.  They’re doubling the annual car tax.  They’re adding 12 cents per gallon gas tax, to an already high gas tax, compared to other states, and it ain’t for roads, it’s to fund bizarro offices and bureaucrats who do nothing but sit around dreaming up new regulations to harass people and business.  And, of course, to reward all the special interest groups and entitlement leeches who put them in office.  They’re raising the SALES TAX by 2 cents per dollar (some accounts say “only” 1 cent, but the 2 cent report persists), and California’s sales tax is already 8% in most places.  And there will be a 2.5% “surcharge” on income tax.  Holy Moley.

I am not rich by any stretch, just pretty middle class, and a quick tally leads me to believe that between all these things, I’ll spend about $2000 more in just California taxes per year in the new regime….  and one of my cars is a 2005 Prius (with about 120K miles on it now)!

What do all these taxes have in common?  They are very regressive taxes, meaning they hit lower income people the hardest, percentage wise, and families with children get hit the worst.  Whatever happened to the Democrats being the “party of the people”?

As with the federal government, all they know how to do is spend money they don’t have.  They have apparently no sense of how economics actually works.  They have no concept of what damage they’re doing to the business environment in California.  Businesses are leaving in droves, and other states are chortling at their windfall of new businesses.

I am in mind boggle.

And just to complete the picture, they’re about to approve ridiculous environmental regulations, and “endangered species” regulations, that will make it possible for the eco-pagans to sue just about everyone for just about everything.  THAT will really help the economic recovery, won’t it?

I’m crawling into a hole and pulling the lid in after me.  Then I’m getting out the shovel and digging deeper.

The California Republican party is just about the most pitiful entity since, I dunno, the Roman Viola Ensemble featuring Nero the violinist as guest performer.  They are simply gutless.

I didn’t know when we elected him that Arnold was planning to TERMINATE California as a viable state.

I think my ten year old would do a better job of running the state.  She actually counts her money to see if she can afford things.

But Arnold (RINO that he is) and the Democrats are throwing us to the lions…  who are very hungry, even though they were just fed yesterday.

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