Sunday, June 17, 2007

So Easy A Caveman Can Do It

So, the State Legislature has agreed on a revenue neutral business tax. While they figure out if it is truly revenue neutral and vote on bits and peaces to put it together, we have to keep in mind that business does not pay taxes. People pay taxes. Business just passes those cost down to the consumer. All the businesses that will flock here, according to them, will bring employees with them. Let's think about this.

The majority of the legislature still wants revenue enhancement (a tax increase). People are loosing their homes at unprecedented numbers, they are finding it difficult to meet their monthly bills, they are being attacked for money on every level of government and the unemployed have little luck in finding a job in this state. Why would anyone want to move here to pay more taxes?

A more pointed question is, why should we pay our elected officials so well to just raise taxes? If that is the best they can do, let them go home and earn a living in the real world. It takes no skill or talent to just get money when you need it. If you are lucky enough to still have a job, I challenge you to go into your boss and tell him of your economic woes. Inform your boss that there is no alternative but for him to give you a raise. Of course, if you think you know what he will say and feel you might jeopardize your job, I suggest that you go home and find ways to economize.

That is exactly what they need to do in Lansing. Economize! It amazes me that they feel so proud of themselves after doing so little. They are arguing not about spending less but rather about on what and who will cause the biggest reaction if they do not get enough money. After all, they can weasel it from the taxpayers by misrepresenting the effects and the necessity and still get contributions for their next run for office.

The budgetary crisis should be causing a reassessment of priorities. As an example, Chief Justice Taylor's budget is $160 million . It is small by state standards but they expect him to cut his budget by $2.9 million at last count. While state law prohibits salary decreases for judges, Judge Taylor and his other appellate court judges offered to reduce costs by eliminating use of state vehicles for private use. This is more symbolic given the size of the problem, however, his type of thing needs to be done throughout the various departments. While asking him to cut, they are adding a million dollars worth of new judges. Justice Taylor suggested the elimination of 10-14 trial judges and 4 appellate court judges. This would amount to real savings although it would limit the ability for political patronage by the legislature.

It behoves us to keep up the pressure on the legislature. They have a tin ear until they are personally effected. I know we will be if an increase in taxes happens.