Missouri legislators consider Fair Tax policy

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from The Maritime Sentry!

I discovered this story at the Tax Foundation blog.

Excerpt:

Missouri lawmakers are considering a drastic change to their tax system. A bill recently passed by the state’s House of Representatives would allow residents to vote on a Constitutional amendment that would eliminate corporate and individual income taxes in the state and replace them with a broad based sales tax. The plan is essentially a state version of the national FairTax proposal popular with some grassroots groups that would replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax. If the Senate passes the bill Missouri residents would be voting on the amendment in November of 2010.

Missouri currently has a sales tax, a corporate income tax, and a personal income tax. The sales tax rate is 4.225%, and the top corporate and personal tax rates are 6.25% and 6%, respectively. The plan put forth would replace all those taxes with a single sales tax levied at a rate of 5.11%. Accompanying the sales tax rate hike would be a substantially broadened sales tax base that would include all purchases. Currently most services are tax exempt and certain goods, most notably groceries, are taxed at a reduced rate of 1.225%. These exemptions would not exist under the new tax structure.

The overhaul of the tax system is meant to be revenue neutral. In other words, the revenue from the sales tax increase and broadening of the tax base is meant to exactly offset the elimination of income taxes. In 2008 Missouri’s sales tax brought in $3.2 billion while the state’s corporate and individual income taxes brought in $5.5 billion. In order to achieve revenue neutrality, at a rate of 5.11% the base would have to increase by 124%, or a little more than double. This may sound like a huge increase, but it is very possible.

This would be a useful test case to see if a national fair tax is feasible. I am all for consumption taxes. Leave a comment if you prefer the fair tax to the flat tax. I’m leaning towards the flat tax, and I love the way that it’s been implemented in those Baltic states, like Estonia. Estonia is such a courageous country!

Jim Demint scores against Democrats on health care

Senator Jim Demint
Senator Jim Demint

Great news! Senator Jim Demint tried to pass a bill guaranteeing more liberty in health care, and he succeeded. The Heritage Foundation‘s blog The Foundry has the story.

His bill read, in part:

The Senator from South Carolina, Mr. DeMint, moves that the managers on the part of the Senate … be instructed to insist that the conference report on the concurrent resolution … shall not decrease the number of Americans enrolled in private health insurance, while increasing the number of Americans enrolled in government-managed, rationed health care.

Remember, Obama’s goal is to control our lives, by controlling the free market:

This language is important because many aspects of Obama’s health care budget seek to expand the numbers of Americans enrolled in government-managed health care, which necessarily then “crowds out” private health care forcing more Americans into government managed care.

Those voting against DeMint’s motion (and therefore for the unlimited expansion of government rationed care) include:

Bingaman (D-NM)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Cardin (D-MD)
Durbin (D-IL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Levin (D-MI)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Sanders (I-VT)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)

I also spotted this story over at the Pacific Research Institute. This should be a wake up call to all those who believe that nationalizing health care would give them more freedom.

Excerpt:

In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada found that elements of the province of Quebec’s monopoly over health care violated citizens’ human rights, because of the government’s failure to deliver care.  Since then, other Canadians have launched similar lawsuits in other provinces.

In British Columbia, the monopolistic provincial health plan is suing Dr. Brian Day, an orthopedic surgeon, for allegedly receiving direct payment from patients for performing surgeries in his clinic. Mindful of the 2005 Supreme Court decision, the province has adopted a novel legal tactic: claiming that health care is not a right!  If that is the case, then the government’s monopoly obviously cannot violate citizens’ rights!

We need to learn from countries like Canada, who have already tried socialized medicine. Or we could look at Sweden. Either way, we shouldn’t be adopting failed health delivery systems.

Barack Obama after 100 days: Worst President Ever!

Hans Bader has the details at the Open Market blog, the blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

What about Obama’s campaign promise for a net spending cut?

The Congressional Budget Office says that Obama’s proposed budgets will explode the national debt through massive spending increases, increasing the already large deficits left behind by the Bush Administration from $4.4 trillion to $9.3 trillion. His record-setting budgets flagrantly violate his promise to propose a “net spending cut.”

His promise not to raise taxes on those making less than 250K?

Obama broke his campaign promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year by signing a regressive SCHIP excise tax increase, and by proposing a cap-and-trade energy tax that could charge up to $2 trillion, a massive cost that Obama himself has said will be passed “on to consumers,” as well as homeowners and motorists.

His promise to improve transparency?

Over and over again, Obama has broken his campaign promise to give the public five days of notice before signing bills into law, including his very first law, the trial-lawyer backed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

…Obama broke seven campaign promises dealing with transparency and clean government in signing the $800 billion stimulus package, much of whose contents were secret until shortly before Congress voted on it, and whose 1400 pages went unread by most Congressmen who voted on it.

And there’s more in the post! He doesn’t even mention the federal cigarette tax hike!

I posted some nice charts showing the messes we are in as far as spending, debt and jobs.

RELATED: The Heritage Foundation has more details on the spending catastrophes of the first 100 days. And he hasn’t even gotten started on card check, health care and cap and trade, yet!

UPDATE: A friend e-mails me regarding this essay by John Hawkins, (of Right Wing News), documenting the 20 most notable features of Obama’s first 100 days.

My favorite:

7) In the best example yet of Obama’s over-reliance on a teleprompter and the mainstream media’s fervent devotion to him, during an appearance with the Irish prime minister, there was a mix-up — and “President Obama thanked President Obama for inviting everyone over.” The same mainstream media which relentlessly mocked George Bush for his slip-ups wouldn’t even release the footage.

Read the whole thing! Early humor before this week’s Friday funny.

Worst. President. Ever.

Carbon caps already killing California jobs

UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from Pursuing Holiness! Thanks for linking to me, Laura!

The Foundry, the blog of the Heritage Foundation, has an amazing story on the cost of regulations against energy producers. This is a preview of what we can expect from Obama’s crazy cap and trade plan!

Here’s the first story about a cement manufacturer in California:

And a second video, featuring a debate about this:

And here’s the bottom line:

Heritage’s research on U.S. manufacturing vulnerability shows roughly 4 million jobs nationwide will disappear or relocate to other countries. This massive climate bill is a minefield for American families, who will pay extremely higher prices for energy and goods, and for American businesses who will suffer under the heavy hand of government.

If you haven’t already bookmarked The Foundry, I would highly recommend it.

Hate crimes bill H.R. 1913 destroys civil liberties and Constitutional protections

UPDATE: Welcome readers from Free Canuckistan! Thanks for the linky Mr. WebElf!

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from 4Simpsons!!! Thanks for the link, Neil. 4Simpsons is a daily read for me, and it should be for you, too!

Hans Bader of the Open Market blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has done a massive analysis of the Democrat’s hate crimes bill.

First, the news:

On April 23, the House Judiciary Committee voted 15-to-12 to approve a dramatic expansion of the federal hate-crimes law. The bill, H.R. 1913, would add gender, sexual orientation, and transgender characteristics to a law originally designed to protect racial minorities. It also greatly expands the law’s reach over local offenses typically handled by state prosecutors, by eliminating many jurisdictional limits.

The hate crimes bill violates federalism:

The bill would allow people who have been found innocent of a hate crime in state court to be reprosecuted in federal court…. Supporters of the hate crimes bill also see it as a way to prosecute people even in cases where the evidence is so weak that state prosecutors have decided not to prosecute. Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed for the hate crimes bill as a way to prosecute people whom state prosecutors refuse to prosecute because of a lack of evidence. To justify broadening federal hate-crimes law, he cited three examples where state prosecutors refused to prosecute, citing a lack of evidence. In each, a federal jury acquitted the accused, finding them not guilty.

But that’s not all, it also violates the principle of double jeopardy:

Civil libertarians like Wendy Kaminer have criticized the federal hate-crimes bill for taking advantage of a loophole in constitutional double-jeopardy protections. Law professor Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, has also criticized the bill for circumventing protections against double-jeopardy.

I wrote earlier about how the federal hate-crimes bill backed by Obama and Congressional leaders would violate constitutional federalism safeguards, such as the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Morrison (2000), and how it would allow people found innocent in state court to be retried in federal court.

One more point that caught my attention:

The ACLU long opposed the loophole in Constitutional double-jeopardy protections that the bill is designed to exploit. But it switched its longstanding position in order to back the federal hate crimes bill, apparently believing that civil-liberties must be sacrificed in order to fight hate.

Yes, when push comes to shove, leftists oppose all liberties, and end up supporting fascism.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more on the hate crimes bill here.

UPDATE: Don’t forget about the bill that criminalizes blogging here.

I highly recommend this article!

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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