Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hutchinson Tax-Shuffle Targets Middle-Class, Big Media Gives Cover

No matter what they say when campaigning, big government types, whether left-collectivist (socialism) or right-collectivist (that breed of socialism known as "fascism") invariably target the middle class to pay for their grandiose visions. Think about it, the poor have nothing to take. The very rich have the means to defend themselves from state-sponsored looting. They can even leave the country and set up shop elsewhere if their taxes get too high.
The only group which in aggregate has significant assets to loot while individually lacking the power to defend those assets is the middle-class, the upper-middle class, and what I call "the barely rich". Thus no matter what the lying politicians tell you, or the lying establishment media tells you, these are the people who will be paying for excessive government spending. That includes debt when it comes time to decide who will be stuck with the tab for it, but let me get off that rabbit trail for now.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has shown himself to be a right-collectivist. Heck, he started a "Department of Homeland Security" for Arkansas. He has increased state government spending greatly. And he has turned state health care from something that used to be reserved for the most unfortunate among us into a subsidy for giant corporations. State health care is now more about "the workforce" than it is about helping people with disabilities for example. The term "workforce" sounds slightly militant, but I suppose that saying state taxpayers should provide health care for "the workforce" is still better PR than saying the state's taxpayers should provide healthcare "for Wal-Mart employees."
The Governor's tax plan is a perfect example of what I am talking about. A few weeks ago, to the acclaim of the media, he trotted out his plan for an "income tax cut." The establishment media dutifully and uncritically reported that Asa Hutchinson was a mighty tax-cutter! Only the lefty Arkansas-times pointed out that the structure of the cut was heavily towards the top 1% of taxpayers. They would receive $73 million worth of tax cuts of the total $97 million reduced after the first two years.

That seems disproportionate. Of course a person in the top 1% of taxpayers pays more than someone who had a household income of around $73K like me, but do the top 1% of taxpayers really pay 75% of the income taxes in this state? Not even close, but they are getting about that share of the tax cut.
Now in the past the line has been "but the middle class shares in the tax cut too, just not as much." And if you are only looking at the tax cut being rolled out with a flourish over here, that makes sense. But to make a full accounting of Gov. Hutchinson's tax policy (which the establishment media seems loathe to do) you must combine it with the effect of his proposals for highways. He plans to increase various taxes for highways to the tune of $300 million dollars. So he plans to cut income taxes $150 million a year (when fully implemented) and raise fuel and associated taxes $300 million per year. He's a big spender. Period. Just one that can cover it up and come off as a tax-cutter because the establishment media seems determined to provide him cover.

Worse, look at who benefits from his tax cut- the top 1%. Look who pays for his tax increases- everyone with a car equally. In other words the benefits of the tax cuts are for his corporate buddies, the costs of building the roads is spread out for everyone with a car, which is mostly the middle class. No matter what the tool-media in the state try to tell you, Hutchinson's tax plan is to greatly increase the tax burden for the middle class but let the top 1% off the hook. It is both a re-shuffling of tax burden so that the middle class pays more and a net large increase in taxes. That's his plan. Since the big media in this state refuse to tell you the truth about it, you have to hear it from bloggers like me.

And I even think the road money will be spent where the big money tells them to spend it. Do you think I'm wrong about that?

Our household income is pretty decent but I figure his tax cut is worth about $30 a year for us. But his highway plan to raise $300 million means the average person like me pays $100 more in taxes a year. Give a little with one hand, take a lot with the other, collect credit from the media for step one. That's the hustle.

America is sick. Arkansas is sick, and the disease is tribalism. That's when the virtue of "loyalty" mutates into a vice because it is taken beyond the bounds of honesty and truth. That is, people support their political "team", whether Republicans or Democrats, long after it is clear to the honest observer that both have gone off the rails and decent people should seek to create other political solutions.
I don't say that you should complain to "your" representative about this, because I know that you don't have a "representative". The Republican or Democratic party has a representative who represents the interests of the global corporations who fund both of their DC parties. These have recruited some suits to pretend that they represent you while in truth they go along with schemes like this to loot the middle class for the benefits of global corporations. Until either you repent or they do, its going to keep getting worse for you and your children, not better. Hey middle class, that's a high price to pay for loyalty to a political label who is in reality targeting your wealth.
PS: You don't have to be a "liberal" to share this post liberally, and I ask that you do so.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Libertarians Assert SB 163 is a Direct Attack

A statement from the Libertarian Party of Arkansas suggests that Libertarians are taking the introduction and Senate passage of SB 163 personally.   The statement, published on the party’s website this past weekend, asserted that SB 163 ”appears to be targeted directly against the Libertarian Party.”

Referring to the fact that the Libertarian Party is the only third-party to have its candidates on the ballot in the last two elections, and that it is the only party to be attempting to do so again in 2020, Libertarians said it is “evident that this bill is intended to stifle potential competition, specifically Libertarians, in the 2020 election. “

SB 163 was introduced by Senator Trent Garner (R) of El Dorado on January 24th, passed by the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs on January 29th and passed by the full Senate the next day.  It would raise the petition-signature requirement for “new political parties” from 10,000 to 3% of votes in the most recent gubernatorial election—presently about 26,750.

The Libertarian Party statement described the bill as “unwarranted, unnecessary, and destructive to healthy democracy in Arkansas.” 

The Libertarians also assert that SB 163 directly violates the U.S. Constitution.  A federal court decision in 2006, Green Party of Arkansas v. Daniels, found that a similar 3% standard for new political parties that existed at the time was unconstitutional and invalid.  The following year, the legislature adopted the current 10,000 signature requirement.

“This bill is clearly anti-democratic and blatantly unconstitutional,” said Michael Pakko, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas.  “The real travesty here is that more than 250,000 Arkansans voted for at least one Libertarian candidate in 2018, but somehow that’s not good enough for the Libertarian Party to be considered a true political party under Arkansas law.  Now they want to make it even harder, if not impossible, for us to continue to offer the voters a Libertarian alternative.”

The bill is on the House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs agenda for tomorrow, February 6, 2019.