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Veteran Advisor

Re: Tax Rates my take

Also some "business" would then say we don't have enough low  $$  help available--

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Advisor

Re: Tax Rates my take

I know that argument, but it only goes so far.  Aren't business owners supposed to be enterprising people that embrace enginuity?  Surely they can work to make efficiencies that would reward employees to raise productivity. 

 

Too often, the business owner takes a six figure, or larger sum, as a reward for his "hard work", not to mention 8-10 weeks off for vacations, yet expects his low wage employees to slug it out for him, day by day, 50 weeks a year, often without health benefits or retirement benefits.  They are the wheels, nuts and bolts essential to his profitability, yet they are treated with less respect than the Lexus or Mercedes he drives around in.

 

I support minimal tax rates at all income levels, but this latest recession and problems with the deficit had nothing to do with low wage earners sucking the well dry.

Senior Contributor

Re: Tax Rates my take

When I was on our city council ten years ago the first big snowstorm came along and 7 of the city's 8 plow trucks ended up breaking at the same time. That summer i advocated spending about $1-million on new trucks and plow equipment to replace the 20+ year old fleet.  Four years later I was not reelected. How quickly the voters forgot how upset they were at the city being paralyzed for three days by a snow storm and saying "What are you going to do about it". By election day they were saying I was "spending money like it was my daddy's credit card."

 

The point of this story is that no group of people will ever agree 100% on how to spend their money. Whether it is what ingredients should be on a shared pizza, how much a school teacher should be paid, or what is the cost of clearing snow from our streets. We are continually trying to appease as many as possible. Politicians have to look beyond the sound bite of cutting "wasteful spending" since one person's waste is another's necessity.

 

In the case of the snow plows the city lost an estimated five days of income tax receipts because residents could not get to work. Did the naysayers ever consider that? Doubtful.

 

Sticking your heels in on an issue helps you block out all the other facts that should be weighed when making any decision. The my way or the highway mentality serves a vocal few but how does that benefit the greater good?

 

On the topic of taxes I find it laughable that people will advocate cutting taxes and worry about cutting spending later. By taking this path they don't feel the immediate impact of the spending reduction and feel there is little consequence to reducing taxes. So far this tactic is not working. Furthermore this is the first time in US history there has not been a war tax to support war costs. In fact just the opposite happened.

 

Our country cannot balance it's future on spending cuts alone.

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Advisor

Re: Tax Rates my take

I am not a die-hard Reagan, trickle down economics fan, though I understand the economic theory behind encouraging investments in businesses to stimulate the economy.  It has limits to its application, especially when total debt and debt service is the dominant expense item.  In that case, there's no easy option to eliminating debt, other than biting the bullet and taking drastic measures.

 

Having said that, one must be realistic in budgeting when working in government.  As your experience shows, too much taxation to make needed changes only gets you thrown out of office.  A less radical, yet decisive strategy might have won new converts to your side.  I know this from experience as well. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Tax Rates my take

Smokey at the time the money for the snow equipment came entirely from reserves and left plenty still in the reserves.

 

If trickle down economics are so great why did the deficiet double under Reagan's Watch and why did he ultimately have to raise the tax rate during his second term?

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Tax Rates my take

The problem is that you cant, just cut off funding, because there ARE people out there that need that money such as disability or unemployment, so there will always be that funding, i think what Kay was getting at, is since there will always be that funding to actually go out and try to verify that the money is going to where its suppse to, its cheaper to just let it be then pay more people to actually enforce the laws, and verify the spending. IF you could cut all of those programs, then yes it would be easier, but it wont happen.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Tax Rates my take

The thing about those trucks is their begin a necessity to clear streets for public safety reasons.  A fire truck or ambulance that cannot get to a house to put out a fire or pick up a person in the throes of a heart attack because the roads are covered with snow is a wasted resource, too. 

 

People gripe about our street paving requirements for major subdivisions( five lots of more), but that is meant to make the road to their driveway eligible for inclusion in the highway system, so that it can be maintained and cleared of snow and storm debris by the state DOT.  There are numerous examples of roads that are impassable on an average day here, much less in emergency weather events.   

 

We have a set of rules our county commissioners have written for all to follow, and a select few want us to make exceptions.  Since we won't, they are trying to have the rules changed.  I think it would be a giantstep backwards, but I will work with whatever the powers that be give me as a planning board member. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Tax Rates my take

Kay, you are absolutely right about the emergency services issue. We had one ambulance crew that had to hike in a road for half a mile to reach a heart attack victim. The man was transported from his home by snowmobile but it took nearly an hour between the call and delivery to the hospital. He was lucky it was a mild attack and he lived to talk about it. I volunteered to escort ambulances with my own pick-up snow plow and they did call me once to 'escort' them to a rural address.  Escort means I plowed the way for the medic.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Tax Rates my take

There are just enough people that want the top of the line decorated cake and only want to pay for the generic cake mix. I'd better rephrase that for the male audience. Substitute a top of the line 48 row planter with all bells and whistles and 2 row lister in 1950 with the above references. Too bad that these people usually have the largest voices and sway voters in their direction.

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Advisor

Re: Tax Rates my take

   That's simple southwest.  Tax receipts into the treasury almost doubled under Reagan, from 550B to 900B a year.  The problem was the dems in congress that spent $1.68 for every new dollar coming in.  Thanks for asking.

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