Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Granholm's 2% excise tax dies Previous Next
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 350
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Shit, this tax was going to save us all, what are we going to do now?

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070322/NEW S06/70322035
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 487
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great, cut more money from public schools. Great idea. How can you give universities at least 2.5% more and then cut public education funding?
Better hope Detroit doesn't outlaw panhandling because we're going to see a lot more uneducated homeless people on the streets.

And another tax on smokers? "Oh, we have a budget deficit, time to tax the smokers some more!"
C'mon, give 'em a break.

Here's an idea: GO TO A PART-TIME LEGISLATURE. There is no reason to have a full-time Legislature. Cut their salaries in half and lock it up for half the year. That'll save millions. Obviously having all of these great minds working around the clock has not helped them to come up with a good idea to bail the state out of this mess.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 351
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymeswithrawk -

I agree with you about the part-time legislature, I am sure they are part time now, we are just paying them for full time...
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8635
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What ever happended to Bishop's plan? They had a full plan, right?

Woo hoo cut school funding. Brilliant plan.

quote:

Republican senators were hastily writing more bills to account for the rest of the deficit before recessing this evening.



But Bishop insisted that they had a plan last month. I can't imagine he was lying. As someone that has met and dealt with him I can assure you he is an absolute piece of garbage.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5283
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A part-time legislature would be much more symbolic than a practical way to significantly cut costs.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 493
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is from the National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/programs/p ress/2004/backgrounder_fulland part.htm)
Now, take a look at these states, and you tell me which group Michigan would fit in better with. California (as we are now) or Missouri? Hell, even mondo-size Texas' legislators spend less time "working" than ours. I lived for nearly three years in Seattle, and having a part-time Legislature was NOT a problem. If there was some major dilemma during the off-season, a special session can be called.
Seriously, can we get a ballot initiative to change the state constitution or something? I mean, if we can ban gay marriage, we can ban gratuitous waste of taxpayers' money. Cut schools - our future - before you cut your own paycheck?

Group 1
These legislatures require the most time of legislators, usually 80 percent or more of a full-time job. They have large staffs. In these states, legislators are paid enough to make a living without requiring outside income. These legislatures are most like Congress. Most of the nation's largest population states fall in this category. (Poster's note: And with our population and economic problems, I don't think we can fit in this category. There are seven states with more electoral votes than Michigan, and three or four more that are close.)
Group 1
California
Michigan
New York
Pennsylvania
Alaska
Illinois
Florida
Ohio
Massachusetts
New Jersey
Wisconsin

Group 2
Legislatures in these states typically say that they spend more than two-thirds of a full time job being legislators. Although their income from legislative work is greater than those in the third group, it's usually not enough to allow them to make a living without having other sources of income. Legislatures in this category have intermediate-size staff. States in the middle of the population range tend to have such legislatures.
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
North Carolina
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Washington

Group 3
Average lawmakers spends the equivalent of half of a full-time job doing legislative work. The compensation they receive for this work is quite low and requires them to have other sources of income in order to make a living. They have relatively small staffs. They are often called traditional or citizen legislatures and they are most often found in the smallest population, more rural states.
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Maine
Mississippi
Nevada
New Mexico
Rhode Island
Vermont
West Virginia
Montana
New Hampshire
North Dakota
South Dakota
Utah
Wyoming
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5286
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Huh? We are in the top 10 states in population (#8). I'm not sure where you're getting that we don't rank high enough to support a full-time legislature.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 495
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

#8 and falling. Could lose another congressional seat at this rate.
What I'm saying is this: Texas is No. 2 in population, and it does fine with a part-time Legislature; so why does a state in such dire financial straits need one? If you're so desperate that you're going to start cutting integral services and public education, than you should cut something Michigan can live without: spending on state government.
And most of the lawmakers - by getting jobs as lawyers, consultants, or whatever - would benefit as well (if they can find jobs themselves in this economy, of course).
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5289
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 3:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Georgia may pass Michigan as number 8 by 2010, and probably definitely by 2020, but after that, New Jersey would have to post some astounding growth rates to knock us down to 10. We're stuck as number 8 or 9 for the forseeable future.

Sorry, I just don't believe you tackle a full-time problem with a part-time legislature. A part-time legislature may work at the municipal level, and even smaller cities at a municipal level, but I don't think we need to make state government part-time.

BTW, I guess you don't know much about Texas. The state's growth is largely occurring in spite of its often backwards government. The state is largely a beneficiary of circumstance.

(Message edited by lmichigan on March 23, 2007)
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 507
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 4:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BTW, I guess you don't know much about Texas.

Although I don't like to admit my redneck past, Lmich, but I was born in Texas. Fort Worth. I guess you don't give me enough credit. If our full-time Legislature was working hard full time and getting actual results, it'd be different. Everything about our state - other than the revitalization of Detroit - has been moving backward for years. Our full-time Legislature has done very little to improve anything.
From my days covering the state Capitol as a reporter, here are some of the frivolous stuff it has wasted taxpayers' money on:
Changing the hours a strip club can operate.
Changing the state's nickname.
Several attempts to get the Ten Commandments displayed in the Rotunda despite costly and lengthy legal battles across the country.
Hell, Rep. Virgil Smith of Detroit wanted to ban switchblades.

Less time for business means less time for screwing around.

Some will undoubtedly blame Granholm for everything that's gone wrong, but she's one woman. There's what? 148 state lawmakers? And to say one person - regardless of political party - could do this kind of damage in one term is simply ridiculous.

My point: If the full-time Legislature were actually working to fix the plethora of problems we face, it might be worth the cost. Less government can be better government. Isn't that what the GOP says, anyway?
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5291
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 4:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What are you in the GOP, because, you should have realized I'm most definitely not.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 509
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 6:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't say you were. I'm not in the habit of name calling. Except for Danny.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 8712
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 9:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was GOOD that this ill-conceived service tax failed. The compliance costs would have turned it into an expense instead of an income...service people are service people often because they cannot account, and to make them try to afford an accountant is adding UNDUE burden to their livelihood. Backwards and counter-productive.


It will be good to have the budget reigned in, we need to learn to live skinny and rely LESS on government. (thanks for detailing this, Rhymes)


The shakeout will be painful, but for all of those who say what of the children...find the schools that need the most, and help those teachers directly who are spending from their own pockets for them.

No reason why those who support the concept of public education cannot put a little time and money directly where it will do the most good, without ANY of it going to the administrators who always seem to treat their budgets like entitlement...pocketing as much as they can without any seeming regard for those in their care. (apologizes in advance for the two or three administrators out there who are actually ethical, honest, and for the children)


We need to find a way to get bad bureaucrats out of office, but their lockhold is too strong, so undermining them and their poor decisions by removing their budgets is a fine way to break them. Taking away their gravy train will send them to another profitable scam and out of our pockets, hopefully.



Now, for the rest of us...we need to get MORE involved in government, looking over the shoulders of our elected officials...but without any form of partisanship, that false divide has been killing our representative democracy for years...we have a golden opportunity NOW to do this within the city of Detroit and then the state...since most have given up on us, and the graviest of trainmasters have already moved on to those states where the love of money still rules.


We can break the bad habits allowed from the time when our state was rich...
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5654
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Republican Michigan Legislature is giving Granholm a HARDTIME. They want her out. I say, I want her in. I agree with her proposal for 2% excise tax. Even through those elephants don't like and they want to cut more funding for public schools and medicaid and welfare programs. Granholm is doing her best to east out troubling economy I urging all Republicans in the Michigan Legislature to just give her a chance.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 1247
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 1:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Average lawmakers spends the equivalent of half of a full-time job doing legislative work. The compensation they receive for this work is quite low and requires them to have other sources of income in order to make a living. They have relatively small staffs. They are often called traditional or citizen legislatures and they are most often found in the smallest population, more rural states.

Nevada "

And it works just fine out here. Michigan's over-paid, underworked legislature is symptomatic of the state's problems. Governments must realize money does not come from a bottomless well, and must live within their means, just as you and I.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 512
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 2:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michigan's over-paid, underworked legislature is symptomatic of the state's problems.

Ha! You're right, Ray. Maybe we can offer legislators buyouts.
"Sorry Gladstone and Grayling, you guys just aren't doing enough and we're struggling to remain competitive in the national economy. We'll turn your duties over to robots and ask Escanaba and Gaylord to take on more work. Thanks for playing, and don't forget your golden watch."
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 8724
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymes,

I haven't laughed uncontrollably in like hours...weird goodness flowing with the strange path of the moon today, it sure set a wee bit north last night...but that was just fucking brilliant.

Cheers,
John
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Rockcity2windycity
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Username: Rockcity2windycity

Post Number: 110
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 4:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Doesn't It Make Sense To Cut Educational Funding Since We're Losing Population We're Losing Students?

(Message edited by ROCKCITY2WINDYCITY on March 23, 2007)
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 137
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 6:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perfectgentleman, I say let the government keep ALL of the money we earn. Then they can dole it out as they see fit. That is, till Atlas shrugs.
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Yvette248
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Username: Yvette248

Post Number: 461
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 6:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So the latest is that the Republicans want Michigan citizens to pay a 6% sales tax on services so that businesses don't have to pay their fair share (they won't replace the Single Business Tax).

Hmmmmm.... tax the poor and let the rich go scott free???
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Psip
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Username: Psip

Post Number: 1592
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder what harebrained idea our fair, but warted, Governess will come up next?

Suggestion, stop spending! duh
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 517
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 6:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well I'll be damned.
There is a bill pending on the part-time Legislature issue by Rep. Jack Hoogendyke, R-Kalamazoo.
Of course, it likely has no chance in hell for what is both a publicity stunt and a damn good idea.
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 199
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

More taxes in a declining/hurting economy is a horrible idea. More taxes at any time is a bad idea (not quite horrible, but close). Taxes are levied as a percentage of something (income, purchase price, etc), right? So why should this increase? A couple of answers:

1. A desire by government to grow government at the taxpayers' expense.

2. An unforeseen and temporary need for more funding (ie disasters, wars, etc). Emphasis on temporary.

Who wants #1? Not me. If a change is to occur, it should be in the opposite direction, less government (and less taxes). Government is horribly inefficient compared to free enterprise/private venture businesses. Also, private free enterprise economies are self governing by rationale principles of supply and demand. This is what capitalism is, and what makes the US the most successful system on this planet.

By this principle, the failure of this new tax is a very good thing. Unfortunately, slippery politicians are just that...you can be sure those in favor of bigger government will relentlessly pursue higher taxation in one form or another. This defeat is anything but definitive, it is just a matter of time before they send the next volley.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5296
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 12:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ccabatson, you're purposefully misrepresenting why a population may want to raise taxes. Either that, or your naive.

A shrinking population may want to increase taxes to preserve services they deem valuable. If you have less people, but want to maintain the same amount or types of services, then you may want to think about raising taxes. lol I'm not necessarily advocating any particular tax at the moment, but you narrow the issue down to only two choices, as if they are the only two that exist.

I know you're a conservative, but you do recognize that another side exists, don't you? lol You layout the conservative view of government and taxes (i.e. inherently ineffecient, evil, never to be trusted, etc...) very well, but please do recognize their is another side.

(Message edited by lmichigan on March 24, 2007)
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1417
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 12:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That and the business/free market model is not always the best there is for all circumstances.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5297
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 4:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As with much in life, you need a good mix. Some times call for more of one than the other, but it's never, ever an either/or proposition.
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Rockcity2windycity
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Username: Rockcity2windycity

Post Number: 111
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 4:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll Try This Again. If We're Losing Population We're Losing Students. Why Should We Fund Education At The Same Level When We Have Less Students?
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5298
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 4:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are we talking primary education, or secondary education? And, are you talking Detroit or Michigan?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2900
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 6:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I'll Try This Again. If We're Losing Population We're Losing Students. Why Should We Fund Education At The Same Level When We Have Less Students?


fewer

Somebody slept through yet another English class...
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Yvette248
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Username: Yvette248

Post Number: 463
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 9:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ummm, maybe because the funding formula is PER STUDENT.
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Ladyinabag
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Username: Ladyinabag

Post Number: 151
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 12:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You know, I can barely afford to go to the beauty shop as it is with all of my bills. And, then they're going to tax it? Thank God it was shot down.
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 290
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

More taxes in a declining/hurting economy is a horrible idea.



The 2% tax on services was not devised as a means to increase the overall tax revenue in the state, but to replace the Single Business Tax, i.e., to shift the burden in some manner.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 722
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 1:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

The 2% tax on services was not devised as a means to increase the overall tax revenue in the state, but to replace the Single Business Tax, i.e., to shift the burden in some manner.



Tell the whole truth, the 2% service tax proposal was part of the governor's overall budget proposal that would have increased total budget spending by 2.2 percent and which would have increased the General Fund portion of the budget by 3.5 percent, which is considerably above the current inflation rate of about 2 percent.

[source]
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1418
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 3:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We don't fund education at the same level. School districts get paid by a per pupil amount. Less students, less money. That the only reason they were able to increase the per pupil amount last budget year is that there were less students to pay for.
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Treelock
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Username: Treelock

Post Number: 200
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rather than go to a part-time Legislature, I'd rather see term limits abolished but automatic lifetime benefits for lawmakers scaled way back.

The way I see it, if you go to a part-time Legislature with commensurate pay, who in their right minds would want to leave their career for six years in the Capitol? Term limits has already seriously eroded lawmakers' ability to think past the next election and led to lots of lamebrained sausage-making in Lansing.

On another topic, I'm really growing distraught with the state of budget "negotiations" as they stand. I think Sen. Bishop is playing a spoiler role, unwilling to budge whatsoever on any kind of change in the state's tax structure. He could essentially keep refusing to compromise and probably in the end win, even though he's outnumbered 2-1 by the Dems.

I just don't buy that more cuts alone are the cure for what ails us. This time next year there will be more red ink (of course, this is exactly what gets the "drown government in a bath tab" folks in a lather). I think the state is drowning and it's time residents made a small sacrifice and help invest in our own future. Higher taxes won't kill us, as at least half the rest of the country demonstrates.

Let's review the news in recent weeks: cuts announced in the state police and attorney general's office, Senate GOPers approve cutting K-12 funding 3/4 through the school year and giving less money to local governments for things like trash pickup and police and firefighters.

Are we crazy?
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Psip
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Username: Psip

Post Number: 1599
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 3:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What is wrong with state employees and others that depend on the state for their salary to have said reduced by 5%?
Sorry, these are tough times and difficult actions need to take place.
Its not like this hasn't happened in industry.
Maybe the MEA should take the lead in this. (haha)

"Let me share my gratitude and admiration for the employees of our state government. Public service is a calling and a privilege, and I feel honored to serve with them." - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 8755
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Those cuts could've been timed to create exactly that sort of response in us, Treelock.


When the MSP spokesperson came on chiming that 'police presence would be compromised', I almost could SEE and SMELL the smoky backroom where this press release was penned.

It was NOT written by the State Police PR department, likely.
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Psip
Member
Username: Psip

Post Number: 1600
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 4:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

* 52,691 state employees (excluding temps)
* 99.7% of employees are covered by the merit system
* 144 political appointees serve in the Executive Branch
* 72% of state employees are covered by labor contracts

Total benefit dollars per state employee:

* $20,908 for state classified employees
* $36,815 for state non-classified employees
* $21,428 for Environment classified employees
* $38,305 for Environment non-classified employees
* $32,490 for Transportation classified employees
* $62,225 for Transportation non-classified employees

Percent of health insurance covered by state:

* 95% for state employees

http://www.gpponline.org/State CategoryCriteria.aspx?id=114&r elatedid=3
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 355
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 5:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We should not be allowing government employees at any level to be in unions. I think it is pretty obvious by now that operating in a union environment does not promote efficiency, excellence or accountability to the public.
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Rockcity2windycity
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Username: Rockcity2windycity

Post Number: 112
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 6:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank You Bob And Yvette For Answering. Livernoisyard You Must Be One Of Those Keyboard Warriors. I Guess You Told Me Huh? PFFFT
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2482
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 6:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, boo-freakin'-hoo!

Now the guv and her cronies in Lansing will have to live within their means...just like the rest of us.

BTW, has anyone heard anything about cutting the guv's husband's staff (like maybe eliminating it)?
Elected officials having to (gasp), pay part of their own health care costs? How about taking steps to eliminate lifetime healthcare and other perks for elected officials?

Lansing is quick to reach into our pockets when times are tough, it's a shame that they can't do the same on their end.
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Futurecity
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Username: Futurecity

Post Number: 494
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 7:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Time to eliminate 6,000 fat state bureaucrats, their bloated salaries and their "golden parachute" gigantic package of benefits. Time to throw them out on the street. They have been sitting on their asses far too long. No more stealing the hard-earned money from the people of this state. No more sucking the life out of the hard working people of this state.

Time to slash the remaining fat state bureaucrats "golden parachute" gigantic package of benefits by 50%.

This would save over a half-billion dollars. Combine this with the spending cuts Grandstand already agreed to and VIOLA! Balanced budget!!
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2487
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 7:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where's TABOR when we need it?
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 202
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 11:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The argument that a shrinking population would want to increase taxes to maintain services makes no sense. Less people=less volume of tax funded services=less cost for said services=less (not more) taxes.

My impression is that an argument in favor of position (more taxes) that hinges on an assertion that there are 2 sides to an argument, therefore one should respect the alternate option for the simple reason that it exists is the weakest type of argument that I can imagine. In fact, it is a ringing endorsement of its' opposite by virtue of its' weakness...and that is before the debate has even begun. So...thanks Lmichigan, and, yes, I know that you didn't intend to be helpful to the contrary position.
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 214
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 7:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Like I said, she is right back at it....15-20% double dipping death tax is now being proposed....Unbelievable!! Unfortunately, not really unbelievable. Hopefully this will get defeated as well.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 366
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 7:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I heard one of the Democrat leaders in the state house talking about a tax on gross receipts again similar to the SBT, which means you would be taxed even if you were LOSING MONEY. Granholm and the Dems ideas are antiques and should be put into a museum of failure.
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Bob
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Post Number: 1420
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Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 9:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The GOP Senate will never let the new business tax be similar to the SBT. Granholm the and the Dems may try that, but the GOP Senate will never let it fly.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 217
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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a scary lady...how long before something slips by the Senate and lands on us? I hope you are right and they hold the line on Jennifer. More likely they will compromise, letting some tax increases pass in exchange for spending cuts,,,never a good idea to spend good money after bad, IMO.
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Jt1
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Post Number: 8640
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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now the question is after all of this discussion about how horrible Granholm is (and I don't care for her either);

Where is Boshop and the Republs plans that they had done weeks ago? They dtill have not unveiled a full plan as Bishop stated was in existence.

Granhom's plans are horrible but she is presenting some. When will our state repubs do the same?

Saying no without an alternative is unacceptable in government.
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Jt1
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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One more thing: Her estate tax is appalling.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 218
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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 1:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sort of...as not to decide is, in fact, to decide. Doing very little allowing for the SBT to expire, and not allowing for increased taxes, by exclusion leaves no choice in the budget other than to cut spending....an elegant plan (for a non plan, that is).
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Mcp001
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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 8:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Bishop's plan was released on Thursday/Friday of last week.
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Jt1
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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 10:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks - I had not seen it and now stand corrected.

Do you have a link to his plan.
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Mcp001
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Post Number: 2493
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 8:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a start.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 297
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 10:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Her estate tax is appalling.

Hardly.

On the philosophical level, the argument for increasing concentration of wealth in this country is frankly laughable.

On the practical level, Granholm's proposal would derive only 60% of the estate tax revenue that the state had formerly received as a share of the federal estate tax (just under $120 million in the proposed tax, versus just under $200 million distributed in 2005 from the federal tax, that distribution having since been eliminated).
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Perfectgentleman
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Zephyrprocess -

Whats laughable is concentrating wealth in government. Confiscating assets that have already been taxed is immoral. The so-called "rich folks" leave their estates to family members, charities and other foundations where generally the money is put to good use.

Are you saying that government has a better record of investing OUR money then the private sector does? If so, please provide examples. Prosperity springs from the private sector, government has become an overblown, incompetent, corrupt, sloppy, inefficient bureaucracy that creates more problems than it solves.

Why do liberals insist on putting government in charge of things that CITIZENS should be doing. Is it too much for you to manage your own estate planning, health care, retirement plan and education? How many other aspects of your life would you like to give up control over?

Five biggest government programs for 2007:

Government Pensions: $875 billion
Government Health Care: $850 billion
Government Education: $750 billion
National Defense: $650 billion
Government Welfare: $425 billion

(Message edited by perfectgentleman on March 27, 2007)
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Mcp001
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 1:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a question for you, Zephyrprocess: Why should someone have to pay a tax just because they died?
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 300
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

mcp01 and Perfectgentleman

It's redistribution of wealth. There, I said it.
The 5 programs described indicate as much.

Rich folks leave portions of their estates to charities and other foundations because of the tax implications.

Rich folks who are dead don't pay taxes: they're dead; they don't own anything.

quote:

Confiscating assets that have already been taxed is immoral.

Anything taxed once gets taxed again because money circulates. Your argument is that taxation is immoral.

Excessive concentration of wealth thwarts the ascension of merit based on skills and inherent abilities. How many personal examples do you need?

(My personal weather forecaster says that his private satellite images indicate that rain may may make for slow-going on the toll roads home from my job supporting charity healthcare for the poor.)
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Mcp001
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 7:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My, my, my, are you generous with other peoples money.

Now that I've gotten a confession on your stance, here's my next question: Given that you feel that it's perfectly appropriate to tax someone just because they died, why stop there?

Since much of the recently decease were buried with jewelry, nice clothing, etc, so why allow that to continue?

Surely much of that can be removed prior to burial (or after) and sold to pay for your redistributionist goals.

After all, why should a little grave robbing stop you when it comes to paying for government?
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Psip
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Post Number: 1663
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 7:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"It's redistribution of wealth. There, I said it. "

No thanks, Its been tried before, and didn't work.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 224
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 8:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Class envy=antiamerican...there, I said it. Our identity is based on the principle of freedom or individual liberty. Capitalism is the vehicle for this freedom. A free enterprise system provides incentive to achieve and stimulate the economy in the only effective way of doing so. Individual ambition for wealth, no, achievement rewarded by wealth is the core of our identity and what seperates us from everyone else.

Are taxes and government necessary? Absolutely. For what? The protection of the above mentioned individual freedoms in which contractual agreements between buyers and sellers are enforced.

How do you determine the amount of these taxes and from whom to collect them? IMO, cut out the middle man and link taxes to the process of all contractual interactions as a small percentage fee. I know this sounds like Granholms proposal, but that is not the case, as this would not be lumped on top of all of the other taxes, rather this would be the only tax remaining (all others eliminated). Furthermore, these taxes would be completely voluntary. One could elect not to participate, and render the contractual arrangement unenforcable (at their own risk). I don't seriously think this will happen, but that it should be a foundation for the development of future tax codes as an ideal end point.

In the end, governments role would shrink to include lawmaking pursuant to individual freedom, and contractual arrangements, enforcement of said laws, and a judiciary to sort out the meaning of said laws. As far as social services (read as entitlements), these would be limited to catastrophic circumstances only...catastrophic health care, financial support for the truly impaired with the first assistance rendered to be that of vocational training/placement, and.....that is about it, privatize everything else.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 301
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mcp001 & Psip:
Once again, no comment at all on the corrosive effects of the excessive accumulation of wealth. Do you assert that none exist?

Graduated tax rates are redistributive. Did you miss the memo: we have those now! Are you advocating a poll tax structure, exclusively?

And as for burying the family jewels--did you think I would object to that more strenuously than using them as alumni donations to encourage "legacy admissions"?

Ccbatson: our identity certainly includes principles of individual liberty, but not to the exclusion of networks of interdependence and support; that's where protection from the catastrophic enters. But I thank you for presenting a position that doesn't reductio to "taxation=theft."
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 302
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 10:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

EXTRA BONUS QUESTION: how did the experiment with landed aristocracy work out?
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 228
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The experiment with a free enterprise system is yet to be truly started. We are the closest thing to it (not close enough for my taste, but...). While the left seems to be a self hated ilk, the fact is that this/our system is, by far, the best that there is to known civilization. If a mixed/partial free enterprise system yields that result (and we know this to be the reason for our successes, because it is the sole feature that sets us apart organizationally from other economic systems), imagine what heights we would attain if we were closer to this ideal.

I do assert that the accumulation of wealth is non corrosive when considering the big picture. Why? wealth accumulates by success in selling a product, or service, in order to establish more wealth, reinvestment must occur which translates into employment, wages, and economic growth. In short, supply side and trickle down theory. Individually are there misuses of wealth? Sure there are, however, so long as it is within the law (and/or not infringing on individuals rights/freedoms) then it is nobodies business, and certainly nobodies right to take that wealth away, or limit an individuals' freedom to accumulate it.

The taxation=theft and no government=best government is the territory of Libertarians, with whom I occasionally agree, and often disagree.
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Perfectgentleman
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Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, many states don't have estate taxes, these so-called rich people will merely establish residency elsewhere and take their assets with them like has happened in the past.

The vast majority of Granholm's ideas have been tried here or in other states and have failed. Estate taxes are double taxation because the cash left in an estate has already been taxed at least once already.

The kind of taxation we have today by government is theft. Money is confiscated from working people which and is used to fund failed programs that most Americans don't even support. I think the thousands of dollars per year that I have to surrender to the government would be better spent by me to help my family.

The tax would be levied on estates worth $1 million or higher, a small company or family farm could accumulate that kind of value easily.

(Message edited by perfectgentleman on March 27, 2007)
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 303
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Perfectgentleman--please read the details of the proposal. The lower limit is $2 million, and the bill makes explicit exceptions for family farms and businesses.
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Perfectgentleman
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Post Number: 381
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 1:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Zephyrprocess -

You are correct, she had previously tried and failed to enact a 5% tax at $1 million in the 2005 budget, although the latest version is at $2 million.

The latest version however is at rates of 8-16%, so it is a game, raise the threshold but raise the rate as well, either way the result will be driving wealth from the state and failing to raise the anticipated revenues.

Nobody with assets of $2 million dollars is going to allow the state to get over 300 grand of the money they intend to leave to their heirs. The estate planners and attorneys I am sure are already gearing up to find methods to avoid it, many of them will be detrimental to Michigan.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 304
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 2:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Those are all reasons why the decision to end the estate tax at the federal level (which had also included sharing revenues with the states) was a poor choice.
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Mcp001
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Post Number: 2502
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is a new one:"corrosive effects of the excessive accumulation of wealth."

I didn't realize that having money in my pocket or my bank account was detrimental to my own well-being.

The only reason that I didn't comment on the "corrosive effects", is because I don't see this as a problem. Money belongs to the people who go out and earn it.

Get up earlier in the morning. Put in longer hours at work. Make calculated risks with their own money. Go to school. This is how people make money (and eventually pass it on to their family).

And once they earn it, it is their's, and no one else's.

To claim otherwise takes an unbelievable amount of gall.
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Psip
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Post Number: 1682
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


sign
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Mikeg
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Post Number: 746
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

....no comment at all on the corrosive effects of the excessive accumulation of wealth.



Well, I have noticed on certain occasions that when I'm carrying a large wad of cash that it starts to burn a hole in my pocket - is that what you mean?
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Psip
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Username: Psip

Post Number: 1683
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"EXTRA BONUS QUESTION: how did the experiment with landed aristocracy work out?"

About the same as the Bolshevik Revolution and the Chinese Civil War.
Where do I send the Hazmat team to collect my corrosive cash?
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Post Number: 578
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 7:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is a new one:"corrosive effects of the excessive accumulation of wealth."
I didn't realize that having money in my pocket or my bank account was detrimental to my own well-being.


C'mon, Mcp, never heard of "money burning a hole in your pocket"?
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Mthouston
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Username: Mthouston

Post Number: 796
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 7:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Where do I send the Hazmat team to collect my corrosive cash?



To the Federal Government. They seem to have plenty of cash (mine and yours).
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 230
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Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 10:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Check out the logic on this one; What you get when you phase down (and hopefully, out) the federal double dipping death tax is a State version of the same thing, and this is proof that the federal tax should not have been eliminated???? It is a bad idea (even some liberals don't like this one), so eliminating it is a good thing, not something to resurrect in a different form.

Imagine this, as it is very possible, if the Dems are in power in 2010 when the Bush tax cuts term expires, the federal death tax is reinstituted, Granholms state death tax passes, and, voila' triple death taxes. Would they deduct one round of death taxes to calculate the other (yeah right), or keep the percentage for each on the total gross value of the estate.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 306
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 6:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Psip--so if the landed aristocracy didn't work any better than the Bolshevik Revolution, why not? Mcp001 would tell you "And once they earn it, it is their's[sic], and no one else's." Call me a flaming moderate if you will, but don't we have as much of a social interest in thwarting an aristocracy as we do in thwarting Bolshevism?

Ccbatson--I'm waiting to hear about your flaming outrage at the "annually dipping" property tax. Surely that's more exasperating than taxes that are merely "double dipping" or "triple dipping."

Neither have any of you discussed the horror graduated income tax rates.

And finally, where were you all in the discussion of affirmative action, when the prevailing dissent argued that low socio-economic status--not race--is the disadvantage that needed to be addressed?

quote:

Without the estate tax, you in effect will have an aristocracy of wealth, which means you pass down the ability to command the resources of the nation based on heredity rather than merit.
--Warren Buffett

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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 234
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 8:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Warren Buffett? Is he the expert? Yes he is very wealthy (good for him), that doesn't make him an economist, or sociologist. Try Ayn Rand's take on inheritance.

Will some squander it? Sure. Did every beneficiary earn the wealth? Yes, and no, a persons' earned assets are his/hers to do with as they please, if giving it to their heirs is what they choose, nobody else has any right to those assets. When wealth is squandered, it goes away, like natural selection, these trust fund babies' fortunes will fizzle out.

However, if they have any ability and/or drive, they may well pump it back into the economy, succeed and maintain that wealth. It is the individuals choice and opportunity to take advantage of, or not. To allow the government to say otherwise is to directly hamper a persons' individuals' right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 235
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 8:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Regarding property taxes; your right, I object to them as well, but it is a bigger problem and objection than to just the tax itself. The issue is public schools....they should not be "public" in my (and many others) opinion.

Privatize the schools, but you have to make education mandatory, so, it will still be a tax of sorts, but the system could be a private style system and benefit greatly from the incentives of a free market system.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 236
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 8:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I did discuss the graduated tax system, rather an alternate to it, in my post of Tuesday the 27th above, you must have missed it.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 237
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 8:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Affirmative action...I didn't touch on it here because it is too far removed from the topic.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 238
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 8:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last on your list..Aristocracy, that one is easy, in a pure free enterprise system, it doesn't exist...at least not as I would define it. Wealth is determined by merit (and, yes, there will be some trust fund babies, but they are insignificant in the big picture and fade away over time).
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Danny
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 9:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Shutdown the government Granholm so we could teach those neo-cons a lesson not to play with themselves.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 240
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Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Got that backwards Danny, who will suffer most from the shutdown? Government employees, that's who...hardly a bunch of neo-cons (what a stupid term that is BTW) last time I checked.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 244
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Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 1:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also, property taxes aren't arrived at as a percentage of earned income, so the perrenial dipping aspect is not straight forward. What if you don't own property?

As I said before, I am not in favor of this system as it is anyway, so I won't spend too much time defending it.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 307
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Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 1:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ccbatson--
quote:

in a pure free enterprise system, it doesn't exist...at least not as I would define it. Wealth is determined by merit


Well, that's great, but I think we'd both agree that we're not living in the world as you would define it. Inherited wealth, as contrasted to earned wealth, exists, and is determined by the merit of having chosen the right parents.

My point about affirmative action is that the position which encourages a (race-neutral) focus on redressing the disadvantages of low socio-economic status, implicitly grants that high socio-economic status creates advantages that are not meritocratic.

"[T]he perrenial dipping aspect [of property taxes] is not straight forward"?!?!? What could be more straightforward than receiving a twice annual bill for the same house you lived in last year, and the year before that, and the year before that?

And finally, I cite Buffett for the benefit of those who would assert that inheritance taxes derive from an animosity to free market capitalism. There is no necessity to equate inheritance rights with property rights, not even from a Randian perspective.
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Ccbatson
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Post Number: 246
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Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 10:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The very minor issue of achieving wealth by inheritance cannot supercede the rights of the individual that earned the wealth to do with it as he/she pleases (including leaving it to their heirs). No more need be said, you can't sacrifice liberty and freedom just because you are jealous or don't agree with how somebody spends THEIR money. This is illustrative of how inheritance rights are the same as property rights from a Randian and logical perspective both.

Redistribution of wealth is a core principle of socialism, and lookm at how miserable of a failure that approach has been. Here is a question that has been puzzling me...If so many people want socialism, why not relocate to one of the many socialist countries throughout the world?

Utopian socialist societies have equalization of wealth as their holy grail. But, it is just as elusive as said grail (never achieved in all of history). Furthermore, zero incentive=zero ambition=zero progress/stagnation which is fine if that is your goal. Fortunately, our system is based on the opposite vision.

Again, as I am opposed to property taxes, I am not really interested, motivated, or inclined to defend them, so I will concede to you on that point.
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Mcp001
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Post Number: 2507
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Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In no particular order:

Rhymeswithrawk, groan :-)

As for the rest: What's Warren Buffet's, is Warren Buffet's. What he wants to do with his money is his right. However, he does not have any right to tell me what to do with mine (nor does he have any claim on it for that matter).

A graduated tax rates make absolutely no sense in a free republic. In a country in which everyone is to be treated equally (that pesky 14th Amendment comes to mind), it's blatantly hypocritical when people profess that everyone should be treated equally, yet when it comes to what they perceive as other people having "too much", they feel that the must somehow "owe" more than the rest of us, and will do whatever it takes to see that those with "too much" are separated from their money/property for the sake of "fairness".

As for AA, do some digging on this site, my opinion on this topic (and last year's election) is well documented.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 311
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Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 11:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ccbatson--If inheritance taxes interfere with "the rights of the individual that earned the wealth to do with it as he/she pleases (including leaving it to their heirs)" then the same would be true for your "contract tax." Why may the state intrude into the economic affairs of consenting adults involved in a contract? You've not established a wit of difference.

You're a subtle enough reader to realize that I have never argued for an equalization of wealth, but rather for an approach that averts the dangers of excessive accumulation--e.g., where extraordinary wealth translates into the power to undermine a free market. So let's tear up that socialism straw man together, shall we?

The argument resides around the extremes. You've acknowledged the benefits of a social system that provides for relief from catastrophic loss, even though providing such relief undermines incentives to protect oneself from that kind of loss. I have similar concerns about the state of extraordinary concentration of wealth.

As I asked previously "Call me a flaming moderate if you will, but don't we have as much of a social interest in thwarting an aristocracy as we do in thwarting Bolshevism?" I suppose your answer is "No--an aristocracy is fine, provided that we arrive there according to the correct principles."

Mcp001--I did dig into the archives of this site, and while there are plenty of instances in which you criticize race-based affirmative action, I could not find any cases in which you similarly confronted those who wished to replace it with considerations of socio-economic status.

And since you continue to hold the most extreme position of absolute property rights--"[Buffett] does not have any right to tell me what to do with [my money]," aka "taxation=theft", it's clear that your answer to "How shall we most appropriately fund the state government?" is "Don't."

I'll continue this discussion with those who do.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2509
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Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 12:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Mcp001--I did dig into the archives of this site, and while there are plenty of instances in which you criticize race-based affirmative action, I could not find any cases in which you similarly confronted those who wished to replace it with considerations of socio-economic status.



Why should socio-economic status have any bearing on how people are treated?

Read the 14th Amendment again, then get back to me.

quote:

And since you continue to hold the most extreme position of absolute property rights--"[Buffett] does not have any right to tell me what to do with [my money]," aka "taxation=theft", it's clear that your answer to "How shall we most appropriately fund the state government?" is "Don't."



I never realized that recognizing what clearly belongs to people was an "extreme" position.

As for Lansing's woes, state government should be funded just as the federal government was funded for a century and a half: with clearly defined fees and tariffs (or in the state's case - sales tax on the final sale of goods).

With clearly spelled out responsibilities, it should also have clearly spelled out revenue sources. This would also eliminate the problem with the current structural deficit.
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Zephyrprocess
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Post Number: 312
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 1:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sales tax? Why does my exchange with another free individual allow the state to take my wealth?

Tariffs? I'd mistaken you for someone who believed in free markets.
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 251
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 11:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Zephyrprocess; I think you missed the part of my proposal where the contract tax would be completely optional. If the parties want the sanction and protection of the government in enforcing the terms of the arrangement, then they can choose to pay for it. If not, they will have an arrangement that may not be honored by one or the other of the parties entering into the agreement. Without the insurance secured by this tax, the contract is not legal or enforcable.

It is not moderate to advocate governmental control over the accumulation of "extreme wealth" (first, define that to everyone's satisfaction), it is socialist/anti-capitalist and anti-american.

For my part, I believe I could be criticized by purists on the right (and called too moderate) in conceding the appropriateness of social supports in the circumstances of catastrophic loss...but no free meal tickets in such a system.

The primary goal would be to rapidly reestablish an individuals self sufficiency (and dignity). This could take the form of loans and funding of retraining where possible. In very rare instances, no remediation may be the end point in which case the individual would become essentially a ward of the state. More often, the support would take the form of an investment to be paid back (with fair market interest) at a later date.
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 254
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 1:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would not say "don't fund the state government" I would say gradually defund the state and federal government down to an appropriate role and size for government.

The single unique service that the government has to offer is the rule of law. More specifically to legislate, enforce, and judge the interpretation of laws. The scope of said laws should limit themselves to the protection of individual and property rights. The tool that the government has (but nobody else has) is the threat of the use of force. Domestically, by enforcing laws (imprisonment, seizure of property) by use of force if necessary (and where clearly allowed by law). Internationally, in the form of military defense.
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 315
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 1:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

CCbatson--"don't fund the state government" was the conclusion of Mcp's position.

It seems that "fund the state government via a mechanism that is completely optional" is yours.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5330
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 4:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Zephyrprocess, in your opinion, should government even exist? lol
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 316
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 8:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LMichigan--I'm the one (of the three of us discussing) who believes that government should exist, at least in anything near to its current form. My post at 1:01pm was a Socratic questioning of Mcp001's position.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 759
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 10:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Partisan bickering and brinkmanship in Lansing over a major budget crisis is nothing new. Will history repeat itself?

From the Grosse Pointe News editions of May 7th, May 14th, June 4th and June 18th, 1959:

Thursday, April 30, 1959
SENATE REPUBLICANS maintained a stubborn position that there is no crisis, and more than 28,000 employes will go payless until May 15, unless the State Legislature produces more cash. The State Administrative Board halted all payments from the depleted General Fund with the exception of May's welfare due this week.

Friday, May 1, 1959
THE LEGISLATURE in Lansing is still deadlocked in a showdown battle over taxes and the cash crisis. The State began to feel pressure from mounting problems resulting from action Wednesday, which cut off payments from the general fund. Michigan missed its first payroll yesterday.

Tuesday, May 12, 1959
A REPUBLICAN PLAN to put an end to payless paydays
for 27,000 State employes was endorsed by Democratic Governor Williams, Monday. The plan, presented by Senator John P. Smeekens (R., Coldwater) is not a permanent solution to the cash crisis, said Williams, but it will allow enough cash to be "squeezed out" of restricted funds to pay employees who have been waiting since last Thursday for their checks. A mixup by Democratic legislators delayed the passage of the Senate approved bill, so that the paychecks could not be released Monday night. Instead, they were to be ready Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thursday, May 28, 1959
THE NEW TAX PROPOSAL by the House Taxation Committee, endorsed by Governor Williams, is a "piggy back" tax on Federal Income tax. Under this plan an individual would pay seven per cent on the amount of his Federal income tax to the State. Corporations would be taxed 12 per cent and financial institutions 14 per cent. Also under this proposal, business activities and intangible taxes would be cancelled and the corporate franchise levy would be virtually repealed. This proposal would net the State an annual increase in revenue of 140 million dollars.

Thursday, June 11, 1959
THE "PIGGY BACK" income tax, backed by Governor Williams, was defeated for the second time, Wednesday, by a vote of 54 to 53. A positive vote of 56 was needed to pass the bill. Williams said that he will support a flat rate income tax proposed by Rep. Rollo G. Conlin, chairman of the House Taxation Committee.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2511
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 12:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

CCbatson--"don't fund the state government" was the conclusion of Mcp's position.



That was quite a leap to get to that position from my posts. Are you going to claim that I'm responsible for Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance, the Kennedy assassinations or the crash at Roswell next?
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 317
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 4:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Though you've asserted a preference for sales taxes and tariffs, you've not established how that is consistent with your position on absolute property rights and free markets.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2513
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 5:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a use, albeit significantly limited from where it currently stands today, for government on both the state and federal level.

On a federal level: protecting all of its citizens from external threats, from internal threats, mediate disputes as well as a limited number of specifically enumerated roles is all that our government was envisioned to be.

On the state level: with the exception of the external threats, its duties are the same.

Property rights are specifically protected through the process set up to mediate disputes, specifically regarding property in whatever its form, and to a lesser degree, the mechanisms set up to protect against internal threats.

This is also conducive to supporting free markets in that the roles of those taking part in exchanging goods and/or services have something to fall back upon, should any disputes arise.
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 255
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 10:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Zephyrprocess..?? You miss the nuance completely. It is not a light switch (yes, or no to government) but a range of government involvement that I address. Of course, I would prefer a gradual move towards smaller government (not no government). Very similar to what Mcp001 is proposing as a matter of fact.

"Completely optional" not a bad idea to have that as one of the choices, but I wasn't saying that this should be applied to all of government, just taxes...2 very different things.

Circumstances would compel anyone exercising good judgement to pay the tax on important contractual relationships lest they suffer the consequences of an unenforcable interaction. Similar to a persons' right to decide on whether they should carry insurance (for themselves, exempt auto as it involves covering others), or buy an extended warranty.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 395
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 12:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Socialist programs need capitalists to pay for them. I have read Granholm's proposed budget and there is more than enough cuts that could be made before we should think about raising taxes. Further penalizing productive people is not the answer.
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 318
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 12:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ccbatson:
quote:

You miss the nuance completely. It is not a light switch


I believe we would both agree that a government which exists exclusively for the purpose of enforcing contracts (broadly defined) is not "anything near to its current form"--the qualifier I used in my original statement.

quote:

"Completely optional" not a bad idea to have that as one of the choices, but I wasn't saying that this should be applied to all of government, just taxes...2 very different things.


...which is why I used the phrase to describe the funding mechanism you had proposed.

Perfectgentleman:
quote:

Further penalizing productive people is not the answer.


...I think this is how we got started on dead people and those who inherit wealth LOL!
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 261
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 12:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

But you are penalizing the productive person, albeit posthumously, by taxing away his or her assets that they chose (before their demise) to give to whomever (their heirs in this case). A will is a directive made by a person (while still living of course) pertaining to their assets and what to do with them. It does not matter that the terms of said directive are executed posthumously, it is still violating an individuals rights to dispose of their assets, AFTER THE TAXES HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID ON THEM, as they see fit. As long as it is within the law (ie not to fund cousin Osama's personal bomb harness factory), government should not be allowed to seize the assets regardless of why and to what end they will be used.

Analagous hypothetical: Senator...let's call her Delosy Reed, wants to accelerate research in the pursuit of a cure for breast cancer (a great cause), in order to do so, she is going to levy a new tax on everyone to do it. This tax is taken from net income (after general income tax). It will be in effect for anyone making more than 80,000 dollars, and it will be doubled and taken from all estates.

Why stop there (or anywhere, for that matter), how about a 100 percent estate tax for everyone?
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 320
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

This [hypothetical] tax is taken from net income (after general income tax). It will be in effect for anyone making more than 80,000 dollars, and it will be doubled and taken from all estates.

...or on any income up to $97,500, excepting interest and dividends.

quote:

Why stop there (or anywhere, for that matter), how about a 100 percent estate tax for everyone?

Because my ethical universe is populated by values that may exist in tension--e.g., security vs. privacy; or individual liberty vs. freedom from harm by others--I find that we make this kind of hard decision ALL THE TIME.

Purpose, means, consistency with common precendents...those are all components of the persuasive argument for one solution or another.

For instance, I am very comfortable with an interpretation of the Second Amendment that does not protect my right to own weaponry based on thermonuclear devices. You appear to be comfortable with prohibitions on building bomb harness factories (really?!? sure, no bomb factories--I can see that--but the harnesses? what about the factory that makes the canvas straps that are part of the harnesses? It's something about which we'd discuss, argue, perhaps compromise.)
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 262
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 10:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Umm...in case you hadn't noticed the bomb harness comment was a joke.

You are throwing in subjects completely unrelated to the topic of this thread as illustration of how things are seldom black or white, and I get that. However, it is distracting from the main point which is the Michigan economy "crisis" and the different philosophies of how to best address it.

Granholm, as illustrative of the liberal approach, sees a solution by increasing taxes. The conservative state legislators are pushing for decreased spending primarily. In this state, at this time, I would argue that the tolerance for further taxation is very low (and rightfully so), making Granholms' approach very unpopular. She is trying (and failing) to dress it up as something that it is not. Fortunately, we see through it and the ideas are being blocked (for now).

In the bigger picture it is a philosophical debate between bigger government (liberal approach), and smaller government (the ideal conservative position*). The latter being my preference for the many reasons herein ellucidated.

*I wish this were the real predominant conservative platform, sadly it isn't, with the current crop of Republicans spending like a bunch of drunken Democrats (is that a redundant descriptor of liberals?)
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Ccbatson
Member
Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 274
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 10:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now its' close the schools if you don't agree to increased taxes...don't mention that the schools being closed are truly in need of closing and that the education is a function of staff/teachers to student ratios, not how many empty rooms in old buildings in disrepair there are.

It is the old liberal game, make it look like those opposed to taxes are in favor of starving and oppressing the vulnerable in order to convince them that if they don't agree to increased taxes, that they are villains. I hope we/the public are smart enough to see through that ploy.

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