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We all know that if you buy goods on Amazon you get to avoid state sales tax.  Buy your whole Christmas on line and you might be able to save a hundred bucks.  Maybe two.

Should states be able to reach out to those online retailers and tax them as if they were selling goods in state:

Garner, N.C. — A group of North Carolina citizens is lobbying Congress to require companies not based in the state who sell online to start charge state sales tax.

The Alliance for Main Street Fairness, which has branches in several states, said not all companies are doing so, which creates a less even playing field for local businesses.

“People come into the store. They look at the appliances. They go online. They find it cheaper. The cheaper is (because) they’re saving $70, $80, $100 on sales tax,” Alliance for Main Street Fairness spokesman Christopher Dean said Sunday.

The issue affects businesses like Garner TV and Appliance, which doesn’t have an online store.

“It’s a huge, huge impact on our business that we worry about every day and what we can do to stop it,” the company’s Vice President of Operations, Randy Pleasant, said.

I guess it depends upon how you look at it.

If the state is simply saying that we want to generate revenue on goods sold, then yeah, online sales should be taxed.  On the other hand, you could argue that sales tax is meant to pay for infrastructure that isn’t being consumed by out of state businesses.

Either way, state governments would be wise NOT to use the sales tax as a means of “even the playing field” for business.  THAT is most certainly not the role of government.

In 2010, Republicans took control of both the North Carolina Senate and the North Carolina House for the first time since 1898.  That’s more than 100 years.

And guess what happens when taxes are reigned in while spending is cut:

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina’s revenue collections are still ahead of projections set when legislators drew up the state government budget this year.

The General Assembly’s top economist told lawmakers Tuesday the state’s coffers have taken in $115 million above the roughly $6 billion expected through Oct. 31, the first four months of the fiscal year.

The presentation by Barry Boardman to a legislative oversight committee said the amount of taxes withheld from worker paychecks is improving and corporate income tax collections are above targeted levels.

The revenue surplus was about $150 million through September.

The fact that we have a spending problem can only be denied if you are a die hard Statist or a liar.

You can pick any significant number of consecutive years you want.  Any, say 10-15 years.  And compare the receipts from one year to the prior year.  See what ya get.  For example, I’ll pick the most recent set of years; 2000 through the estimates for 2016.  Look:

There are 16 possible opportunities for receipts to go up or down.  Of those 16, they go up for 12 of ’em.  The time frames when they are going down is after the recession of 2000 and the shock of the 9/11 attacks.  The second time frame is during the most recent recession.  Other than that, the tax receipts increase.  In fact, if you go back further than 2000, the next most recent decrease in revenues comes in the 1982-1983 year.  That’s 17 consecutive years of tax growth.

So, what does this tell us?

It tells us that those who are calling for tax increases in order to satisfy the “increase revenue” meme aren’t looking at the full picture.  Left alone, taxes will deliver year over year growth.

In fact, if you take the historic annual tax receipt increase since after the war and assume that going forward, you can easily balance the budget.  For example, if we allow the budget to GROW, that is no cuts, but only grow by 2%, we have a balanced budget in 2023:

Easy.

Limit spending.  Don’t raise taxes.  Balance the budget in 12 years.

It’s spending people, spending.  W do NOT have a taxing problem.

It’s an old adage but I think it’s important to point out how often people tend to overlook it:

If you tax it, you’ll get less of it.

Politicians forget this all the time.

A case can be made that raising income tax rates at the state level won’t force people, en mass, to move.  Or, that if you reduce state income tax rates, people will move in.  I agree with this; people fundamentally chase jobs, not tax rates.  This is for people however, not corporations.

When you tax corporations at a rate that is so high that businesses begin to move to avoid those taxes, people will move too.  Further, the higher the “income” chain you go, the more able that individual is free to move.

Own your own internet widget company and live in CA.  Pay too much in taxes?  Move to Nevada, or Texas.  Are ya a gazzilionaire and just live off dividends?  Pay too much taxes?  Move to Florida.

The point is, the higher the income stream, the greater the desire to tax it.  And the greater the ability to avoid it.  These people did not amass great wealth because they are careless or foolish.  And they certainly didn’t amass that wealth in order to have it stolen from them.

They’ll move.  And when they do, the revenue expected from them will be less:

LOS ANGELES — California’s budget problems show no signs of abating.

A report released by state budget analysts on Wednesday forecasts a sharp decline in revenue for this fiscal year, which could set off more than $2 billion in new cuts in state spending in January, including a seven-day reduction in the school year for public school students.

The report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office projected that the state would fall $3.7 billion short of the $88.5 billion in revenues and transfers that was anticipated in the 2011-12 state budget approved in June. Under the terms of that budget, automatic reductions — known as trigger cuts, and specified in some detail in the budget — go into effect if revenues fall $1 billion or more short of projections.

California is a state blessed by weather and geography.  And people are fleeing the place.

I posted this just about one year ago:

Students Demanding That We Tax The Rich

The great debate of the day is The Compromise™. Or rather, what we’re gonna do about taxes on the rich. Obama ran on it for two years beginning in 2006. Liberals believed; believed either that he WOULD let the Bush Tax Cuts expire or that he COULD let the Bush Tax Cuts expire.*

And he didn’t.

He neither could nor would. And the great debate rages.

Read More

Because I think that the debate over taxes has been going on for a long time, and while continue to go on through the election, we should take a break and chuckle:

Even though this pokes fun at my side, I enjoy a good laugh just as much as the next guy.

But let’s be very clear here as well.  There is simply no reasonable argument that can be made that we have a revenue issue that’s contributing to our nation’s debt.  The problem always has and always will be spending.

Further, the idea that Reagan and Obama share the same economic philosophy is laughable.  Even more so than that cute clever video.  Reagan believed in less government.  He felt that government could not and never could, be the solution.  It was government that WAS the problem.  Obama?  Well, he feels very different.  The more that government gets involved, the better off the people of this nation will be is center to Obama’s thinking.

We simply disagree.  And we can’t compromise on that.  How do you compromise with someone who wants to rob your house?  Is it a moral victory to let him “only take” your TV while you get to keep the rest of your property?

No.

Last, the House Republicans led by the fiscal conservatives are doing yeoman’s work.  Obama and the Democrats know that they have no chance what-so-ever of passing nonsense through the House.  So the aren’t even trying.  The bills they craft are being written in such a way that they HOPE they get through.  If the House were less conservative, Obama’s bill would be even worse than they are today.  But, BUT, I feel my comrades are making two critical errors:

  1. Refusing to add revenue simply on principle.
  2. Missing the opportunity to “cash out”.

First, if we can raise revenue without raising rates simply by making the code easier and removing crazy-ass “loopholes”, DO IT!  For gawd’s sake man, take “W”.

Second, i was very distressed to see all Republican candidates raise their hand during one of the debates when asked if the would reject a plan that had 10-1 spending to tax ratios.  Dude, take the flippin’ deal and push away from the table.  Especially if these guys are offering up Social Security and Medi-X.  In fact, if they let me reform either or both of those programs I’d give on taxes in a second.

Anyway.  Enjoy Obama quoting Reagan!

Okay, if we wander back to the tax levels just before Dubya lowered ’em, what would it look like?

Well, we can go look…

2001
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
15.0% $0 $27,050
27.5% $27,050 $65,550
30.5% $65,550 $136,750
35.5% $136,750 $297,350
39.1% $297,350

Not a bad rate, right?  Taxes seem reasonable and we all enjoy our money.

But look what Dubya did:

2011
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
10.0% $0 $8,500
15.0% $8,500 $34,500
25.0% $34,500 $83,600
28.0% $83,600 $174,400
33.0% $174,400 $379,150
35.0% $379,150

He lowered the rate.  By how much?

For the very poor among us, he lowered the rate by 33%.

For the very very rich among us, he lowered it by 33%.  Wait.  No?

Oh, he lowered it by 10%

And for just the very rich?  Yeah, 7%.

So, now, some of us wanna go back to the good ‘ol days when tax rates were at the levels before Dubya came around.  But……we ONLY wanna raise those rates for the very very rich.  We don’t wanna raise rates for the very very poor.

I would suggest this.  If you wanna raise the rates on the rich from 35% to 39.1%, which is a 12% increase, you should be willing to raise the lowest tax rates from 10% to 11.2%, also a 12% raise.

If you can’t do that, then you are asking one group of people to bear the burden while allowing another group of people to reap the benefits.  THAT is class warfare.

If you wanna raise taxes, then fine, raise taxes, but raise ’em.

Be a man!

I think the reason we find our government in such a position of stalemate is because we no longer agree on what taxes are meant to be.

I think that a long time ago we all mostly agreed that taxes were something that we all, in some way, paid to run the Federal government.

I think that today more and more of us feel that taxes are a means of redistributing wealth.

I don’t think we will see much in the way of compromise until that conflict has played out.

If you believe the likes of Barack Obama and his of his socialist, fascist friends, you will believe that the American system of economics benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

The rich get the breaks and the poor are exploited.

Don’t believe it:

Did you know that in Denmark, the poorest 30 percent pay 14.1 percent of all taxes and the richest pay 48.7 percent, while in the United States, the poorest 30 percent pay just 6.1 percent of all taxes and the richest 30 percent pay a whopping 65.3 percent? The surprising thing is not that the richest pay most of the taxes but that the U.S. has nearly the most progressive tax system in the world, while the Scandinavian countries have about the least progressive tax systems, contrary to commonly held belief.

Obama and his team are radical extreme thinkers when it comes to organizing our economy.  The only thing saving us is the fact that he and his team don’t have any experience in running an organization.  He simply couldn’t manage his way out of a wet paper sack.
Thank God!

You have to win to govern.  And winning vs. losing in political races is a zero sum game.  When your opponent gets more votes, you lose and he wins.  This creates a situation where elected officials want to “win” the vote as much, or more, than they want to “win” the debate.

I get it, but this still sucks:

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are so anti-tax, surely they will fight to prevent a payroll-tax increase on virtually every wage earner starting Jan. 1, right?

Apparently not.

They’re saying a tax cut should end as planned, opposing President Obama, who wants to extend it. The policy helps the 46 percent of all Americans who owe no federal income taxes but who pay a “payroll tax” on practically every dime they earn.

Huh?

Surly they can explain themselves?

Tax reductions, “no matter how well-intended,” will push the deficit higher, making the panel’s task that much harder, Camp’s office said.

Nope.  They can’t.

I may give this whole thing up and just go watch some baseball.