February 20, 2004

me = unabashed pro-tax-cuts person

This is why tax cuts are not evil:

Is it falling down? No. Is it ugly? Yes. So I fully admit that I am using my tax cut for a non-essential aesthetic upgrade of my life. It is not something I need, but of course I don't need this computer, either; I could etch the Bleat on a clay tablet with a stylus, put it the yard and you could come by to read it at your leisure. The point is that I'm going to be employing quite a few people by the time this is done. It'll be like the last big improvement to Jasperwood, The Stairs. I'm still amazed at how much economic activity that job produced. This is why I won't vote for anyone who raises my taxes. It's not fair to the rug salesman and the day laborers and union electricians. Or to the people to whom they will give the money I give them. And so on. I'm always a bit bemused by people who say well, if you can afford those stairs, you can afford to pay more taxes. Yes, but if I pay more taxes, I can't pay the people to pay the stairs. So? The old stairs were ugly and crumbling, but they worked. But the new stairs increase the value of my home, in addition to putting money in other people's pockets -- seven people worked on those steps. And got paid. And paid taxes on what they got paid. Why does this sound like radical heresy?

Posted by Tim at February 20, 2004 05:37 PM | TrackBack


The first thing that you have to realize is that taxes are not in and of themselves evil Taxes pay for the roads, the police, the fire dept., the schools, and a thousand other things. Stipulated: there is some waste of tax money. That's a different discussion

So if you cut taxes, you have to cut spending. Where does the spending get cut? In small areas, like the local city departments. And then there's a snowball effect: -The guy who drives the streetsweeper see that due to the budget cuts, he's not getting a raise, and his health benefits will no longer be paid for by the city.
-So his paycheck is actually smaller because his health premiums are taken out.
-Now he feels unappreciated, so he really doesn't care too much about whether or not the street looks as good as usual. He no longer takes pride in his job.
-He starts to fill out job applications, until he finds a better job, and leaves his post.
-The city is actually relieved to see him go because they were going to cut back on the street cleaning anyway.
-Since the street cleaning has been cut back, the city becomes slightly dirtier. People start to patronize the shops & restaurants in another area.
-What little tax revenue was left gets lower due to failing businesses.
-And the cycle begins anew

Last summer, the state of IL lifted the sales tax on their gasoline. I think it was somewhere around 6 cents/gallon. This sounds like a great deal. You save on a tank of gas!

But the consequences reach past this.

Keeping the math simple, on a 10 gallon fill-up you saved 60 cents. If you filled up once a week, over the summer you saved $7.20.

Assuming that 100,000 people (a conservative estimate) also bought the same amount of gas, the state lost $720,000 in tax revenue.

This money is used to maintain the roads. But it's gone.

The tax cuts saved me $97 on my taxes. How much did you save? And was it worth the breaking of our economy & infrastructure to do it?

Posted by: Easy at February 20, 2004 07:45 PM

Test comment!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at February 20, 2004 10:38 PM

Ahhhh, I love it when people tell me that I should be happy to give MY money to the government because they help so many others. Maybe, just maybe, the answer is smaller government? Stay out of our lives a little more and let NGO's and religious charities deal with social problems a little more often.

As for 'waste', well that depends on who's defining it. I'm sure many would describe defense spending as waste. AARP members might think education spending is waste. Jersey is upset because their federal funding for beach erosion is being cut. Maybe New Jersey ought to be responsible for their own darn beaches, eh?

National defense, interstate transportation, maintainence of national parks... what else should Washington be doing for us?

Posted by: Ted at February 23, 2004 07:49 AM

"Maybe, just maybe, the answer is smaller government?"
That's a different discussion.

The question I raised was whether or not taxes in and of themselves are a bad thing, and whether or not the tax cuts initiated by Dubya were a hindrance, or a help. This country was almost out of debt. Once we eliminated the deficit, we could have cut taxes almost a third without cutting any spending.

"National defense, interstate transportation, maintainence of national parks... what else should Washington be doing for us?"
Perhaps the federal court system? Regulation of interstate commerce? The FBI? Disaster relief? (Just a few off the top of my head. A little bit of thought would probably produce more.)

But once again, the question isn't about how things should be, it's about whether or not cutting taxes is a good solution to the current fiscal woes of the USA.
You can't cut taxes and increase spending. At least I don't see how you can. If you know a way, please tell me so that I can explain it to my creditors.

Also, please note that I was not just talking about money sent to Washington DC. There is a trickle down effect from all of this that has crippled almost every state government in the US, and many city governments as well.

As an employee of one of the cities affected, I'm seeing it firsthand.

Posted by: Easy at February 23, 2004 02:23 PM

We agree that you can't cut taxes and increase spending, which is exactly what's happening with the current administration. I don't advocate raising taxes though, I want less spending. Your examples of what the federal government are good too, and the kind of overarching high-level functions I envision.

If states and cities want to raise taxes, fine. That way, the citizens most affected get a say, but Uncle Sam is already bloated and sucks enough of my paycheck away.

Posted by: Ted at February 24, 2004 07:30 AM

All that I ever said was that taxes in and of themselves are not evil, and that tax cuts were not a good idea until you get caught up on any deficits, and /or cut spending too.

Posted by: Easy at February 24, 2004 03:51 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?