Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tax the Blue States

In what can only be described as shocking, a Presidential advisory committee is going ahead with a plan that blue-staters should have expected all along: tax them into submission!

Here's the story in the Post. For those of you wanting me to link to more articles in the Times, get them to stop charging for the ONLY part of the paper I like: the Columns!

The panel has apparently suggested two significant changes in the tax system:

  1. Eliminate state and local tax deduction from federal taxable income.
  2. Move towards a more consumption-based tax system
I don't know how any of you feel about the tax system, but I'm fairly certain I know how David Strom feels about them. And if a panel were trying to create the perfect weapon for Strom to use to destroy the American system of government, this would be it.

Where do I get this idea you might ask? Well, because states that have high state and local taxes also tend to be blue states. The Federal government can't raise their taxes directly--that would be against the republican credo of "quit your job and max out your credit card". But they can eliminate the deductions that allow states that want to have silly things like successful education systems, or functioning roads, pay for them.

And yes, Blue States are subsidising Red states. Not just with taxes either. By and large, blue states give more to charity. Most of this is done through state tax money--which is why states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have limitted infrastructure and low high-school graduation rates: because no one in those states pays for them.

Getting rid of the state and local deduction from Federal taxes is a great plan, if the goal is to get everyone to hate the government, but a bad way to improve the tax code.

I have an alternate proposal.

Let's set minimum standards for statehood. If you want to be a state in the most prosperous, powerful country in the history of the world, you have to actually meet standards that would indicate you belong. They would look something like this:
  • Highschool graduation rate of at least 93%
  • At least 27% of your state (over age 25) should have a college degree
  • Over a 10-year period, your state has to derive more of it's income from commerce, industry, and innovation than from military bases, tourism, or federal subsidies.
  • The leading cause of death for young men can't be homicide.
  • No population group can have a life-time incarceration rate of 20%

If we're the "best country in the world" lets start holding ourselves to that standard.


NTAC said...

Seems that your proposal would be rather consistent with Bush's thoughts around holding our schools accountable through testing.

The idea of an earned American membership is rather intriguing even if I hate Bush's attempt to roll such an idea out to our schools.

One thing that is for certain is that there would not be the uneducated voting base there to keep Bush and his fellow Republicans in power.

Quick request - When are you going to rant on Tom DeLay?

alektra said...

and how do you suggest the states go about those changes? it's hard to convince kids that since their parents "didn't need no school" and actually get mad at their kids for wanting to go past them, they should disobey the Bible.

Should we also insist the third world countries step up before we give them aid anymore? Become a 2nd world nation, or something?

I did want to secede after the election. But we liberals have a Supreme Court who said it was unfair to have a voting tax, and that anyone who could read the names would be allowed to vote. Funny how that works against us.