Monday, November 22, 2010

Editorial: Trust ideology over sense

After wasting half his column on the 1070-boycott non-story, the unnamed Courier editor turns to the heroic efforts of our state legislators to address our historic lack of government revenue by reducing revenues further.

Building on Saturday's report on the ATRA presentation at the capitol, the editor touts the fabulous new ideas of our two newbie legislators, which, oddly, sound a lot like their old ideas: cut taxes on business.

That supply-side argument has been utterly demolished by facts on the ground since the Reagan debacle, but they can't let it go. After all, isn't it just common sense that less taxation of business will create more jobs? Isn't it just common sense that a mystical supreme being made all the rocks and bushes by hand? Faith springs eternal.

The JLBC, our state accountants, gave a presentation to legislators last week stating unequivocally that recent proposals to further cut taxes on business will be completely counterproductive and should not go forward. Our legislators, thrust into leadership positions without the experience to back them up, are simply discarding the advice of staff experts who've been working on our budgets in many cases for decades.

They admit that these tax-cut proposals are not even supposed to have any effect on the current downturn, phasing them in over years. It's purely an ideological move. Further, the JLBC reports that "Between FY 2007 and FY 2010,
Corporate tax receipts declined from $986 million to $413 million," indicating not only that businesses are paying half the taxes they were three years ago, but their total contribution to an 8.5-billion-clam budget is already very low.

And while it's true that personal-property taxes are much lower relative to business property taxes, shifting the burden from profitable businesses to strapped and fixed-income homeowners is just not gonna fly, so we can count on seeing that piece negotiated away in the legislative process, leaving us with more looming revenue losses.

These guys are fiddling with ideology while the state burns out. The editor ought to be able to see that and call it for what it is.

1 comment:

Stew said...

Don't forget 'newbie' Karen Fann is a Business Owner.