Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Posts Tagged ‘Redistribution of wealth’

Victor Davis Hanson on why Wall Street is still worried

Posted by Liberty on March 12, 2009

Obamafusion

Just a few of the money lines:

“A redistributive economy in which government ensures an equality of result is Wall Street’s worst nightmare.”

And:

“Given the amount of debt the US is incurring (and the decades needed to pay it off), given the loose talk about the ‘rich’, and given the rumors about nationalization, investors are unsure whether the United States will remain a safe haven for investment, or even offer a climate for profit-making, since it would either be taxed to the point of seizure, or its beneficiaries would be culturally and socially demonized.”

And:

“There is much talk about Obama merely returning to the tax rates of the Clinton administration. But that is misleading for two unfortunate reasons: (1) Clinton did not tamper with FICA ceilings and other deductions in addition to the income tax hikes; (2) he had spending limits imposed by the post 1994-Congress, so at least his income tax increases led to a balanced budget. But Obama is not only raising taxes far higher in aggregate than did Clinton with the present trillion-some spending hikes, but ensuring that we will still end up with astronomical deficits. So we get the tax hikes of Clinton — but without the balanced budgets; and we get far higher deficits than under Bush — but sans the tax cuts.”

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Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Obama, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Have a drink on me

Posted by Liberty on March 11, 2009

Found this on Seattle talk radio host Dori Monson’s blog.  [He’s on 97.3 KIRO.]  How would you like to have a vanload of beer delivered right to your apartment?  And what if you didn’t have to pay for the beer?  Jackpot!  And if you didn’t have to pay for the apartment either?  Double jackpot!  Chronic boozers in Seattle don’t have to go out to the bar or the convenience store these days…they’re drinking and living on the taxpayer’s dime.  1811 Eastlake is a housing project especially for alcoholics funded by various government entities such as HUD and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  Rehabilitation is not a high priority at 1811 Eastlake–the residents [all of whom have alcohol issues, to put it mildly] are allowed to drink in their apartments.

Seattle drunk house project gets beer delivery

According to the Downtown Emergency Service Center’s website, the drunks in this housing project are offered social services including mental health and substance abuse counseling, on-site health care and meals plus field trips to local food banks.  This facility can’t be cheap to keep running.  In this era of hard times for the taxpayers, could we at least cut off the free beer?

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The legislature just doesn’t get it!

Posted by Liberty on March 7, 2009

From Joe Turner’s Political Buzz, here’s a nice list of the tax increases that the Washington State Legislature is considering. 

Here are tax hike options for lawmakers (and voters?)

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Unexpected honesty about Obama’s tax plan from ABC News

Posted by Liberty on March 3, 2009

Upper-Income Taxpayers Look for Ways to Sidestep Obama Tax-Hike Plan

Truly, I didn’t expect to find a story critical of Obama’s tax plan on the ABC news website but there it is!  It certainly comes off as vaguely critical of the messiah, Barack Obama.  The author, Emily Friedman, has focused on how Obama’s tax plan will impact people making over $250,000 annually.  The consensus among the interviewees is that they will do what is necessary to earn less to avoid Obama’s punitive taxes.

“Dr. Sharon Poczatek, who runs her own dental practice in Boulder, Colo., said that she too is trying to figure out ways to get out of paying the taxes proposed in Obama’s plan.

‘I’ve put thought into how to get under $250,000,’ said Poczatek. ‘it would mean working fewer days which means having fewer employees, seeing fewer patients and taking time off.’

‘Generally it means being less productive,’ she said.

‘The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make,’ said Poczatek. ‘But if I’m going to be working just to give it back to the government — it’s de-motivating and demoralizing.'”

Dr. Poczatek is absolutely right.  The demoralization that she’s feeling is a natural side-effect of redistributive economics.  The real unintended consequences of Obama’s tax policy will be the loss of productivity.  Think job losses now are bad?  Just wait.

“Obama’s budget proposal calls for $989 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, most of which will be earned from increased taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 and from families who make more than $250,000.

The expiration of the Bush administration’s tax cuts at the end of 2010 would garner an estimated $338 billion, $179 billion would come from the elimination of some itemized deductions for higher-income taxpayers and $118 billion would be brought in from a hike in the capital gains tax. The remaining $353 billion would come from taxes on businesses.”

Not many are talking about how the expiration of the Bush tax cuts will affect the economy but we should be.  The expiration of those cuts will equal a tax increase for the bulk of taxpayers.

The ABC news piece also features a poll.  The question is, “is it fair to reduce salaries to sidestep President Obama’s tax proposal?”  As of 8:08 this morning, the answer “Yes. I also would find ways to decrease my salary to avoid taxes” had a significant lead.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Obama, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Paid for by the people

Posted by Liberty on February 27, 2009

The Obama Revolution

“In the closing weeks of last year’s election campaign, we wrote that Democrats had in mind the most sweeping expansion of government in decades. Liberals clucked, but it turns out even we’ve been outbid. With yesterday’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal, President Obama is attempting not merely to expand the role of the federal government but to put it in such a dominant position that its power can never be rolled back.”

This WSJ editorial shines some much-needed light on Obama’s budget and verifies what anyone with a brain already understands–tax increases are on the way and not just for the mythical wealthy.

“The falling deficit also assumes the largest tax increase in U.S. history, starting in 2011 with the repeal of the Bush tax rates on incomes higher than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The White House says this will yield upwards of $1 trillion, if you choose to believe that tax rates don’t affect taxpayer behavior.

In the real world, two of every three tax filers who fall into this income category are small business owners or investors, who are certainly capable of finding ways to invest that allow them to declare less taxable income. The real impact of this looming tax increase will be to cast further uncertainty over economic decisions and either slow or postpone the recovery. Ditto for the estimated $646 billion from a new cap-and-trade tax, which no one wants to call a tax but would give the political class vast new leverage over the private economy. (See here.)”

And:

“Democrats will want to rush all of this into law this year while Mr. Obama retains his honeymoon aura and they can blame the recession on George W. Bush. But Americans are only beginning to understand the magnitude of Mr. Obama’s ambitions, and how much of their own income will be required to fulfill them. Republicans have an obligation to insist on a long and considerable debate on all of this, lest Americans discover in a year or two that they live in a very different country.”

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Educate yourself, Liberalism, Obama, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where’s Washington State headed?

Posted by Liberty on February 18, 2009

The Decline of California

“The Golden State — which a decade ago was the booming technology capital of the world — has been done in by two decades of chronic overspending, overregulating and a hyperprogressive tax code that exaggerates the impact on state revenues of economic boom and bust. Total state expenditures have grown to $145 billion in 2008 from $104 billion in 2003 and California now has the worst credit rating in the nation — worse even than Louisiana’s. It also has the nation’s fourth highest unemployment rate of 9.3% (after Michigan, Rhode Island and South Carolina) and the second highest home foreclosure rate (after Nevada).

Roughly 1.4 million more nonimmigrant Americans have left California than entered over the last decade, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council. California is suffering more than most states from the housing bust, but its politicians also showed less spending restraint during the boom.”

Please note that California has both a sales tax and an income tax.  Ask a Californian how that’s working out for them.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State income tax analysis from EFF

Posted by Liberty on February 18, 2009

Will state income tax appear on November 2009 ballot?

We know that state senator Rosa Franklin [a Democrat…who else?] has again introduced her perennial bill that would impose a state income tax.  Anybody who would believe that a state income tax would be a straight across trade for the way we pay into the state coffers now is deceiving themselves.  Any alteration in taxes proposed by our dear Washington State Democrats will result in a raw deal for the taxpayers and more revenue for state government. 

It is my understanding that this measure would be have to be voted upon by us little people but sometimes, I have my doubts that my fellow Washingtonians could choose right.  At any rate, the better informed Conservatives are, the better we will be able to articulate our opposition to any more taxes.

“The bill has three major fiscal reform elements that would drastically change the state’s revenue structure. First, it proposes a graduated state income tax on individuals and businesses (except corporations). Second, it eliminates the state portion of the property tax. Third, it reduces the state portion of the sales tax from 6.5 percent to 3.5 percent.”

And a few points against it from the EFF blog:

“Legislators add the income tax as another category, thus allowing tax-creep in every category. 

The proposed income tax adds another layer of complexity and cost for citizens.

It would dramatically increase taxes for people who do not own a home or have children.

It would punish those who succeed financially by taking larger portions of their income as it increases.”

The EFF blog [www.libertylive.org] has details about the proposed income tax rates and also a few scenarios that help illustrate how an income tax would impact people.  Here’s a thought I’d like to throw out there.  Will this finally be the year?  Has the time finally come?  Are we here in Washington going to finally hit the breaking point as far as taxes are concerned?  I propose a Boston Tea Party-esque tax revolt.  Anybody in?

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Conservatism, Educate yourself, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The porno tax–why you ought not support it

Posted by Liberty on February 11, 2009

Washington lawmaker wants huge porn tax to restore GAU cuts

Have you heard about the proposed 18.5% tax on “adult”entertainment? 

“State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, is prime sponsor of House Bill 2103, which would levy an 18.5 percent tax on all visual or audio pornographic materials.

But he’s not the only one.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, has signed on. So have Reps. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, John McCoy, D-Tulalip, and Marilyn Chase, D-Shoreline.”

The tax would apply to all forms of pornographic material–magazines, movies, phone services, photos, cable tv services, etc.  It would be used to restore funding to General Assistance Unemployable (GAU) and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Support Act (ADATSA) programs that have been cut [or failed to grow, which equals a cut in bureaucrat speak] under Queen Christine’s budget.  So, why am I opposed to this?  Why am I calling 1-800-562-6000 later today to let my legislators know that this is a bad idea?

Trust me, it’s not because I like porn.  It’s not because I think that porn is a good influence upon our society; it certainly is not.  It’s not because I think the people who create and distribute porn are worthy of being defended; they aren’t.  I oppose this on principle.  I don’t believe the State of Washington should be taking another penny from any of us, even filthy porn users.   They confiscate enough and they redistribute enough already.  Government has a seemingly insatiable appetite for our money.  Maybe filthy porn users aren’t the most sympathetic group to choose to defend but here I am, making my case because I am so fed up with the taxes.

I also think it is potentially dangerous to have government trying to influence and control our behaviors.  So they’re targeting pornography today.  Who’s to say they won’t take this concept [an exhorbitant tax on a behavior they don’t like] and apply it to other target groups.  Are we going to see higher ammunition taxes because some politician doesn’t want you shooting your guns?  A lot of kids get hurt on trampolines…maybe there should be a tax on trampolines.  They want your kids signed up on SCHIP anyway.  A trampoline tax will just pay to fix all those broken arms and bonked heads.  An extra tax on auto parts to make you re-think repairing your car instead of opting for mass transit?  Maybe I’m extrapolating too far but you never know when government is involved.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Guns, Health care, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I told you so…

Posted by Liberty on January 14, 2009

http://nwrepublican.blogspot.com/2009/01/washington-state-engine-displacement.html

The engine displacement tax reared its ugly head last session as well.  This plan is yet another way for Washington State government to thwart the will of the voters [$30.00 vehicle licensing, anyone?] and separate you from a little [or a lot] more of your money.  Basically, the larger your vehicle’s engine, the more you’re going to pay.  From the NW Republican blog:

Engine Size (in liters) Fee Schedule
Up to 1.9 $0
2.0 to 2.0 $70
3.0 to 3.9 $225
4.0 to 4.9 $275
5.0 to 5.9 $325
6.0 to 7.9 $400
8.0 or over $600

The sponsors of this bill are all Democrats, no surprise there.  These arrogant, self-righteous liberals want to punish you for driving what you want.  Perhaps in their ideal world, we’d all be driving Toyota Prius’s or Smartcars and thus not paying any additional displacement fee. 

Actually, now that I think about it, since their primary concern is state revenue, our current situation is probably closer to their ideal.  They know that many people choose to drive SUV’s for the safety, comfort and capacity.  They know that thousands of businesses from farms to construction companies to cable installers have fleets of pick-up’s, vans and large trucks.  They know that many people have vehicles for recreation–motor-homes or trucks to pull their boats and trailers.  They know that not everyone can afford to race right out and buy the very latest politically correct little hybrid status symbol.

And they also know that plenty of people in Washington State are struggling right now.  They know that piling on additional taxes in a down economy will be a burden on a lot of families who really just need more of their own money.  They know that Washington State’s high taxes already contribute to our business-unfriendly climate.  And they don’t care! 

Earth to Senators Tom, Kohl-Welles, Pridemore, Keiser & Kline!  Our engines are none of your business!  Your attempt to legislate us into smaller and smaller vehicles is ridiculous and arrogant.  Even more offensive is the very idea that you could propose even more taxes!  Your focus should be on cutting and streamlining state government and reforming and eliminating redistributive entitlement programs, not imposing higher taxes! 

Check out the text of this bill and find out where it’s at right now on Washington Votes.org:

http://washingtonvotes.org/2008-SB-6900

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Social engineering, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spending or slashing–which is it?

Posted by Liberty on January 10, 2009

State Budget: Legislature has unique opportunity

In the editorial section on the [doomed] Seattle P-I’s web page today, this headline caught my eye.  We do have a new session of the Washington State legislature beginning January 12.  With a huge budget gap looming, the potential for new taxes is something we need to be on the lookout for.  The economy undoubtedly has some role in the budget crisis but the main problem is spending.  Of the Governor’s budget, House Minority leader Richard DeBolt said that it was a good start but that the problem lies with spending, not revenue. 

Rather than facing the spending problem, however, Democrats are doubling down on the policies that have brought Washington to a $6+ billion deficit.

“At a briefing last week, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said legislators need to look for more alternatives to the governor’s budget. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, even added spending ideas, talking about new transportation partnerships and health care. ‘We’re serious about keeping the state’s promise to have health care coverage for every child by 2010,’ he said. On top of that, Democrats will propose an economic stimulus package this week.”

Of course, the P-I editorial board supports quite a bit of the Democrat spending agenda–especially the bit about health care coverage for children.  How could anyone say no to the children, after all?  [How about opening up competition in the health insurance market so more parents could afford to take responsibility for insuring their children themselves?!]  At the end of the article, they do mention the idea of trimming the scope of the state government.  I think this is where the real solution to the budget crisis is at but unfortunately, the P-I treats the issue more as a symbolic measure than a concrete one.

“The state budget picture is going to grow worse (we can only imagine what December’s sales tax figures will look like) and the Legislature is not going to succeed if the discussion centers on cutting budgets. There should be an emphasis on strategy before numbers. Can state agencies and programs be combined? Are there more programs that can be eliminated entirely? (For example, commissions and boards don’t add big numbers to the budget, but they are symbolic about the many branches of government. Trimming them would a clear way to signal a leaner government.)”

I think the P-I may be headed in the right direction here but let’s get past the symbolism and more to the substance, shall we?  By all means, dump the boards and commissions, along with all of the time, manpower and money that they waste.  And continue cutting from there!

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Main Stream Media, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How not to fix the economy

Posted by Liberty on December 23, 2008

States set to impose bevy of new taxes

“Governors want to levy higher taxes next year on clothes, soft drinks, gasoline, auto licenses and other items that likely will hit low- and middle-income families struggling to make ends meet in a deepening recession the hardest.

Officials say they are required by law to balance budgets and that tax increases are necessary as state governments face sharply declining tax revenues, but fiscal analysts say raising these taxes during an economic downturn will only worsen local economies and prolong the recession.”

 

“But spending critics said that not enough attention was being paid by the national news media to the plight of taxpayers, whose incomes were being stretched even further by rising sales taxes and fees, and higher property taxes.

‘Most reporters are covering the state budgets and thinking ‘Oh, the poor states,’ and no one is looking at this from the perspective of the taxpayers who are the ones whose wallets are going to be on the line,’ said political strategist Trent Duffy.”

 

Posted in Bureaucratic ineptitude, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Taxes | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Have I said lately how much I love Carpe Diem?

Posted by Liberty on December 20, 2008

I’ve linked Professor Mark Perry’s blog, Carpe Diem before…hmmm, trying to link and WordPress’ hyperlink function is not working right now.  [Normally, WordPress works great.  If you want to start a blog, I highly recommend WordPress.  And e-mail me the link.  I promise I’ll read, even if you’re a lib or a Husky fan]. 

Anyhow, go to http://mjperry.blogspot.com/ because his blog today is incisive as usual.  He’s excerpted an article from the Wall Street Journal by Andrew B. Wilson on how the Conservative principles espoused by Margaret Thatcher helped to pull Great Britain out of economic difficulties in the 1980’s.  [Wow, isn’t that about the time that Ronald Reagan was helping America recover from our Jimmy Carter-induced economic difficulties through free-market capitalism?]  Here’s a brief quote from Mr. Wilson’s article:

“By sticking to her policies of lightened regulation, reduced trade barriers, privatization of a raft of publicly owned companies, reduced taxation, and the adoption of laws to prevent abuses of union power, Mrs. Thatcher achieved something few if any of today’s economists have begun to consider. She achieved a genuine, productivity-led recovery that transformed Britain from perennial basket case into the Europe’s most improved and vibrant economy.”

Naturally, I’m a little sad to think that this economic recovery will not be ours, at least not during the next four years.  The socialist blueprint has been drawn, and time and time again, the house has fallen.  Obama’s going to build his policies on the failed philosophy of socialism, a system counter to all that America was founded on.  It will fail us, too.  So, I guess I love Carpe Diem today for the information that Professor Perry disseminates, not for helping me feel optimistic.

He also has a post entitled “Ford’s State-of-the-Art Factory in Brazil: A Model for the Big 3’s Survival. But The UAW Hates It.”  In it, there are details about an innovative Ford factory in South America.  According to Professor Perry,

“It’s not just above-market UAW wages and benefits, along with overly generous lifetime pensions and health care coverage that have all contributed to pushing the Big Three to the brink of bankruptcy. It’s also the outdated work rules, multiple job classifications, and union inflexibility and resistance to greater efficiency that have crippled the Big Three (see the 22 pound, 2,215 page UAW-Ford contract here).
Isn’t it sad that U.S. automakers like Ford have to go 5,000 miles away to “the global sandbox” Brazil to try out new production methods, instead of introducing cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology here in the U.S.? Even if GM and Chrysler reduce wages and benefits to competitive levels as part of the $17.4 billion bailout, they still might not survive in the long run if they are prevented by the UAW from introducing lean, flexible, state-of-the-art technology inside the U.S., like Ford has been able to introduce outside of the U.S.”
Sad.  American taxpayers are bailing out the Big Three while the UAW is still alive and well.  And, liberals have the nerve to bitch about out-sourcing.
 
 

 

Posted in Conservatism, Future of the GOP, Liberalism, Obama, Redistribution of wealth, Ronald Reagan, Union Thuggery | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

For those who didn’t get a sub-prime mortgage–work 100 hours, get a house

Posted by Liberty on December 18, 2008

HUD hands out sweat-equity funds to 3 nonprofits

“The grants, through HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, consist of $13.25 million for Habitat for Humanity International and $6.625 million to the Housing Assistance Council, both of which are headquartered in Washington, D.C., and $6.625 million to Spokane-based Community Frameworks.”

“Self-Help” affordable housing…a nifty government give-away just in case you didn’t get a house you couldn’t afford via a sub-prime mortgage.  Just happened to notice the real money line near the bottom of this article.  Here we go:

Kooistra also decried the huge disparity between the budgets for HUD and the Defense Department, saying: “We need to change the way we think about affordable housing.”

Marty Kooistra is chief executive of Habitat for Humanity [Seattle/South King County] and I think he needs to brush up on the Constitution.  The common defense is mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution.  Giving away houses is not.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Gregoire’s pledge won’t be last word on taxes

Posted by Liberty on December 16, 2008

Gregoire’s pledge won’t be last word on taxes

“True to her campaign promise, Gov. Chris Gregoire plans this week to release a balanced budget that does not rely on new taxes to deal with a $5.8 billion deficit.

But that doesn’t mean taxes won’t be increased. And lawmakers could raise them without breaking Gregoire’s promise, provided voters go along with the idea.”

So on the one hand, we hear continuously about how bad the economy is and how people are signing up for food stamps, clearing out the food banks and getting behind on the mortgage.  But…our esteemed legislators consider raising taxes an option.

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Taxes | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood has the Bold Colors seal of approval

Posted by Liberty on December 10, 2008

Abortion Foes Open a New Front

“Abortion opponents are pressing state and local governments to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, arguing that the nonprofit group has plenty of cash and shouldn’t be granted scarce public funds at a time of economic crisis.

Planned Parenthood receives about $335 million a year — a third of its budget — from government grants and contracts to subsidize contraception, sex education and non-abortion-related health care for poor women and teenagers.

The group is also the nation’s largest abortion provider, and critics have long argued that the public funds indirectly subsidize abortions by keeping hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics afloat.”

The Family Research Council is hard at work to try to get our tax money out of Planned Parenthood’s pocket.  You can find them online at http://www.frc.org/.

Posted in Abortion, Redistribution of wealth | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The new perspective on employment in Washington–wages determined by how much the employee “needs” instead of the value of their work to their employer

Posted by Liberty on December 9, 2008

New jobs in Washington paying less than living wage

“Nearly 80 percent of job openings in Washington last year paid less than a living wage for a single parent with two children.”

These were the findings of Gerald Smith, associate director of the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations.

“Among other strategies, the study advocated for taxpayer support for economic development; more investments in training, education and apprenticeships; increased wage progression; and use of living wage figures to set wage policies and determine eligibility for public assistance.”

The very concept of a “living wage” is a nebulous thing.  It depends a lot upon the relationship between needs and wants that we all struggle with.  I think we also need to be very careful about what these groups might really stand for and what their genuine agenda may be before giving their findings any credibility.  They certainly seem to support redistributive policies and government dependence, which will only lower the standard of living for more people.

Coincidentally, Queen Christine met with business leaders to troll for ideas on fixing Washington State’s economy.

State recovery has ‘no time to waste’

Governor Gregoire, I’ll give you one hint: redistributing wealth, increased wage progression and the use of living wage figures to set wage policies is how NOT to help Washington’s economy.  Cutting taxes and getting the state government out of the lives of business owners and citizens alike is what we all desperately need.

Posted in Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Economic Crisis? Not at the U.N.

Posted by Liberty on December 6, 2008

Economic Crisis? Not at the U.N.

Did you now that the United States pays 25% of the budget of the United Nations?  According to the U.N. website, there are 192 sovereign states that belong to the U.N.  Interesting.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Here’s why I didn’t vote for Randy Dorn for Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Posted by Liberty on December 6, 2008

Randy Dorn says taxes are the answer

“About 40 percent of the state’s general fund goes to education. In each two-year budget cycle, about $15 billion goes toward the education of Washington’s 1 million school children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Washington ranks 42nd in the nation in the amount of money per child the state spends in the classroom, according to federal statistics.”

Forty percent of the state general fund.  That doesn’t count all the local levies and bonds that property owners get hit with.  And federal funding.

Dorn said that since nearly every state is facing a budget deficit, if Washington simply leaves education spending where it is, the state could move up in the rankings.”

Dorn seems to have bought into the idea that more money spent automatically translates into more educated children.  This fits in perfectly with the fact that he was endorsed by the Washington Education Association and other public school employee union groups.  The unions always support more education spending.  It means salary and benefit increases based on tenure and the number of degrees a teacher has rather than on merit and more money in union coffers for their political maneuverings.

According to the Heritage Foundation:

“With Congress considering a $700 billion rescue package for our financial market, taxpayers are rightfully asking questions about how these funds will be spent. But all too often we forget to apply the same scrutiny to the nearly $600 billion we spend in state and federal dollars each year on K-12 education.

Any fair accounting should conclude that we’re getting sub-par returns on this investment.

While many of the nation’s best and brightest go off to pursue fulfilling educational experiences at colleges and universities across the country, significant numbers of students leave high school with gaping holes in some fundamental academic concepts.

National test scores reveal that many students are failing to master basic skills. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 33 percent of fourth-graders score below basic on reading, as do 26 percent of eighth-graders. According to the Department of Education, fourth-graders not performing at a basic level are unable to make general conclusions about what they read. At the eighth-grade level, this means students are unable to make simple inferences or interpret ideas. For both grade levels, these are crucial skills to master to ensure future academic success.”

Future liberals are being produced in our public schools today–people unable to make simple inferences or interpret ideas fall for the kind of media snow-job that happened in the 2008 general election. 

Also:

“National graduation rates have stagnated around 73 percent, with numbers significantly lower for minority students. In 2006, only 61 percent of Hispanic students and 59 percent of black students graduated. An independent analysis found that, in some of our nation’s biggest cities, fewer than half of all students finish high school. In the Baltimore City and Cleveland Municipal City school districts, only about one-third of all students graduate. Indianapolis has a graduation rate of only 30 percent, and a mere 24.9 percent of Detroit students complete high school.

These shockingly low graduation rates should incite a national outrage. And while some politicians will surely call for investing more tax dollars for public school as the solution, a lack of funding is not the source of the problem.

Detroit, for example, spends more than $13,000 per year on each student. In addition, the city school districts of New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta all spend well over $10,000 per pupil yet have graduation rates below 50 percent.”

Read the full Heritage Foundation report What Is America Getting from Its Investment in Education?.  They make the case that education spending is not the problem and that family structure and parental involvement are critical elements to education success.

It’s time for Washington State to break the link between school spending and student achievement.  Randy Dorn, the people of Washington State are already over taxed.  If we keep throwing money down the black hole of government-run education and never fix the significant flaws in the system, it will never get better.  The superintendent of public instruction should be accountable to the people of Washington State but with this guy, I fear he’ll be more interested in keeping in favor with the unions. 

Schools need to focus on the basics of education–things like math, reading and comprehension, writing and interpreting ideas, fact-based science and American history, just to name a few.  I want to know how much time and money is spent on social engineering and nanny state benevolence versus what is spent on teaching concrete, useful skills.  We need more genuine teaching and less of the schools assuming the roles and responsibilities of the parents.

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Washington State’s budget woes

Posted by Liberty on December 4, 2008

Gregoire: State needs $600M economic stimulus

“Gov. Chris Gregoire says Washington state needs at least $600 million in federal money for short-term road and bridge projects to help kickstart the state’s struggling economy.”

Wait a minute…didn’t she say during her campaign that this Washington’s economy is strong and that the budget is balanced?

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Finally some common sense in the bailout madness–keeping your own money!

Posted by Liberty on December 2, 2008

Pay No Tax For Two Months?

“Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a member of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, proposes to use the $350 billion left of the $700 billion bank bailout to fund a two-month tax holiday that would put money in the pockets of American taxpayers.”

Unfortunately with a Democrat president-elect and the Democrat controlled Senate and House, Gohmert’s plan may be a long shot.  Obama only favors “tax cuts” when they’re for people who don’t pay any federal income tax.

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Socialism = “free” flip-flops

Posted by Liberty on November 28, 2008

Britain to Supply Flip-Flops to Drunks Hobbling Home

“Partygoers who’ve lost their shoes or can’t make their way home safely in stilettos or platforms will receive the government-funded footwear as part of a program intended to reduce the impact of drunken behavior on the area’s police and emergency services, Inspector Adrian Leisk said.

Torbay, a seaside resort on England’s southwest coast, is popular with British vacationers and the waterfront can attract as many as 10,000 people on weekend nights over the summer, Leisk said. He added that the area gets ‘very, very vibrant.’

He said special policing teams already had been deployed to cut down on violent crime in the area, and that authorities were now focusing on mitigating the health impact of heavy drinking.

That includes deploying volunteers to stalk the streets handing out water bottles, advice and information on sexual health and alcohol use. It also includes giving flip-flops emblazoned with educational messages to partygoers who might be a little unsteady on their feet.”

Dare I say that for some people, waking up in the morning with a sprained ankle or glass shards embedded in the heel might serve as an important lesson?  The benevolent nanny state of Great Britain is not doing its subjects any favors by mitigating the consequences of stupidity.  America needs to pay attention to the example that Great Britain is setting for us.  Great Britain has traveled much further down the road of socialism that we have thus far and it is not working! 

Posted in Redistribution of wealth | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Queen Christine’s one-gal budget oversight committee

Posted by Liberty on November 25, 2008

After letting my thoughts on the Washington State budget crisis gel for awhile, I decided it was about time to e-mail my ideas to Governor Gregoire.  Here is what I sent:

Dear Governor,
In light of the looming budget deficit, here are some ideas for saving money.
*Make sure only people who are legal US citizens and Washington State residents receive state benefits.
*Provide services and documents in English, not 15 different languages.
*Remove the requirement that road projects include art.
*Auction the sculpted salmon currently over I-90.
*Remove state mandates on health insurance so that health insurance would be more affordable, thus reducing the need for state coverage.  People are smart enough to purchase plans that cover what they want–they don’t need the legislature to tell them that their plans have to cover mental health, accupuncture, birth control, etc.
*Get rid of the poet laureate program.
*Streamline adoption–make it faster, less expensive and easier–to get kids out of state care.
*Continue with performance audits so we will find out where waste and abuse are occurring.
*Renegotiate gaming contracts with Indian tribes to include revenue sharing with the state.
*Pay teachers based on merit, not the number of degrees they have or their tenure.
*Disband public employee unions, including the WEA.
*Eliminate ethnic commissions such as Washington Commission on African American Affairs.  Such commissions are really unnecessary and the services they provide are probably redundant. 
*Focus on easing the burden for the taxpayers, rather than providing more redistributionist programs.  Give people back more of their own money.
*Keep your promise not to institute a state income tax.  It will stifle growth, punish productivity and give already over-taxed people one more reason to get the hell out of Washington!

Very sincerely,

Liberty

Conservative blogger extraordinaire

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America’s future?

Posted by Liberty on November 25, 2008

Pre-Budget report: National Insurance rise adds to high earners’ woes

Some British taxpayers will soon have up to 61% income tax rates.

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Budget cutting ideas for Washington from Crosscut

Posted by Liberty on November 25, 2008

Two ways to make deep cuts in government services

Some interesting ideas in the article and comments.  Will the State of Washington (or municipalities) ever make meaningful cuts?  Probably not.

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WSJ Commentary on the mythical uninsured

Posted by Liberty on November 21, 2008

What Do We Really Know About the Uninsured?

William Snyder points out some interesting facts that are being left out of the socialized medicine debate.  For instance:

“Many Americans believe that the uninsured are too poor to purchase coverage and that government programs aren’t available to them. But a study published in Health Affairs in November 2006 estimated that 25% of the uninsured were in fact eligible for public coverage, and another 20% probably could afford coverage on their own. If we apply those percentages to today’s uninsured population, roughly 25 million people would need assistance in order to get health insurance.”

“A study published by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) in April 2000 found that, of the uninsured California residents whose household income was at least twice the poverty level, 50% (about 1.3 million) had received care in the last year for which they were charged, and another 8% had received care for which they weren’t charged. The study also found that 89% of these people were either somewhat or very satisfied with the care they received, and that only 15% went to the emergency room versus a doctor’s office or clinic when they got sick.

Another recent study, published in Health Affairs in August, had similar findings, and estimated that uninsured Americans will receive $86 billion worth of health care in 2008.”

“These two studies also provide evidence that disputes the free-rider myth. The CHCF study found that of the 1.3 million uninsured who received care for which they were charged, 80% had paid for it, and almost half of the remaining 20% were paying in installments. The study published in Health Affairs estimated that the uninsured would pay for $30 billion of their health-care costs this year — more than one-third — out of pocket.”

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