Tag Archives: Shortfall

Ohio Republicans pass bill to cut bloated union salaries and benefits

From the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

Ohio state senators narrowly approved a bill that would prohibit public-employee unions representing 400,000 state employees from bargaining over health benefits, pensions and working conditions.

While national attention has focused for weeks on a similar battle in Wisconsin, the vote, by 17-16 in Ohio’s Republican-controlled Senate, virtually ensured that the Buckeye State will become the first to strip collective bargaining rights from public employees as a means of grappling with gaping budget deficits.

The bill now goes to the House, where the Republicans have a 59-40 majority. If approved, as expected, it will move for signature to Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who supports the bill.

[…]Republican lawmakers say worker pay and benefit cuts are needed to offset projected budget shortfalls. “If we’re going to grow in Ohio, we cannot raise taxes,” Republican state Sen. Keith Faber said Wednesday.

[…]Union officials began a coordinated effort to try to block bills in Wisconsin and Ohio that would curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers, and right-to-work legislation introduced in 13 states, including New Hampshire and Missouri. Those bills would allow workers in the private-sector to opt out of paying dues or belonging to a union. Such legislation threatens the unions’ funding and their political clout heading into the 2012 elections.

In Wisconsin, Republican state senators passed a resolution fining the 14 Democrats who left the state Feb. 17 to prevent a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bill restricting public employees’ collective-bargaining rights. The vote on the resolution didn’t require a quorum, unlike the budget bill that would curb bargaining.

The Wisconsin Democrats, who are in Illinois, will be fined $100 a day for their absence when the Senate is in session. Several of the Democrats went to Kenosha, Wis., Monday to meet with Republican Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, said Fitzgerald spokesman Andrew Welhouse. But the fines seemed to set back efforts to break the impasse.

Remember that Indiana Republicans are proposing a right-to-work bill, which would allow workers to OPT OUT of paying union dues, which are just used to campaign for Democrats and leftists causes anyway. This bill would break the backs of the unions.

Buckeyes and Badgers and Hoosiers, oh my!

New York governor unveils one BILLION dollars of new taxes

Story from CBS News. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Governor David Paterson said Tuesday that the days of profligate spending in Albany are over and that starting immediately lawmakers must participate in an “age of accountability.”

That said, the governor’s new budget has $1 billion in new taxes and nearly $800 million in cuts for New York City.

[…]”Our revenues have crumbled and our budget has crashed and we can no longer afford this spending addiction that we have had for so long,” Paterson said.

[…]”The mistakes of the past have lead us to the breaking point,” Paterson said.

But in addition to the severe belt tightening, the governor said he would need to raise $1 billion in new taxes and fees — some politically controversial.

* A $1 increase in the cigarette tax, raising the state tax to $3.75.

* A new soda tax that will cost consumers 1-cent per ounce — a 16-ounce bottle will cost 16 cents more, a 64-ounce bottle 64 cents more.

* The governor also plans to legalize and sanction cage fighting.

* And allow wine to be sold in grocery stores.

* And introduce 50 speed cameras on highways to catch unsuspecting motorists with fines of up to $100.

How did this happen?

New York legislators voted to tax the wealthy.

Then the wealthy left New York for red states.

And now Albany has no revenues to pay for all of their government spending on social programs, such as paying delinquent teachers to do nothing all day because the teacher unions won’t allow teachers to be fired, no matter how badly they screw up.

Governor Patterson never wanted anything to do with earlier tax increases on the wealthy. At least these new tax increases are on consumption, not on income, and not on corporations. Consumption taxes cost the fewest jobs, in my opinion. Consumption taxes encourage saving, too.

Most productive workers fleeing high tax rates in New York state

Story in the New York Post. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.

The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City — meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.

“The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource — people,” the report said.

What’s worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes.

[…]It all adds up to staggering loss in taxable income. During 2006-2007, the “migration flow” out of New York to other states amounted to a loss of $4.3 billion.

I am 100% certain that the Democrats in Albany had no idea that this would happen. Economics is not something that the left does really well.

Can we tax the rich enough to pay for all of Obama’s spending?

The libertarian Cato Institute says no way. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Funding the new health-care plan on the backs of households making $200,000 or more per year would require permanently increasing their annual total tax payments by about 50 percent. So, for example, a household that currently pays $50,000 in federal income taxes would need to pay another $25,000. Remember, however, that Social Security and Medicare already face enormous shortfalls. Shoring up these programs — another Obama campaign promise — would require collecting 328 percent more tax revenue from the rich. No, we didn’t forget a decimal point: That is three hundred and twenty-eight percent.

And what follows from taxing the rich?

[…]A major tax increase causes the tax capacity of the rich to shrink gradually as two factors kick in. First, many of the households falling into Obama’s “rich” definition are married couples in which both partners are working professionals. When tax rates rise, the lower-earning spouses in these couples tend to work less. Often, they quit work entirely. Second, many of the “rich” are budding entrepreneurs and small-business owners. They finance their operations using their own after-tax income, or with after-tax resources from family and friends. Small-business innovation is the fuel for long-term economic growth. In fact, many of the largest companies in the United States today were either small or nonexistent just 25 years ago. Killing small business kills the American economy.

Why do ivory tower socialists like Obama seem incapable of thinking through the consequences of his utopian policies for all parties concerned? You can’t assume that people are just going to sit there and let you rifle through your pockets to redistribute their money to everyone who voted for you.

(By the way, if you are thinking that “preventative care” will cut medical costs, think again. The CBO says no way.)

California Democrat leader says free speech is terrorism

Speaking out against tax increases is terrorism!
Speaking out against my tax increases is terrorism! Give me your money, and shut up!

Stop the ACLU links to this LA Times interview with California Speaker of the House Karen Bass. As you know, California is in the worst financial crisis in all 50 states. Karen is very angry that Republicans are pressured by voters to vote against tax increases. She thinks that Republicans should vote like Democrats, regardless of what their constituents want.

Excerpt:

How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

See, California is running a 24.3 BILLION dollar deficit, which is half the deficit that Canada is running this year. It’s so bad that they are issuing IOUs to contractors. And the Democrats think that tax hikes are the answer. By the way, her background is “community organizing” as well.

Hot Air has more here:

There’s a lot of stupidity and tyranny locked into those few words.  The First Amendment guarantees the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, even apart from the “free speech” issues Bass casually discards.  Elected politicians are accountable to the people who elect them in a free society.  Politicians do not acquire lordly status when they go to the Assembly, or anywhere else.

Usually, politicians are smart enough to at least pay lip service to getting feedback from their constituents.  Instead, Bass calls them “terrorists” for … what?  Calling their representatives and telling them not to raise taxes even higher, in the state with the sixth-highest per capita tax burden in the nation?  Expressing their opinions?  Telling politicians they won’t get their support if they vote for a tax hike?  That’s democracy, not terrorism, although I’m hardly surprised that Bass can’t tell the difference.

…Beware the politicians who consider dissent terrorism.  They’re either idiotic beyond belief, or tyrants waiting for an opportunity.  Bass might just be both.

Remember when dissent was the highest form of patriotism? Yeah, now dissent makes you a terrorist. This is what secularism and socialism amounts to: disagree with me and you’re the worst person in the world and anything I do to you is morally justified.

There is no difference between communists in North Korea and communists is the United States. They believe the same things. They are just on different stages of the same road to serfdom.