This CNSNews article about a proposed tax increase in Alabama contains a bunch of good examples of tricks that tax-advocates use to talk people into handing more of their money over to the government.
The complicated Riley tax package relies on tax decreases for some constituencies, coupled with big tax increases for others. The package includes tax increases on income, sales, services, property, corporate profits, insurance premiums, mortgages and deeds, and cigarettes.Without knowing any more details, it's pretty easy to figure that the raw number of people getting income tax decreases is higher than the raw number of people getting income tax increases. That is, the poor will be paying even less taxes than they do now, and the rich will be paying more. How many of you have ever gotten a job from a poor person? (Government employees, put your hands down.)
Non-smokers and non-home-owners are happy to raise property taxes and cigarette taxes. Ignorant people are happy to raise taxes on corporations, because they don't understand that every single dime taxed from a corporation comes from the public's pocket. Basically, the majority votes to raise taxes on the minorty.
"This is the first revenue package we have seen that addresses the state's critical issues in education funding shortfalls, infrastructure development and building the kind of quality of life that we advocate is essential for economic development," said Buckalew.Everyone wants educated children, but most seem blind to the fact that the government is terrible at education. Infrastructure development is actually a reasonable use of public funds, but "quality of life"? What does that even mean? How does a government "build quality of life"?
The tax increases "will be a net job creator," Buckalew said, giving the state a better public and higher education system.The only way tax increases can create jobs is if they create government jobs; every government job is paid for by the public, and generates no new wealth. In a very real sense, government jobs are negative jobs that cost the community more than they put back in.
Fiscal conservatives contend that the state hasn't done enough to trim the bureaucracy and refinance state debt. But Buckalew disagrees, saying the state is having the most trouble funding education, teacher health insurance costs and the prison system.That's called Washington Monument Syndrome -- if we cut one more penny out of the budget we won't be able to afford to keep the Washington Monument! Oh no! The ploy is normally based around dire warnings that cutting the budget will force the state to fire police officers and firefighters, close schools, starve children, and toss old people out onto the street. It's entirely absurd, of course, because there are generally an uncountable number of pork projects that can be cut long before it becomes necessary to empty the jails or start forced euthenizations.
Riley himself has warned that Medicaid prescription drugs, nursing homes and state troopers will also face cuts without new tax revenue.
"Go tell someone in a nursing home: 'I'm sorry we have budget problems; go find other arrangements,' '' Riley told Alabama's Times Daily.
Careful observers will note that there are never budget items that can be reduced or cut in real dollar amounts. If an item gets a smaller increase than the bureaucracy hoped for, that's considered a cut. We wanted 5% more money, but we only got 4%! That's a 1% budget cut! At least according to spend-happy liberals and the media. Most people know intuitively that their government is wasteful and inefficient, but to bureaucrats it's unthinkable that their personal government fiefdom could actually shrink just because they don't need so much money to perform the tasks they've been given.
These tricks and distortions are the same types of rhetoric you'll see Democrats haul out every election cycle to try to manipulate the gullible and the foolish. Keep your eyes open.
Chip Taylor comments and says I'm wrong about the job issue. I did treat the issue a bit too shallowly, and I agree with him that not every government job is a gross drain on society (although on net, when you consider the public sector job it is replacing would be more efficient, most government jobs are a loss).