” The choice of tax instruments by a state or local government has wide-ranging implications for the economy, and the amount of revenue to be raised should not be the sole criterion used in developing tax policy. The trade-offs between various tax instruments, including revenue, fairness, and collection cost, should all be incorporated in these decisions.
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Justin M. Ross defines five criteria for evaluating tax policy and uses them to give a clear overview of the different types of taxes utilized by state and local governments.
For the complete study, see “A Primer on State and Local Tax Policy: Trade-Offs among Tax Instruments.” “
Tag Archive: Spending
While we have posted this before we thought that , with the debt ceiling having been reached again last Friday night just a few short months after the last cavalcade of Congressional hypocrisy , it would be a good time to reacquaint our readers with the insanity that governs Congress and it’s spending habits .
Uploaded on Nov 4, 2011
” The United States debt limit explained. A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family. The watch our follow up video: Knock Knock IRS
Watch the guy from the Sprint Ads, Ferris Bueller Superbowl Spot and plays Arwin! (also in the upcoming film PAIN AND GAIN) Produced by Seth William Meier, DP/Edited by Craig Evans, 1st AC Brian Andrews, Sound Mixer Gus Salazar, Written and Directed by Brian Stepanek. Help us spread the word by clicking ads or at http://www.debtlimitusa.org.
as seen on STOSSEL on Fox Business “
” In the movie “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray wakes up again and again to find that he is stuck in the same day. This happens multiple times a year now with Congress on the debt limit, which we just hit again on Saturday.
Depending on which party’s in power, the ones arguing for or against raising the debt ceiling will change—which makes for fun historical quotations like Obama vs. Obama on the debt limit. In our new video, you can see politicians from both sides arguing the debt limit—and vowing that they will not, absolutely not, have this same argument again next year.”
But wait , the problem gets worse …
” Just since the limit was suspended in the fall, Washington has borrowed nearly $600 billion. So what happens if lawmakers throw up their hands and abandon the debt limit for a year? Romina Boccia, Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Fellow, warns:
The debt limit serves as an important congressional check on federal spending and borrowing. Without a debt limit, all control over borrowing decisions shifts to the Treasury secretary, who is appointed by the president. Effectively, this concentrates borrowing authority in the executive branch, and hands the president a blank check to borrow against the U.S. taxpayer.
President Obama is already threatening to disregard Congress and use executive actions to make laws. Will he have all the borrowing power, too? Does Congress do anything anymore? “
Courtesy of Heritage.org read it all .
” This week, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S. Car.) returned over 25 percent of his congressional office budget to the U.S. Treasury. Sanford said in a press release Thursday:
I have long believed that those in government need to spend taxpayer dollars as they would spend their own, both carefully and deliberately. Too often in government there is a distance between what a bureaucrat might spend money on and what a taxpayer would. Our office approaches this fundamental question from the side of the taxpayer and I believe our end-of-year surplus reflects that.
Today I am pleased to announce that our office returned $231,140.30 or 28.8% of the taxpayer dollars provided to our office by the House of Representatives for 2013.
Rare has more
” As 2014 begins, President Barack Obama’s approval rating is at its lowest point in his five-year tenure. Imagine where it would be if the establishment press treated him the way it did George W. Bush.
The president’s media apparatchiks are propping up what remains of the president’s popularity with five myths.
1. The economy has become strong, and is getting stronger.
Media reports have been calling recent job gains “robust.” Hardly. 2013′s estimated job growth of almost 2.4 million is still only 60 percent of what was achieved annually on a population-adjusted basis for a full six years during the 1980s. (See chart below.)
It’s bad enough that payroll employment is still 1.3 million below its January 2008 peak. It’s worse that employment in the Household Survey is 2 million shy of where it was in that same month. If we’re lucky and this plodding progress continues, it will have taken almost seven years for that more comprehensive measure of employment to return to where it was before the recession began — and several more years, if ever, before a recovery in employment catches up to eligible adult population growth.”
PJMedia has more
” I’ve got a new column up at Time’s Ideas section. Here’s the opening:
Forget a new car, Beats by Dre, or even affordable health care. You know what I really, really, really want for Christmas?
I want a government that spends less money. I’m not alone in such a wish. Even President Obama, who has asked for more and more spending in each of his annual budget proposals, has called the nation’s long-term spending patterns “unsustainable.” “
” Nine Senate Republicans crossed over to vote with all Senate Democrats to support the budget deal that House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
The deal passed Wednesday by a final vote of 64-36. The nine Senate Republicans who crossed over are as follows: “
Here are the RINO’s that have stabbed veterans and all taxpayers in the back , yet again , along with their complete contact information , email , snail mail and phone numbers … Light ‘em up .
John McCain (R-AZ)
241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2235 Contact: www.mccain.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
104 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5251 Contact: www.hatch.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=Email-Orrin
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
416 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3521 Contact: www.chambliss.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3643 Contact: www.isakson.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
Susan Collins (R-ME)
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2523 Contact: www.collins.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
709 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6665 Contact: www.murkowski.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5323 Contact: www.ronjohnson.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
John Hoeven (R-ND)
338 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2551 Contact: www.hoeven.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator
Rob Portman (R-OH)
448 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3353 Contact: www.portman.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=contact…
” Ryan used a series of misleading styles of accounting and talking points to promote the bill, especially when it came to veterans’ pensions. He claimed the bill overall reduced the deficit by $23 billion. In reality, the bill increases the deficit by at least $15.5 billion. “
” By promising that under no circumstances will there ever be another government shutdown, what McConnell has done is telegraph to Harry Reid that he will absolutely, under no circumstances, walk away from the table without a deal. You don’t see Reid doing that. He doesn’t care if the government shuts down, and he is certainly not going to give in to McConnell’s demands to see that it won’t.
By the way, notice how Schieffer cleverly affirms McConnell’s surrender instinct by treating him as Mr. Reasonable while wondering aloud how he will ever deal with that insane Ted Cruz or those horrible Tea Party people who are “going nuts” and threatening to primary him. This is classic. It’s how the media helped turn John McCain into mush. They pet him on the head when he’s a good little Republican who goes along with “the way things are done in this town,” and they make it clear that if he ever steps out of line like that icky Ted Cruz, he will lose their favor.
So there you have it. Democrats already know Republicans will not stand up to them again on budgetary matters, because Republicans are too afraid of the shutdown Democrats will gladly permit if that’s what it takes to get their way. There will be no spending sanity. There will be no changes to the tax code (unless it’s to raise rates, of course). There will be nothing done about ObamaCare. There will be nothing done about entitlements. Democrats refuse, and Republicans are afraid to fight.”
Mitch McConnell should be ashamed of himself . If this is all that the Republican party can offer in the way of leadership there is no reason for anyone with any concern with the financial future of this country to think that there is any difference at all between the parties . We live in a one-party country and that’s a fact .
” Fresh off his no-compromise victory against Republicans during the one-sixth government shutdown, the president has some more divisive issues in store for the American people. Wow, what a shock.
Among these: amnesty for illegal immigrants, passing a $3.8 trillion budget, raising taxes, and more kickbacks for Democrat allies. Anybody really surprised about this coming from the “professional activist” president?
Here’s a novel idea: Why don’t we let the American people determine their own agenda for a change, instead of giving more power to corrupt and inept Washington politicians to do it for us?”
” The least dispiriting moment of another grim week in Washington was the sight of ornery veterans tearing down the Barrycades around the war memorials on the National Mall, dragging them up the street, and dumping them outside the White House. This was, as Kevin Williamson wrote at National Review, “as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years.” Indeed. The wounded vet with two artificial legs balancing the Barrycade on his Segway was especially impressive. It would have been even better had these disgruntled citizens neatly lined up the Barrycades across the front of the White House and round the sides, symbolically Barrycading him in as punishment for Barrycading them out. But, in a town where an unarmed woman can be left a bullet-riddled corpse merely for driving too near His Benign Majesty’s palace and nobody seems to care, one appreciates a certain caution.
By Wednesday, however, it was business as usual. Which is to say the usual last-minute deal just ahead of the usual make-or-break deadline to resume spending as usual. There was nothing surprising about this. Everyone knew the Republicans were going to fold. Folding is what Republicans do. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are so good at folding Obama should hire them as White House valets.”
As usual Steyn is required reading
” Fox News’ Brit Hume has about one of the fairest assessments of the tea party out there. Hume explains why the tea party is going to extraordinary lengths to attempt to roll back government, and why that makes the tea party different from establishment Republicans.
Hume argued that tea party supporters are using an unconventional approach because the GOP has “utterly failed” to restrain the growth of government:
“Veteran political observers on both the left and right are still trying to figure out what the House Tea Party caucus and its Senate pied piper Ted Cruz were thinking when they insisted on using the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare. “
” The U.S. debt, which has jumped 55 percent under President Obama, is now so high that if working Americans had to pay their full share, the bill would be over $123,000, according to a new Harvard University Institute of Politics study of the nation’s empty bank accounts.
– If converted into pennies and stacked, would be a column that would reach to the moon and back more than 3,350 times “
” About now, many Americans wish they had never heard the term debt ceiling – or knew so much about what it meant. But with lawmakers hesitant to approve an increase in the amount that the U.S. government is authorized to pay for debts already incurred by Congress, this phrase has become a household word, as it were. Although it feels like this latest gridlock between Congress and President Barack Obama is yet another indication of today’s steely partisan politics, debt-ceiling conflicts have been to one degree or another Washington staples for the past four decades. Before the 1970s, not so much.
The first time the debt ceiling came into view was in 1917 with the adoption of the Second Liberty Bond Act, which placed limits on expenditures for large categories of debt such as bonds and bills. Before then, Congress had to authorize loans and other debt instruments individually. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to remove the $30 billion ceiling on Treasury bonds. And soon afterward, Congress eliminated individual limits for specific types of debt, leaving only one aggregate ceiling for the government’s total indebtedness. This gave the Treasury Department more flexibility in determining the types of instruments it issued.”
” Recent news reports have suggested that the hard line taken by Tea Party and other conservative Republicans in the House in the budget and debt ceiling battles may be producing a backlash among party supporters and donors who are concerned about the political impact of the government shutdown and a possible U.S. default on its debt.
But to whatever extent that pushback may be happening, it’s a point of view not shared by rank-and-file Republicans. Just 18% of Republicans believed their leaders were paying too much attention to the Tea Party, up slightly from 13% two years ago, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last week. Most Republicans said the party’s leaders were either paying the right amount (40%) or too little (24%) attention to the positions of the Tea Party.“
” Throw the bums out.
That’s the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.
According to the latest NBC/WSJ poll, the shutdown has been a political disaster. One in three say the shutdown has directly impacted their lives, and 65 percent say the shutdown is doing quite a bit of harm to the economy. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.
The 60 percent figure is the highest-ever in that question recorded in the poll, registered in the wake of the government shutdown and threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time in history. If the nation’s debt limit is not increased one week from now, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns that the entire global economy could be in peril.
“We continue to use this number as a way to sort of understand how much revulsion there is,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the poll with Republican Bill McInturff. “We now have a new high-water mark.” “
They Screwed Up The Shutdown, But Republicans Are Right To Insist That Any Increased Borrowing Today Should Require Spending less In The Future
” Can anyone other than doctrinaire Democrats and members of his immediate family keep a straight face when President Barack Obama insists that he is “prepared to negotiate on anything” while simultaneously saying that “until we make sure that Congress allows Treasury to pay for things that Congress itself already authorized, we are not going to engage in a series of negotiations”?
Reining in the national debt is not an accounting fetish, especially when we’re talking about being in the hole to the tune of 100 percent of GDP when it comes both to debt held by the public and intra-governmental IOUs. Sustained and massive levels of debt foist obligations on future generations via future taxes and inflated currency; they also correlate with slower average economic growth. Indeed, even critics of the influential “debt overhang” thesis propounded by Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and Vincent Reinhart grant that “the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public-debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is…2.2 percent,” an amount actually below what Reinhart, Rogoff, and Reinhart found in a 2012 paper detailing debt’s correlation with reduced growth. Debt has a habit of spiraling out of control and thus “fragilizing systems,” as Nassim Taleb puts it. When an increasing amount of your income is going to pay down loans taken out by your dead grandparents for stuff that was gone before you were born, you’ve got less cash for your own future.“
” I say “so-called” government shutdown because most federal activities will continue and most federal employees will continue to work. If you had plans to visit Yellowstone National Park, you’re out of luck until the government reopens. However, the NSA will continue to track our private conversations, the military will continue to expend blood and treasure protecting the interests of wealthy allies, and the federal entitlement system that’s the source of our future fiscal imbalances will continue to pump out the checks.
So while it is true that some of the federal leviathan’s tentacles will take a brief respite, its reach into practically every facet of our lives will continue largely uninterrupted.
Unfortunately, one of those tentacles that will live to see another day is Obamacare. As a libertarian, I would obviously like to see it completely dismantled. But the political environment is not friendly to this stated aim of House Republicans. Democrats still control the Senate and the law also happens to be the current White House occupant’s signature policy “achievement.” It would take overwhelming public opposition against reopening the government with Obamacare in place for the president to even consider agreeing to such a deal. The law might not be popular, but neither is shutting down the government over it. A mainstream media that is less sympathetic to an interventionist federal government would be helpful to the House Republican cause, but the opposite is reality.”
” Congress has the constitutional prerogative to control spending, and it does so through the debt ceiling, which sets the allowable limit of federal government borrowing. The first chart shows all the times that the debt limit has been raised since 1980, which includes 18 times under Ronald Reagan, four times under Bill Clinton, and seven times under George W. Bush. Most recently, President Obama raised the debt limit for his fifth time, to $16.69 trillion, $305 billion above the previous statutory limit, which is exponentially greater than when it first reached $1 trillion about 30 years ago in 1982.
The debt limit applies to federal debt held by the public and by the government’s own accounts, also known as intergovernmental debt, which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Civil Service Retirement accounts. Of the $16.699 trillion in outstanding debt subject to limit, roughly $11.9 trillion is held by the public, and about $4.8 trillion is held by government accounts.
Simply raising the debt ceiling alone does nothing to address underlying drivers of our debt problem. The persistence of federal budget deficits has led to sustained growth in debt, thus requiring the government to issue increasing amounts of debt to the public. The second chart shows the growing portion of federal debt held by the public. Here are some key observations: “
” Why would Mr. Paul be so against another bailout? Hmm, maybe because we don’t have the money. That kind of stuff matters to some of us.
His final piece of advice:
“You don’t set up an implicit promise from the federal government that everybody is getting bailed out,” Paul said. “It’s sort of like too big to fail for banks. If you have too big to fail for cities or for states and they believe they’ll be bailed out they’ll continue to make unwise decisions.
“So, really, the answer is, just like the federal government, live within your means and spend what you have but don’t spend money you don’t have. The problem is so many of our state governments, the politicians are being elected by the public service unions. “