The Trickle-Down Economic Depression: State and Local Governments Raising Taxes

 

 

The mass confiscation of individual wealth and property by government continues as insolvent state and local governments adopt a perverse “Me-to-ism” to raise taxes like the federal government and lay claim to their share of your pie.  Instead of massive cuts necessary to balance their budgets; the politicians at all levels of government, are stealing the money from the taxpayers who have already been beaten, nearly to death, by Obama’s insane spending.  In the old days, both people and governments would tighten their belts in hard times: but now the commissars of government, at all level, are tightening their belts around your neck. It’s monkey see monkey do as everyone watches  the federal government massively increase spending, hikes taxes on nearly everything, and ignores the constitution, whenever convenient, to perpetuate waste and corruption that is big government.

Government at all levels is out of control.

The answer to our government woes is clear.  It no longer matters if you are a republican or democrat the question is do you believe in limited government, rule of law, term limits and Capitalism above socialism and communism?  We need to vote for anyone that will support smaller government and the destruction of our professional political class because when you have career politicians, elitists, running the show you have either the seeds or the reality of tyrannical government.  The time has come to remove government from trying to solve social problems that it perpetuates for the purpose of political control. Identity politics must be ended.  We need to be Americans again instead of Black—Americans, Hispanic Americans, Homosexual-Americans, Atheist-Americans and any other sub group hyphenated identification.  This sort of thing is killing this country. 

Socialized Government divides us, to control us, because we’ve abdicated our individual responsibility to a bizarre form of politically-correct-group-think that is now clearly destroying the country. 

We don’t have the money for all the government programs that are currently strangling the life from our economy, and our retirement accounts, to say nothing of our declining home values, and the coming inflationary wave that will wipe out what’s left of our individual saving and checking accounts. The amount of insane duplication of social programs in federal, state, county, local, governments is stunning.  Must we have a sort of Environmental Protection Agency duplicated at every level, from federal to local governments?  Must we have the federal government involved in education at all?  Shall we have “diversity” programs and political correctness commissars at every level of state, federal, county and city government?  Isn’t the purpose of government to create conditions conducive to living our lives as we see fit without becoming obtrusive?  Do you think it’s getting a tad intrusive when government nationalizes whole industries, regulates soda pop because it makes you fat, and mandates health care coverage at a time when the economy is being kept alive be a respirator? Do you like government owning the bank that owns your mortgage?  Do you want to drive a government designed car?  Do you want government to make you weaker while government becomes so bloated, dictatorial and arrogant that they look at you as a necessary evil instead of as the boss of government? Are you the Boss of Government?  Are you waiting for Obama to help you and tell you what to do, think and believe?  When is enough; enough where this government is concerned?

Setting Criminals free because we can’t afford jails is Insane.

California is 24 Billion Short and its answer is to release criminals from prison early instead of taking a meat cleaver to its bloated and crazy budget and reordering its priorities to reflect a freedom loving American state instead of France.  Maine is taxing candy while Wisconsin taxes Oil companies.  Kentucky is taxing cell phone ring tones while Pennsylvania does a 16% increase in state income tax.  Revenue from all sources to government is drying up as the economy gets worse and unemployment continues to rise as the value of the dollar continues to fall.  The Federal Government is thinking about a National Sales Tax, just like Europe, to pay for “healthcare” and the Cap and Trade debacle is still a possibility. It doesn’t matter that gas costs are up over $70 a barrel and expected to continue to climb.  Illinois wants to stop paying for poor people’s funerals and New Hampshire wants to sell nearly 30 state parks.  The beat goes on and on and on. 

There’s no more money and the only intelligent thing to do is to keep first things first at every level of government and to take government out of social spending because it’s dividing the nation and bankrupting us.

We stand in the midst of our own folly.  We’ve elevated government above God and the Family and even the Constitution: and it turns out we were wrong.  Big Government can’t work because it becomes big corruption.  The only way government can be made to truly serve the people is to keep it small and sharply restrict its growth and intrusion into society.  Government won’t give us social justice: it’s just not designed to do so.  Government cant end racism but it can perpetuate it and harvest the votes of perpetual victims to justify more government, bigger government, more powerful government. Government should ensure equality of opportunity: NOT EQUALITY OF OUTCOMES.  The only person who can ensure the equality of an outcome is you.

The Answer to every level of government with a financial problem is the same: Cut taxes and Cut Spending until your budget is balanced.

The only way to prosper and remain free is to demand that government cut itself down to size and to reject any politicians who favor big government and tax increases of any kind. Right now we’re facing a political crisis in which government is out of control.   Government is on a self destructive spending binge, the nefarious Federal Reserve is on an America destroying currency printing spree, and the people are increasingly out of work, exhausted and despondent while trying to maintain a criminal government that’s at least 50% larger than it should be. Why should we pay for big corrupt governments we don’t want don’t need, and that now creates more problems than it solves?  Its incumbent on a free people to put an end to big government before big government put an end to freedom for the people.  You can side with political correctness; social engineering and “activist” judges and government or you can side with limited government, the constitution and personal responsibility.  You can’t have both.

Consider this article by the New York Times that I found on the Drudge Report:

 

States Turning to Last Resorts in Budget Crisis

 By ABBY GOODNOUGH

Published: June 21, 2009

In Hawaii, state employees are bracing for furloughs of three days a month over the next two years, the equivalent of a 14 percent pay cut. In Idaho, lawmakers reduced aid to public schools for the first time in recent memory, forcing pay cuts for teachers.Skip to next paragraph

And in California, where a $24 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year is the nation’s worst, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed releasing thousands of prisoners early and closing more than 200 state parks.

Meanwhile, Maine is adding taxes on candy and ski tickets, Wisconsin on oil companies, and Kentucky on alcohol and cellphone ring tones.

With state revenues in a free fall and the economy choked by the worst recession in 60 years, governors and legislatures are approving program cuts, layoffs and, to a smaller degree, tax increases that were previously unthinkable.

All but four states must have new budgets in place less than two weeks from now — by July 1, the start of their fiscal year. But most are already predicting shortfalls as tax collections shrink, unemployment rises and the stock market remains in turmoil.

“These are some of the worst numbers we have ever seen,” said Scott D. Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, adding that the federal stimulus money that began flowing this spring was the only thing preventing widespread paralysis, particularly in the areas of education and health care. “If we didn’t have those funds, I think we’d have an incredible number of states just really unsure of how they were going to get a new budget out.”

The states where the fiscal year does not end June 30 are Alabama, Michigan, New York and Texas.

Even with the stimulus funds, political leaders in at least 19 states are still struggling to negotiate budgets, which has incited more than the usual drama and spite. Governors and legislators of the same party are finding themselves at bitter odds: in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, sued the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this month after it refused to send her its budget plan in hopes that she would run out of time to veto it.

In Illinois, the Democratic-led legislature is fighting a plan by Gov. Patrick J. Quinn, also a Democrat, to balance the new budget by raising income taxes. And in Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, has threatened to veto a 25 percent increase in the state sales tax that Democratic legislative leaders say is crucial to help close a $1.5 billion deficit in the new fiscal year.

“Legislators have never dealt with a recession as precipitous and rapid as this one,” said Susan K. Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States. “They’re faced with some of the toughest decisions legislators ever have to make, for both political and economic reasons, so it’s not surprising that the environment has become very tense.”

In all, states will face a $121 billion budget gap in the coming fiscal year, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, compared with $102.4 billion for this fiscal year.

The recession has also proved politically damaging for a number of governors, not least Jon Corzine of New Jersey, whose Republican opponent in this year’s race for governor has tried to make inroads by blaming the state’s economic woes on him. Mr. Schwarzenegger, who sailed into office on a wave of popularity in 2003, will leave in 2011 — barred by term limits from running again — under the cloud of the nation’s worst budget crisis. And the bleak economy has played a major role in the waning popularity of Gov. David A. Paterson of New York.

Over all, personal income tax collections are down by about 6.6 percent compared with last year, according to a survey by Mr. Pattison’s group and the National Governors Association. Sales tax collections are down by 3.2 percent, the survey found, and corporate income tax revenues by 15.2 percent. (Although New Jersey announced last week that a tax amnesty program had brought in an unexpected $400 million — a windfall that caused lawmakers to reconsider some of the deeper cuts in a $28.6 billion budget they were set to approve in advance of the July 1 deadline.)

As a result, governors have recommended increasing taxes and fees by some $24 billion for the coming fiscal year, the survey found. This is on top of more than $726 million they sought in new revenues this year.

The proposals include increases in personal income tax rates — Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania has proposed raising the state’s income tax by more than 16 percent, to 3.57 percent from 3.07 percent, for three years — and tax increases on myriad consumer goods.

“They have done a fair amount of cutting and will probably do some more,” said Ray Scheppach, executive director of the governors association. “But as they look out over the next two or three years, they are also aware that when this federal money stops coming, there is going to be a cliff out there.”

Raising revenues is the surest way to ensure financial stability after the stimulus money disappears, Mr. Scheppach added, saying, “You’re better off to take all the heat at once and do it in one package that gets you through the next two, three or four years.”

While state general fund spending typically increases by about 6 percent a year, it is expected to decline by 2.2 percent for this fiscal year, Mr. Pattison said. The last year-to-year decline was in 1983, he said, on the heels of a national banking crisis.

The starkest crisis is playing out in California, where lawmakers are scrambling to close the $24 billion gap after voters rejected ballot measures last month that would have increased taxes, borrowed money and reapportioned state funds.

Democratic legislative leaders last week offered alternatives to Mr. Schwarzenegger’s recommended cuts, including levying a 9.9 percent tax on oil extracted in the state and increasing the cigarette tax to $2.37 a pack, from 87 cents. But Mr. Schwarzenegger has vowed to veto any budget that includes new taxes, setting the stage for an ugly battle as the clock ticks toward the deadline.

“We still don’t know how bad it will be,” Ms. Urahn said. “The story is yet to be told, because in the next couple of weeks we will see some of the states with the biggest gaps have to wrestle this thing to the ground and make the tough decisions they’ve all been dreading.”

In one preview, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, a Republican, said last week that he would unilaterally cut a total of $2.7 billion from nearly all government agencies and programs that get money from the state, after he and Democratic legislative leaders failed to agree on how to balance the budget.

In an example of the countless small but painful cuts taking place, Illinois announced last week that it would temporarily stop paying about $15 million a year for about 10,000 funerals for the poor. Oklahoma is cutting back hours at museums and historical sites, Washington is laying off thousands of teachers, and New Hampshire wants to sell 27 state parks.

Nor will the pain end this year, Ms. Urahn said, even if the recession ends, as some economists have predicted. Unemployment could keep climbing through 2010, she said, continuing to hurt tax collections and increasing the demand for Medicaid, one of states’ most burdensome expenses.

“Stress on the Medicaid system tends to come later in a recession, and we have yet to see the depth of that,” Ms. Urahn said. “So you will see, for the next couple years at least, states really struggling with this.”

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