American Elephants


Republican Surpluses In the States Bring Families, Businesses and Prosperity by The Elephant's Child

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution  says simply “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That again points out that there are specific powers delegated to the United States, and they are supposed to keep their hands off the others.

We all know the government has its fingers in all sorts of pies where they do not belong, and not content with making bad laws and fumbling the things that they are supposed to do, for some reason they keep trying to take over more duties to perform poorly. File under “power grab.”

The states still have quite a bit of room to do their own thing, and they  have proved to be the laboratory for change and experiment for the nation. Now two states, neighbors, are demonstrating two very different kinds of leadership. Governor Scott Walker (R) Wisconsin, announced today that the budget he will sign this summer will include “significant” cuts to Wisconsin income tax rates.

Next door,  in Illinois, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) is making a name for himself by employing Nation of Islam wandering police forces. He announced that he will introduce a gun control ordinance.  There were 19 people shot in Chicago between Thursday evening and Friday morning. Gang warfare.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government posted a $239 billion deficit in the first quarter of 2013, setting the Obama administration up for a record fifth-year of trillion dollar deficits.

In the Republican-controlled states, it is a different story. Texas has a governor , Rick Perry(R), who is committed to developing its natural resources. Texas legislators are facing an $8.8 billion surplus over the next two years. Bill Haslam (R) of Tennessee, and Rick Scott  (R) Florida have also turned recession deficits into budget surpluses. Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder (R), Iowa’s Governor Terry Brandstadt (R), and Indiana’s out-going Governor Mitch Daniels (R) can all now boast of surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. They did it through spending cuts, not tax hikes. Their budgets are in the black and their economies are growing. And people are moving there from states like California that have a massive outflow of citizens and businesses. Bobby Jindall (R) of Louisiana floated the idea of getting rid of the state’s income tax.

The Democrat controlled States like Illinois,  which massively raised taxes on the rich, and still has a $5.9 billion pile of bills. California, also raised taxes on the rich, and expected a small surplus, but tax collections are coming in at 10.8% below expectations. So the state is projected to be $1.9 billion in the red by the end of the year.  New York is in bad shape, and Governor (D) Cuomo just announced that he wants more gun control. Maryland is also trying to fix things by raising taxes.

“Unexpectedly”the states that have high taxes and high deficits also have a deficit of children under age 10. California’s birth rate has dropped below replacement level as has the rate in Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The productive class is leaving these states, leaving the very wealthy and the people on government assistance.

Works for nations too. Europe’s birth rates are far below replacement. People don’t have a lot of babies when they don’t have a lot of hope. There are lessons to be learned if you pay attention.



The SuperCommittee, The Democrats, And The Consquences! by The Elephant's Child

The SuperCommittee was a dumb idea in the first place. We shouldn’t let our representatives get away with this kind of abdication of their own responsibilities. It is perhaps inevitable in the current climate. I have never seen a time when the two parties are so completely at odds.  It’s not just politics — they don’t share the same worldview, the same hopes for the country, the same understanding of economics, or the same understanding of history.  They don’t share the same facts.

And they certainly don’t share the same plans on what to do next.  Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) finds the SuperCommittee’s failure to be “good news” for the Democrats “because it will help to end the Bush-era tax cuts and give Democrats more bargaining power in budget negotiations.” The Hill reports:

Groups on the edges of both the liberal and conservative spectrums have cheered the death of the supercommittee. Liberal groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee were happy that programs such as Social Security and Medicare were spared, while Tea Party conservative groups applauded the breakdown in talks because no tax increases emerged from the deficit-reduction panel.

The supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement sets in motion $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect in 2013 through sequestration. Half of those cuts are to defense initiatives, which has hawks in Congress vowing to undo them. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Monday that he was readying a bill that would prevent the defense cuts.

“The people who want to say ‘no’ have more leverage,” Frank said in a telephone interview. “Every showdown until now, the right-wing had more leverage. They tended to benefit more from gridlock. Now, thanks to sequestration and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, gridlock is bad for the right-wing. So they are now going to be forced to deal.”

Democrats, Frank said, should offer to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and end them for the rich — counting that as savings against the automatic cuts. And if you don’t like that just see taxes go up on everybody and sequestration.

The Senate Democrats plan to take up legislation that could add another $400 billion to the deficit. There’s a really nasty battle shaping up.  Democrats, as usual, want what they want right now, with no regard for the consequences.

They want to continue the reduction in the “payroll tax.” That doesn’t add up to much help for ordinary people, and  you’ll notice that they suddenly call it the payroll tax as if what the government is refraining from collecting is some nasty tax on a company’s payroll. It is the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax, and, uncollected is putting Social Security and Medicare in the red even sooner than expected. We’re already there, and the Democrats don’t want anything to interfere with their pretense that they are taking care of you.  They’re not.

They want to tax “the rich.” That won’t give them much revenue at all, but it is the principle of “redistribution”that they care about — which is the pretense that they are going to give that money to the poor.  They’re not. They will spend the money on more earmarks to take home to their constituents.  Haven’t you ever noticed that the poor never become less poor after they tax the rich more? You help the poor and the unemployed by helping the private sector economy to grow and create jobs, and helping people to stand on their own two feet and try to fulfill their potentials and pursue happiness.

And one thing that definitely does not help the private sector economy to grow is more spending, and the consequences that come with that spending.



More Humor From the Washington State Legislature by The Elephant's Child
April 24, 2011, 4:25 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Taxes | Tags: , ,

I’ll admit it.  I can’t resist collecting examples of the liberal mind in action.  Here in the northwest corner of the Left Coast, our legislature is always interesting.  The left is remarkably dim about the laws of unintended consequences.

The state of Washington has pushed its citizens to buy electric vehicles through tax breaks and public-relations efforts as well as a hefty tax on gasoline (The state excise tax is the highest in the country, though in overall gas taxes, we are only 7th highest).  Now the legislature has noticed that drivers of electric cars are not filling up at the gas station.  They’re not paying their fair share of maintaining the roads.

After years of urging residents to buy fuel-efficient cars and giving them tax breaks to do so, now the Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to charge them a $100 annual fee — the nation’s first electric car tax.

They haven’t passed it yet, but in the interest of fairness, should they then tax the hybrid owners $50 bucks a year? But what percentage of hybrid  driving is electric and what gasoline?

We get a good percentage of our energy from hydro, and there is no likelihood of any new or higher dams. Our governor wants to get rid of our coal-fired plant.  Liberals do not understand incentives or consequences.  If they made the tax exactly equal to incentives and tax breaks, then we would be back to where we were before they started messing around with deciding just what we should drive.

Do you suppose that they will learn anything from such a conundrum?




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