Monday, June 11, 2007
My immediate thought was: Our cities are run by a bunch of Democrats. Democrats are notorious for chasing after fads. Especially with other peoples' money. The fad of choice right now happens to be rainforest depletion ... er, no, that was last month. This month it's global warming.
No surprise there.
But my memory of that incident, though half forgotten, was jogged by three headlines featured on The Drudge Report this morning.
First there was this:
'WARMING' PLAN IN DENVER: CRACKDOWN ON RESIDENTS
Before I go any further, I should mention the fact that Denver has had a succession of Democratic mayors that has run things for just about as long as any of us have been on this Earth, including the current fear monger in residence John Hickenlooper.
The good mayor is going to crack down on the citizenry because the planet - including Denver - is heating up. Or so it goes ...
Then I saw this:
Denver Sees Coldest June Morning In Over 50 Years...
9 of 12 warmest years for Denver occured before 1955...
I'll be honest. I'm at a point in this discussion where I don't give a rat's butt what idiocies the Denver mayor concocts. The more expensive his conjurations become the better. You city folk seem to gravitate toward beanbrains like this, despite the fact that he is going to make your lives a living hell, despite the fact that the poor among you are about to become poorer, despite the fact that punitive actions like this will drive more middle class citizens into the suburbs, despite the fact that the science that propels such actions is mere guesswork and computer modeling ...
... despite Al Gore being viewed by a growing portion of the American public as being nothing more than a blowhard with a messianic complex and shit for brains.
You want to rejoice in Hickenlooper's lunacy? Be my guest.
I'll drink one to your health and well-being. Just keep the madness within your city limits. And we'll get along just fine.
The reason? A tax on groceries is regressive.
Cut grocery tax the right way"Justice demands it." That's cute.
Whether rich or poor, everyone’s got to eat.If they buy groceries in Tennessee, they’ve also got to pay the taxman. This is no small matter; the state has the highest grocery tax rate in the nation.
Tennessee should follow the lead of other states, including Arkansas, South Carolina and Virginia, and reduce the tax on food. Justice demands it.
The sales tax, in general, is regressive (the poor pay a much higher percentage of their income in sales taxes than do the well-off). (link)
They are right, of course. The food tax is regressive. Poor people have to shell out a greater percentage of their take-home pay for groceries than do rich people when a tax is levied on groceries.
Does the same then apply to another tax, one that weighs even more heavily on the poor? One that specifically targets the poor?
How about the tax on cigarettes?
A statistic from the Tax Foundation:
Currently, two-thirds of federal tobacco taxes come from those earning less than $40,000 a year -- and less than 1 percent is paid by those earning more than $100,000 a year -- according to a study by Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation.Broken down by income group:
The cigarette tax is, by and large, as this pie chart shows, a tax on the poor.
But cigarette taxes to many in this country, including the editorialists at the Bristol Herald-Courier, are just swell, taxes that provide them, to use their word, "pleasure." From another editorial written just days ago, after the the state of Tennessee voted to raise the tobacco tax on the poor:
Taxes for schools
Lawmakers have dodged the final rock that threatened to scuttle the 42-cent hike in Tennessee’s tobacco tax.
The bill is on its way to the governor for his signature. We hope he signs it with pleasure. (link)
So these guys deplore taxes that impact most heavily on the poor, except when they support them, except when they take pleasure in them.
Some even go so far, as the L.A.Times did not long ago, to ridicule the poor and, in a patronizing and condescending manner, lecture them on how the tax is good for them.
So please. Save the crocodile tears. Either you find taxes that impact the poor most heavily to be conspicuously and outrageously reprehensible or you don't.
Which is it going to be?
Chart courtesy of the National Center For Policy Analysis
Immigration Judges Often Picked Based On GOP Ties
It's good to know that a practice adopted around 1789 - that of a political party being in power enjoying the spoils - hasn't changed.
Anti-tax faction aims to reclaim Virginia GOPI don't think of Republican legislators who side with the Democrats on tax increase issues as being two-faced so much as I see them as being plain old Democrats.
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times
Anti-tax champions say Virginia Republicans can get their party back on track by replacing "tax-and-spend" incumbents with true conservatives in tomorrow's primary election.
"This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party," said R. Scott Sayre, who is challenging three-term state Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., Augusta County Republican.
Conventional wisdom and internal polling suggests that the deep-pocketed incumbents will win re-election. But anti-tax activists hope voters will sweep new blood into office, replacing what they call "two-faced" Republicans who have dismissed the fundamental party tenets of lower taxes and smaller government. (link)
And Democrats they should be. Either that or they should be sent home by a political party that is willing to fight for its core principles.
There is no issue that separates - or should separate - the two parties and their idealogies more than taxes. It is the defining issue.
It's time to clean things up and put a united party before the electorate. Only then will the Republican Party once again enjoy, on a statewide basis, the kind of successes it achieved during the reign of Jim Gilmore.
The time has come. Bounce Emmett Hanger and Brandon Bell and their fellow Republicrats. For the future of the GOP.
A win-win. That's why they are at it again so soon:
Republicans need to quit being led around by the nose (like they usually are) and get out in front of this issue.
Democrats Say They May Revisit Immigration Bill
By Carl Hulse, The New York Times
Washington, June 10 — Senate Democrats opened the door to reviving the stalled immigration measure on Sunday, calling on Republicans to resolve their internal divisions and produce an agreement on how to move the legislation forward.
“If and when Republicans can agree on a limited number of amendments and agree on the need to get this bill passed, Senator Reid is committed to finding room on the Senate schedule as soon as possible,” said Jim Manley, the spokesman, who said President Bush needed to play a role as well.
“The hope is that he can apply enough pressure to provide the votes we need to
get the bill out of the Senate.” (link)
The overwhelming majority of Americans want illegal immigration stopped. Propose some serious steps that will actually secure our borders, as opposed to paying lip service to the issue.
Only when our southern border is sealed should we talk about increasing the quota of legal immigrants, and about those millions of lawbreakers who have defied our laws and customs.
Instead, guys like John Warner will turn to Ted Kennedy for guidance. And we'll continue to wrangle over this awful legislation that the American people rejected en masse in recent days.
Regardless, the Democrats will continue to exploit the issue.