Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

12th April
written by Sean Noble








Neil Gorsuch being sworn in as a Supreme Court justice guarantees President Donald Trump will be forever known as appointing one of the most qualified, strict constitutionalist to the bench in modern history.

Gorsuch is every bit as an originalist as Justice Antonin Scalia, and at the young age of 49, he could have forty years of influence on the court. Just as Reagan’s legacy was solidified with Scalia’s appointment (following his appointment of the first woman to the Supreme Court, Arizona’s own Sandra Day O’Connor) Trump will enjoy kudos for this selection until he dies.

While I had suggested that Trump consider selecting Senator Ted Cruz, Gorsuch is a great pick. And given that he was confirmed to the federal bench unanimously, the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats in filibustering him is almost too easy to criticize. For one thing, by forcing McConnell to return to the pre-2003 standard of nominees being confirmed by simple majority, the Democrats have given up any leverage for future nominees. It’s almost certain that if Trump wins a second term he could get at least three and maybe as many as five picks.

If any of those picks are anywhere close to as solid as Gorsuch, Trump will do more to save this republic than any single person has done since Lincoln.  Yes, that sounds like hyperbole, but it is, in fact, true. The invasion of government into the everyday lives of the American people over the last few decades is astounding when you really stop and think about it.  There is no aspect of your own life that doesn’t have government fingerprints on it.

When you wake up in the morning and turn on your lights, you are paying fees to subsidize “green energy.” When you take a shower, you are paying extra for your water so your municipality can conduct water conservation programs. When you cook your breakfast, your butter, your jam, and your toast are more expensive because of regulations requiring nutritional information to be printed on the packaging.

You drive to work and you are paying gas taxes that pay for a lot of things that have nothing to do with roads and bridges (think light rail, bike paths, even hiking trails), and your car cost significantly more than it needs to because of government imposed miles-per-gallon requirements placed on car manufacturers.

When you work, you don’t earn your full paycheck, you pay income taxes, Medicaid taxes, Social Security taxes, state income taxes (in most states), to the tune of taking upwards of 40% of your paycheck before you even see the money.

And for what? What do you personally get for all that money that is taken?

As recently as 2000, the annual federal budget was $2.2 TRILLION and the debt was $5.6 TRILLION. Today, the federal budget is $3.9 TRILLION and the debt is an eye-popping $19.8 TRILLION! The share of the current debt is more than $61,000 for every single person in the U.S.

And yet, Democrats, and some Republicans want to spend more and more – the numbers are so out of sight even comparing it to monopoly money doesn’t do justice.

While Gorsuch may not have an immediate impact on reducing federal spending, there is no doubt that his influence on the court will help slow down and eventually turn back the invasion of government in our daily lives.  It may take time, but it needs to start now.



24th January
written by Sean Noble








Obama told some real whoppers in is State of the Union address. Here are just a few:

This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.

C’mon, do you really expect us to believe that you support an “all of the above” strategy less than a week after you strike down the Keystone pipeline?  Get serious.

On clean energy – in particular, Solyndra, he said this:

Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not walk away from workers like Bryan. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs.

Really?  There are already more tax credits for “clean” energy than any other form of energy.  To ask Congress to pass MORE tax credits and incentives – while billions of tax-payer dollars have been wasted, is irresponsible.

Speaking of taxes:

Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

First off, does he really argue that the government SPENDS money on tax breaks? That is a typical Democrat talking point, as if it’s THEIR money to begin with. Secondly, Obama is purposely trying to confuse the American people by not acknowledging the difference between “earned” income and “unearned” income.  Warren Buffet doesn’t take a salary – so he doesn’t have “earned” income.  He has enough wealth that he can live on his investments and interest.  Those are called capital gains.  The capital gains tax rate is 15%, for good reason – because it is capital gains that fund new businesses, which in turn grow the economy.  If Obama actually doubles the tax rate on capital gains, economic growth will grind to a halt.  This is a cynical attempt to engage in class warfare, while trying to claim that it isn’t class warfare.

Obama continues:

But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of Members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up. You’re the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You’re the ones who need relief.

Notice his crafty addition of the word “earning” when he is talking about people who are millionaires?  He knows, as well as anyone, that people who are “earning” millions are paying a much higher rate than the 15% of unearned income. They don’t get special subsidies or deductions – it just may be that their deductions are higher because they give more to charity, etc.

Obama continues again:

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.

They only call that common sense when you confuse earned income with unearned income.

And here is the biggest whopper of the night:

We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. It’s because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference – like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet. That’s not right.

What’s not right, Mr. President, is for you to demagogue taxes in a way that is cynical and anti-productivity.

It’s sad that the President of the United States cannot be honest with the American people.


14th April
written by Sean Noble

April 15 of an even numbered year is always an interesting day.  Yes, it’s tax day, which is awful for those of us who work hard to earn a living for our families, but it’s also when FEC 1st quarter reports are due, and these will be good indicators of how races shape up.

To add to the mix this year is a massive wave of tea parties.

More to come tomorrow…

6th January
written by Sean Noble

I went into a Subway in D.C. tonight and bought my regular, six-inch double meat turkey on honey oat with lettuce, tomato, olives, cucumbers, pepperchinis (called banana peppers back East) vinegar, salt and pepper.

They rang up the order and then added $0.05. I asked what the extra nickel was about and the Subway worker said that D.C. had passed a “bag tax” on retailers and take-out orders. Apparently, D.C. passed a tax on plastic bags to save the Anacostia River.

Read all about it here. Let a river run through it.

11th August
written by Sean Noble

 It is said that when Walter Cronkite returned from a trip to Vietnam and reported that the war was unwinnable, President Lyndon Johnson said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost America.”

Conservative holdouts in the Arizona Legislature, who oppose the budget deal because of the sales tax referral, may be in the same position.  The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal has for years been the conscience of fiscal conservatism and the leader in reducing taxes.  They have editorialized that the deal is a good one, particularly to retain and attract business to the state by reducing business and personal income tax and property tax reform.  They reason that those are easy trades for referring the sales tax to the ballot.

The operative paragraph reads:

Republicans control both houses of the Arizona legislature, and as we went to press the main obstacle to passing the reform was the Arizona Senate’s antitax conservatives. They oppose the higher sales tax. These Republicans should look to one of the triumphs of the Reagan Presidency, the 1986 tax reform, which broadened the tax base but substantially lowered tax rates and thus sustained the 1980s expansion.

When you’ve lost the WSJ editorial page, you’ve lost your leverage. 


Arizona’s Budget Breakthrough

An alternative to California’s tax and spend model.

Perhaps states are starting to learn the right fiscal lessons from the red-ink blowouts in high-tax California and New York. Today, the legislature in Arizona will vote on a tax reform designed to entice more employers and high-income taxpayers to the state. Sponsored by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, the plan would cut state property taxes, the corporate tax and personal income taxes, in exchange for a temporary rise in the sales tax.

Most economic studies agree that states have more jobs and higher income growth when they tax consumption rather than savings, investment and business profits. This explains why most of the nine states with no income tax at all—such as Texas, Florida and Tennessee—have been economic high-flyers in recent decades.

Ms. Brewer’s proposal reflects this economic logic. Effective January 1, 2011, her plan would reduce the state’s corporate income tax rate to 4.86% from 6.97%, which would be one of the largest business tax cuts in the nation in recent years. The proposal also cuts all personal income tax rates by 6.6%, thus lowering the top marginal rate to 4.24% from 4.54%. A hated statewide tax on commercial and residential property would also be abolished.

Arizona has been hit especially hard by the housing slump, and its budget woes were compounded thanks to former Governor Janet Napolitano’s spending spree before she joined the Obama cabinet. On her watch the budget grew by more than 50% in five years—to $10.2 billion from $6.5 billion in 2004. The state now has a $1 billion budget gap, and to close it the legislature will also vote on a one percentage point increase in the sales tax to 6.6% in 2010 and 2011; in the third year the sales tax would fall to 6.1%, and in the fourth year would revert to its current 5.6% rate.

We’d rather see the legislature cut more spending than raise the sales tax, but on the other hand the sales tax would only take effect if it is approved on the November ballot. The political class is giving voters a say in the matter. The sales tax increase also has the advantage of a built-in expiration date, while the tax cuts are permanent.

Democratic opponents are calling this a tax giveaway to big business. But lawmakers needn’t apologize for trying to retain Arizona’s status as a business-friendly state—particularly when jobs are so scarce. Small employers also benefit from the lower property tax rates and the personal income tax reductions. Lower tax payments will enable them to reinvest more in their enterprises.

The opponents should consult a new study of state business taxes by former U.S. Treasury economist Robert Carroll for the Tax Foundation. He examined 50 states and found that states with lower corporate tax rates have higher wage gains and more productivity over time. This tax cut sounds like a high-return investment.

Republicans control both houses of the Arizona legislature, and as we went to press the main obstacle to passing the reform was the Arizona Senate’s antitax conservatives. They oppose the higher sales tax. These Republicans should look to one of the triumphs of the Reagan Presidency, the 1986 tax reform, which broadened the tax base but substantially lowered tax rates and thus sustained the 1980s expansion.

Arizona has the chance to be the anti-California, closing the budget deficit by growing the economy, not by raising taxes. We hope legislators don’t blow it, because the U.S. desperately needs an alternative to the tax, spend and tax again philosophy of Sacramento and Albany.

4th August
written by Sean Noble

The National Taxpayers Union has a great web video that explains the myth of what Obama says versus what is actually in the bill (HR 3200) passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last Friday night.

This is what we call cognitive dissonance.

23rd June
written by Sean Noble

Liberal Democrats know that they can’t their Climate Change bill to President Obama’s desk, because it will die in the Senate.  But Pelosi is so set on satisfying her liberal base, she is going to put dozens of her “moderate” Democrats at risk by putting a Climate Change bill on the floor this Friday.

It will be pretty instructive to see who ends up voting for it.  The discussion about getting Farm Belt Democrats on board is interesting, because they are not happy.  Pelosi, however, will figure out a way to buy their vote by the time it matters.  And you and I will pay for this HUGE tax increasing monstrosity.  Even more bizarre, is that Greenpeace and a bunch of other leftist greenies oppose the bill because it doesn’t go far enough!

It’s interesting to see Pelosi trying to satiate her base, and angering almost everyone in the process.

28th May
written by Sean Noble

Arizonans are smoking less, or rather, fewer Arizonans are smoking.  Regular smokers fell from nearly 20% of the population to just under 16% – which amounts to about a 20% drop in smokers.

That’s good news.  But it’s only one side of the story.

If there has been a 20% drop in smokers, then it would seem to me that there has been about a 20% drop in the revenues collected by those who smoke (or used to).  Guess what?  That is having an impact on our state budget – particularly health care funding.

So, what will the nanny-state do-gooders tax next to make up for lost revenue?  Hope you aren’t addicted to soda!

23rd March
written by Sean Noble

Rasmussen has done a poll in Arizona testing voters on Obama’s approval rating, Gov. Jan Brewer’s approval rating, whether voters support a temporary tax increase to fix the budget, whether they think a tax increase is going to happen and other issues like immigration and drug trafficking.  The results are very instructive. Clearly, there are some issues that raise the ire of Arizonans.

1* How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as President… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?

32% Strongly approve
21% Somewhat approve
8% Somewhat disapprove
39% Strongly disapprove
1% Not sure

No real news here.  In a red-shaded state like Arizona, it would be a surprise if Obama had strong approval.  People are still willing to give him some time, but nearly half are not liking what they see.


2* How would you rate the job Jan Brewer has been doing as Governor… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job she’s been doing?

9% Strongly approve
48% Somewhat approve
26% Somewhat disapprove
11% Strongly disapprove
6% Not sure

The surprise here is that only 6% had no opinion.  That is good news for the Governor, because she is having a better honeymoon than Obama.  These number make any potential opponents (primary or general) take pause.


3* Do you favor or oppose a temporary tax increase to help stem the state’ budget shortfall?

22% Favor
65% Oppose
13% Not sure

People don’t like higher taxes. Period.


4* How likely is it that a temporary tax hike will become permanent?

70% Very likely
19% Somewhat likely
8% Not very likely
1% Not at all likely
2% Not sure

While people don’t like taxes, there is a feeling of inevitability.


5* Should there be a special election to raise state sales tax to help with the budget shortfall and to save some programs that have to be cut?

41% Yes
42% No
17% Not sure

The 17% of people who are not sure are the target audience for the Governor.


6* Should taxes only be raised by a majority vote of the people?

76% Yes
16% No
8% Not sure

People want a say, and they hold out hope that most people will think like they do, and not raise taxes.


The rest of the poll – just for kicks and giggles:

7* Would you favor or oppose doing away with property taxes completely if it meant an increase in sales tax?

42% Favor
33% Oppose
26% Not sure

8* Would you favor or oppose doing away with property taxes completely if it meant a loss of programs?

24% Favor
55% Oppose
22% Not sure

9* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio?
46% Very favorable
22% Somewhat favorable
10% Somewhat unfavorable
16% Very unfavorable
7% Not sure

10* If a police officer pulls someone over for a traffic violation, should the officer automatically check to see if that person is in the country legally?
74% Yes
21% No
5% Not sure

11* If law enforcement officers know of places where immigrants gather to find work, should they sometimes conduct surprise raids to identify and deport illegal immigrants?
63% Yes
31% No
6% Not sure

12* How concerned are you that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants will also end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens?

32% Very concerned
24% Somewhat concerned
30% Not very concerned
13% Not at all concerned
1% Not sure

13* Which concerns you more – illegal immigration or drug violence?
29% Illegal immigration
60% Drug violence
10% Not sure

14* If drug violence continues to escalate along the Mexican border should the U.S. Military be used along the border to protect American citizens?
76% Yes
14% No
9% Not sure