Monday, April 13, 2009

States are raising taxes despite Stimulus Bill

New York is going to top the list, joining states like California and Michigan that are also crippling their economic base, while states including Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Arizona and New Jersey are also considering huge take hikes. Wasn't the massive Federal Stimulus bill supposed to relieve states from the pressure to raise taxes? It doesn't seem to be working:

The Tax Capital of the World
States are raising taxes despite the 'stimulus'; New York is No. 1.
Like the old competition to have the world's tallest building, New York can't resist having the nation's highest taxes. So after California raised its top income tax rate to 10.55% last month, Albany's politicians leapt into action to reclaim high-tax honors.


One explicit argument for the $787 billion "stimulus" bill was to help states avoid these tax increases that even Keynesians understand are contractionary. Instead, the state politicians are pocketing the federal cash to maintain spending, and raising taxes anyway. Just another spend-and-tax bait and switch.


Mr. Silver says of the coming tax hikes: "We've done it before. There hasn't been a catastrophe." Oh, really? According to Census Bureau data, over the past decade 1.97 million New Yorkers left the state for greener pastures -- the biggest exodus of any state. New York City has lost more than 75,000 jobs since last August, and many industrial areas upstate are as rundown as Detroit. The American Legislative Exchange Council recently said New York had the worst economic outlook of all 50 states, including Michigan. And that analysis was done before these $4 billion in new taxes. How does Mr. Silver define "catastrophe"?


This is advertised as a plan of "shared sacrifice," but the group that is most responsible for New York's budget woes, the all-powerful public employee unions, somehow walk out of this with a 3% pay increase. The state is receiving an estimated $10 billion in federal stimulus money, and Democrats are spending every cent while raising the state budget by 9%. Then they insist with a straight face that taxes are the only way to close the budget deficit. [...]

California did the same thing, and drove out many businesses, ours included. Now Oregon is one of the states talking about large increases. They are spending more money than they have, and instead of cutting the suit to fit the cloth, they keep making plans using money they don't have.

On our local talk radio, people are really fed up that the government keeps spending on things that aren't going to create jobs or stimulate the economy. We already have 11 percent unemployment, and now they want to raise taxes while also saying they have to cut services.

19 percent of the jobs in Oregon are government jobs. Many of those jobs are for activities that limit and restrict jobs in the private sector. The government is spending huge sums of money to rip out dams that generate electricity. They are forcing farm families off of good farmland so the government can un-drain it and turn it back into swamps. They are working hard at expanding limits on fishing and hunting, creating new fees for all sorts of things. All this while also destroying job opportunities and raising taxes while shrinking the tax base.

How will the government's budget ever be brought under control? It's like watching a snake eat it's own tail. They can't just keep expanding their spending while crippling, diminishing and destroying revenue sources. Somethings gotta give.

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