Bold Colors Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Taxes’

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

Advertisements

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

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.

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

Queen Christine wants your help! How can Washington State save money?

Posted by Liberty on November 17, 2008

“Like the rest of the country—indeed the world—we are in the midst of an economic slowdown. State government is going to have to sacrifice and make hard choices just like Washington families. But families know, and we know, that tough people always outlast tough times, and together we will emerge stronger from the challenge.”    Governor Chris Gregoire

Governor Gregiore’s Budget Homepage

First of all, let me be really clear.  I thought that the best way for the State of Washington to fix its budget problem was to elect a Conservative like Dino Rossi.  Since that’s off the table, the next best option is going to be participating in the Governor’s outreach attempt here and letting her know what you think about how the State of Washington spends your money.  If you have ideas for the Governor, you can submit them through the magic of the internet here: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp#startform

And…through the magic of the internet, your free-market, low-taxes, personal responsibility solutions will be magically translated into something like this:

“Dear Governor Gregiore, the economy is so bad, we can’t make it on our own.  Please raise taxes and give us free health care, free child care, free food, free public transportation, free housing…” 

But, it’s worth a shot.  Even in a deep blue liberal stronghold like Washington, Conservatives need to speak up, just on the off chance that we can change even one person’s perspective.

Posted in Redistribution of wealth, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Dateline Oregon: How not to fix health care

Posted by Liberty on November 17, 2008

Blueprint outlines overhaul for health care

“Oregon should tax hospitals and health insurance companies to cover more than 100,000 uninsured children and 100,000 uninsured adults, a new state health care reform plan recommends.

The blueprint also proposes that the Legislature create an Oregon Health Authority to guide an overhaul of the state’s $19 billion health care industry with the goal of containing costs and giving all Oregonians affordable, quality health care within four years.”

“The plan would regulate hospital prices and insurance company administrative costs and raise cigarette and alcohol taxes to pay for public education and mental health services.”

A few of thoughts, in no particular order:

  • This plan is so bad, it could have been proposed in Washington State.  Washingtonians, look out, because Queen Christine probably has something like this up her sleeve.
  • Some people choose to be uninsured.  Are they planning on covering people who are voluntarily uninsured?  Insurance is a financial product used to manage risk.  Some people choose to accept the risk that they may have to pay for medical care.  We shouldn’t force coverage on the people who don’t think that they need it.
  • How about tort reform?  One of the largest expenses that doctors have is malpractice insurance.
  • Instead of instituting a Socialist medical system, how about making it easier for people to take responsibility for their own families? 
  • How about reducing state mandates for health insurance plans?  Not everyone needs plans that cover accupuncture, substance abuse treatment, birth control, gastric bypass, chiropractic care…let the consumer decide what they want to pay for!  [This is a huge problem in Washington State.  My own plan went up by over $30.00 a month because the Washington State Legislature made it mandatory for insurance plans to cover mental health care.  I think I’m smart enough to decide whether or not I need to purchase mental health coverage, thank you.] 
  • “regulate hospital prices and insurance company administrative costs”  Seriously?!
  • “Wouldn’t it be great,” he [Bill Kramer, a Portland health care management consultant] said, “if Oregon could be known for providing the best quality, most affordable health care in the country and attracted businesses here because we are the best?” 

I have a feeling that even higher taxes and having health care managed by bureaucrats will have exactly the opposite effect.  Health care reform needs to be based in the free market and needs to enable people to take responsibility for themselves.

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

South Carolina encourages residents to exercise their Second Amendment rights

Posted by Liberty on November 17, 2008

Sales tax holiday for gun purchases coming to South Carolina

“Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, South Carolina residents will have a 48-hour period when they can purchase guns, shotguns, and rifles tax-free.

The first annual Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday in the state is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 28 and continue through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 29.

The sales tax holiday, approved by the South Carolina General Assembly in June, will permit the purchase of fixed-cartridge handguns, shotguns, and rifles without state and local sales and use taxes.”

Wow!  As a resident of the People’s Republic of Washington State, I have to wonder what it would be like to live in a state that actually encourages its residents to exercise their Second Amendment rights.  [In this state, the only Constitutional right that people seem to care about is their right to protest California’s Prop 8 in downtown Seattle.]  Not only is South Carolina promoting one of our fundamental freedoms, they’re giving gun purchasers freedom from taxes!

Of course, the story included the obligatory quotes from gun control advocates.  In my opinion, gun control in general is unconstitutional and probably ineffective as well.  Professor John Lott Jr. wrote a terrific book a few years ago called More Guns, Less Crime] and he has a new one out called The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You’ve Heard About Gun Control is Wrong.  He’s a statician and presents very strong arguments based on empirical evidence.  You can even access some of the data that he used at http://www.johnlott.org/.  I think I’ll be ordering a copy of The Bias Against Guns–they can ship it to my new address in South Carolina.

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Guns, Taxes | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

They want how much?!

Posted by Liberty on November 12, 2008

I received a Property Value Change Notice in the mail yesterday and when I saw what Skagit County has assessed our property at for our 2009 taxes, my jaw literally dropped.  Needless to say, it was a much bigger number that we could have expected.  I tried to call the county to ask if perhaps there had been a mistake but it was 4:20 pm and that may have been a little too close to quitting time for the county employees to answer the phone.  So then I dug out all the Property Value Change Notices we’ve received since we purchased this property.  A little bit of quick math showed that, according to Skagit County, the assessed value of our property has risen by 47.5% from 2004 to the 2009 tax year.  Interesting!

Using the Skagit County website, I was able to pull up a 15 year history of the valuation of this property and the taxes paid each year.  In past years, there have been several instances where the value did not increase from year to year and there were even a couple of times when taxes were lower than the year immediately prior.  Unfortunately, that has only happened for us one time–we paid $40.43 less in 2006 than we did in 2005.  2006 aside, our taxes have risen.  In 2009, our property taxes will be over $500 more than they were in 2004.

I understand and accept that property taxes are part of owning property.  It’s just interesting how quickly that valuation has jumped up–especially when all you hear in the news these days is how bad the real estate market is.  I’ll be doing some more research to find out how the real estate market really has been doing in our area and how much this house is really worth.  If you’ve received one of these notices, examine it closely!  If you don’t think that the assessed value of your property is fair and accurate, you have the right to appeal it.

Incidentally, when people say that schools in Washington are underfunded, I usually don’t believe them.  Confirmation for that came on my 2008 tax statement.  Our home is quite modest and yet over $650.00 of our property taxes went to the local school district.  That doesn’t count all of the state taxes that we pay that go towards education.  In my opinion, the problem is how schools are spending the money, not how much property owners are paying.  But, that’s another post for another day.

Posted in Skagit County, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Why did we re-elect this woman?

Posted by Liberty on November 11, 2008

Gregoire pushes immediate stimulus

Washington State is faced with a budget shortfall that is over 2 billion dollars, thanks largely to the spending spree that Christine Gregoire went on in her first term as governor.  Washington is one of the most taxed states in the union (no surprise there since it has been under liberal control for the better part of 30 years or more) but it never seems to be enough.  Even with punitive tax rates on business, a 37.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax and the looming threat of a state income tax, it will not be enough.  But we’ve made necessary “investments” in education, health care and transportation, right?  Right?

Come to find out, there are a few more specifics out about the governor’s spending…I mean, stimulus plan.

Gregoire seeks immediate economic stimulus package

“The immediate stimulus package is made up of:

  • More than $200 million in tax-exempt bonds for housing programs. The money can be used for rental housing for poor families, assistance for first-time home buyers, and refinancing of mortgages at risk of default.    
  • About $85 million to help low-income Washingtonians pay heating and energy bills and make weatherization improvements to their homes. Because the money is funneled through utility companies, Gregoire hopes it also will create jobs.    
  • An additional $13 million in aid for the salmon fishing fleet, meant to help those hurt by the sudden collapse of the Pacific Coast salmon industry. Gregoire said she’s pushing federal officials to release that money faster.”
  • So…if you’re not a salmon fisherman and you aren’t going out of your way to seek a government handout, forget about you.  If you think that paying your mortgage and keeping your family warm are your responsibility, guess what?  You’re paying for your own needs and everyone else’s, too. 

    Governor Gregoire, why don’t you do something that will benefit Washington State much more broadly?  Cut our taxes!

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