Posts Tagged ‘tax increase’

28th June
2012
written by Sean Noble

In a decision that no one expected, the Supreme Court has upheld Obama’s health care law, but with a twist.

It was clear from the questioning during the oral arguments that the Court didn’t like the individual mandate – at least in the context of the Commerce Clause.

So, Chief Justice Roberts saved the Commerce Clause from Congress, while calling the mandate a tax.  This is not welcome news to President Obama and the Democrats running for re-election.  With the mandate considered a tax, it makes the bill one of the largest tax increases in history.  This is going to make for an interesting fall.

I’m sure many will criticize Chief Justice Roberts, but he has managed to keep the court above the politics of this issue, and that’s probably smart.

Republicans should be plenty comfortable knowing that this health care law will be the focal point between now and November.  It could be 2010 all over again.

 

10th August
2009
written by Sean Noble

The Arizona Legislature and Governor Brewer are trying to solve the budget crisis.  It would have been “easy” if the legislature had just done what the Governor wanted – raise sales taxes.  But a funny thing happened on the way to a budget deal.  38 legislators had signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, a pledge that has been around for more than two decades and signed by literally thousands of state and federal candidates and office holders in that time span.

You see, ATR’s chief Grover Norquist deemed a referral of a sales tax as breaking the pledge.  So legislators were very reticent to refer the tax without figuring out a way to do it within the confines of the pledge.  They eventually found a way to do it and get ATR’s blessing – by coupling it with tax relief on family and business income.

This is why “special interests” have a role in public policy.  ATR’s pledge means something, because if you break it, there could be consequences.  And if you don’t take it, you may never be elected.  And in this case, the “special interest” was taxpayers.  So as a taxpayer, I want to thank ATR for getting us a better budget deal.

2nd June
2009
written by Sean Noble

Nothing is more certain in life than dying and paying taxes, and most people spend a lot of time and energy avoiding both.

A common theme with those folks left-of-center on the political spectrum is that people are happy to pay taxes for the things that government should provide.  The problem is that they think government should provide a lot more than what our Founding Fathers ever envisioned, and thus, more government than people like me want.

On the state level in Arizona, it is clear that Governor Brewer believes that people would rather pay more taxes than do with less government, thus her budget plan which is light on reducing government spending and heavy on taxes. 

I oppose increased taxes, so I got to thinking about how I might deal with this issue if I was in charge.  It occurred to me that there are so many interest groups who say that people are fine paying more taxes, that we should actually give them that opportunity.  The Arizona Department of Revenue should expand the option of voluntarily paying MORE taxes by adding a form – let’s call it Form SITIC – for “stuff I think is critical.” Then, all these people who WANT to pay more taxes can check the box for what their additional contribution will fund.

I’m guessing with as many people saying they want to pay more, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee would be able to project an revenue increase of somewhere in the neighborhood $1.7 billion per year.

Hey! Problem solved.  You’re welcome.

1st June
2009
written by Sean Noble

The Governor has released her budget plan.  In her transmittal letter – addressed to citizens – Brewer calls for a $1 billion tax increase through a 1% increase on state sales taxes.

I know she, and her advisors, believe that there is no other way to deal with the budget, but the legislature has passed a balanced budget out of committee – without a tax increase.

Here is the problem I have with the Governor’s budget: if we can’t undo the massive growth of state government foisted on us by former Gov. Janet Napolitano and a few allied moderate Republicans joining with Democrats in the legislature, then why do we as Republicans even have a majority?  If it reducing the role of government in the daily lives of Arizonans isn’t an article of faith of being a Republican, than what is? 

What frustrates me with this whole debate is that I think we are presented with a false choice.  The Governor says we have to raise taxes – that’s because she isn’t willing to cut spending more.  The legislature has a plan that avoids cutting taxes, but has too many gimmicks for my taste.  It cuts about $600 million – when we really should be cutting closer to $1 billion.

Yes, I know it sounds harsh – that’s cutting a lot.  But if we don’t cut now, when times are tough, we will never do it.  It shouldn’t take a crisis for Republicans to actually act like Republicans, and it’s downright pathetic when Republicans just act like weak Democrats.

If I were in charge (and sometimes I’m glad I’m not) my philosophy would dictate no increase in taxes and no gimmicks – just hard cuts.

28th May
2009
written by Sean Noble

Wow!

The Arizona budget battle is about to go nuclear.   Various news outlets are reporting on a strategy memo prepared by Gov. Brewer confidant Chuck Coughlin at Highground that lays out a $225K campaign to target 18 legislative districts to pressure legislators to support a yet to be released budget from Gov. Brewer.

Team,

Attached is the legislative strategy docs that were handed out and discussed briefly at the meeting. This strategy is based on the launching of a budget next week that the coalition would be able to support. We would like your input on the strategy as well as the targeted legislators who should be part of our outreach efforts. If you have any questions, please let us know.

As we near the end of the fiscal year (June 30) the pressure is ramping up to get a budget done to fix the structural deficit that has become the legacy of former Gov. Janet Napolitano. The rub is that Brewer wants a billion dollar tax hike and the legislature wants to balance the budget without raising taxes.

 

There are two fascinating points.  One, it’s obvious that Gov. Brewer and her team do not expect a serious primary opponent.  (The only other explanation for her to target fellow Republicans is that she is not running for election in 2010, but that is dismissed by nearly everyone in town).  This may change that dynamic.

 

Two, look at the folks who are a part of this pro-Brewer, anti-legislator effort.  The name that jumps out the most is Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen.  It is stunning that Pullen is participating in a campaign that literally goes after incumbent Republican legislators when we are going into an election year that is critical to maintaining Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

 

How does the party, on one hand, support the effort to criticize and pressure Republican members, while on the other hand claim to be the vehicle for legislators to help them get re-elected?

 

It makes reason stare.

 

My guess is that the legislature is not going to take this laying down.  They will fight back, and the irony is that many of the legislators closest to Pullen are on the target list.

 

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more strange…