Time To End Welfare

If I linger for a moment the Right wingers will see the title and will jump to my side, pat me on the back as a well informed “liberal”…..(linger…..Linger….Linger)……

But they would be premature in doing so…..for I am not talking about the welfare that the Reaganites have hated for 50 years…if you are old enough then you will remember the “welfare Queens” the the GOP have been attacking for decades……those poor people that use benefits provided by the government.

Nope the “welfare” I am referring to is corporate welfare…..these are the programs that give lots of aid to corporations….tax, breaks, subsidies……”gimmes” tho corporations that do not need them to continue to perform……

Every Congress we have this debate about the deficit and of course to the GOP it is all that money given to poor people through direct payments or programs that is causing the problem.

You see if your payments out weigh your income then you have a deficit…..and since the income for the nation comes from taxes then lower taxes does little but make the deficit higher….and yet we keep playing the same game because corporations want it so….time for that to change….

A day after President Donald Trump touted his “scam” tax proposal, the Institute for Policy Studies’ #PayUpCorps campaign highlighted needs in infrastructure, healthcare, and other sectors that could be paid for with all the money corporations stand to save under the Koch brothers’-backed tax plan.

Trump and Republican leaders in Congress hope to cut the corporate tax rate from an already low 35 percent to 20 percent—though the Institute on Tax and Economic Policy has found that many Fortune 500 companies effectively already pay only about 20 percent of their profits in taxes, and contrary to Republican promises, the savings don’t lead to job creation.

Source: #PayUpCorps Campaign Highlights All Nation Could Do If Corporations Paid Their Fair Share | Common Dreams

And we have this conversation every Congress and the GOP usually wins in some form or another…..Trump has a tax plan as well…..and guess what nothing new….

Each of the four principles Trump claims will inform what he calls “tax reform” is actually mocked in the plans the administration is cooking up behind closed doors.

The only question is whether Americans are gullible enough to buy what Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republicans are selling. And whether Democrats will unite to expose the con and demand progressive tax reforms that are long overdue.

Source: Trump’s Tax Plan Is a Confidence Scam | By Robert Borosage | Common Dreams

I have given my idea for a tax reform….simply put….everyone pays their fair share and the deficits will shrink…..it is really not that hard to grasp…..

Of course a more realistic budget would help with those darn deficits….that will be a post for another op-ed.

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Tax Reform—-2017 Edition

Slowly but slowly some fresh air is filtering into DC as the Congress is on their Summer break.

The GOP attempt to ‘repeal and replace”, something they had been harping on for at least 7 years, fell on its face hard….and when they return after Labor Day will try move on to something new?

You guessed it!

It is that time again…..that time when the GOP jumps on the issue of tax reform.  That time ever session when the GOP talks a mean case for protecting jobs and helping hard working Americans.

You do realize that it is all BS, right?

Why?

The Congress has been cutting taxes for 40 years and in all that time the Middle Class has lost out and in all that time the voter falls for the BS every time it is proposed…even though I can see it with every paycheck that it is a LIE!

Oh there will be the usual….tax breaks, tax reform, the corporate tax rate and the ever popular going after that offshore cash and finally the slogan about helping hard working Americans….all have been said before…..every time their is a GOP tax package we hear the same lame promises and slogans.

For instance……the tax package in 2013 and the package that the GOP was championing….

Source: What About Those Pesky Corporate Tax Rates? – In Saner Thought

But do not take my well informed word for it……

This is the joint statement by Ryan and McConnell on the upcoming tax package….

Source: Joint Statement on Tax Reform | Speaker.gov

Let’s be honest, something that the GOP would never consider doing, the package today is the same package from 4 years ago…..the only ones to benefit from this deal will be the wealthy.

Unlike most people that bitch about taxes…..I have on several occasions offered my idea of how to handle taxes and such…….

Since taxation is our major source of income…then everyone who participates in this country should be paying their fair share….

First let’s be real…..anyone that believes the lie of tax cuts for corporations will somehow bring jobs and a better economy is just delusional fools.

Corporations…..a flat 15% corporate tax….no deductions or cuts or breaks…all pay the price.

Corporations should pay the same income tax as the individual or flatten it out to a 15% tax on all income…not on profit…income.  Deductions for employee health plans and buying new equipment only.

Individuals:

$0-50,000 no tax

$50,001-100,000 pays 15%

$100,001-250,00 pays 25%

$250,001-up pays 35%

Deductions to be worked out…but from my plan there will be very limited deductions.

I realize that this is an ambitious plan and will probably never see the light of day in my lifetime….but it is a fair plan and ALL Americans can participate in the prosperity of their country.

But even the Trump White House has those that see the wealthy should be pulling more weight when it comes to taxes….

ex-White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has an unusual proposal for a Republican: He wants to raise income taxes on the richest Americans.

Specifically, a tax rate of 44 percent on all income over $5 million. Currently, the country’s highest rate is 39.6 percent.

Bannon’s economic views sit noticeably to the left of the GOP donor class. That means there’s scant chance Republicans will take Bannon up on the idea. But if they were smart, they would.

Source: Bannon’s bright idea

Although I do like the idea of them paying 90+% in taxes….but those days are long gone.

We need a truly equatable tax code….not one that hides corporate welfare behind a pile or volumes of legal-ese.

Future Of Casinos

Back in the day when casinos were coming to the Mississippi Coast I wrote a piece about the Law of Diminishing Returns to argue against an unlimited amount of casinos….it seems that they were building casinos to have something to do……..

Law of Diminishing Returns simply put is if there is a finite amount of casino revenue, say $10 million, then the more casinos there are the more diluted the revenue will be…..now with the slowdown of the economy the casinos have suffered the same fate……when the bill passed the state legislature the deal was that the tax revenue would be used to sure up the sagging education system……well we stilkl have one of the worse systems around and the funds found there way into the “general fund”…….

But could the casino become a burden on the state?  Under normal conditions they should not……but there is nothing usual about the Mississippi gaming system……what could be a possible result of a casino failure?

Well, let’s look at Delaware, shall we………

Lawmakers appear ready to support Gov. Jack Markell’s plan to use $8 million from higher-than-expected state tax collections to bail out the state’s casino industry. But it’s not clear if the state aid will forestall layoffs threatened by casinos that have seen revenues plummet from intense regional competition.Sen. Robert Venables, who chairs the General Assembly’s join Bond Bill committee, said Tuesday $8 million is “better than nothing” for the industry, which has pleaded with lawmakers and the governor in recent weeks for help to reduce its tax burden.

If the proposal makes it into the final draft of the Bond Bill, tied in with hundreds of millions in school and infrastructure spending, it’s likely to pass the General Assembly without debate.

Now how is that?  An industry that makes obscene profits could get a government bailout…….could this be the future of the failing casinos of the Gulf Coast?

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is getting a new minor league baseball stadium!

There is one small problem with the good news…..we DO NOT have a minor league baseball team…..a minor setback, I am told.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Thursday said the state would kick in $15 million in BP oil disaster money to help build a professional baseball stadium in Biloxi.  Bryant said, Ken Young, president of Ovations Food Services and an owner of several minor-league teams via Maryland Baseball Holding, LLC (Triple-A Norfolk Tides, Double-A Bowie Baysox, and Single-A Frederick Keys) and Albuquerque Baseball Club, LLC (Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes), is leading the franchise ownership group and is “in the process of purchasing an existing minor league team and relocating them to Biloxi.”  Read more here.

We are told that it will seat up to 25,000 persons……that it will be used for not only baseball but concerts and other special events…….which is a pretty good promise but we already have the Gulf Coast Coliseum which acts for these things but the baseball thingy…

Personally, I think the BP disaster funds could be spent in a much more beneficial way than a ball park…..all this will do is make a few more low paying jobs for the people of the Coast……and after 5 years will be for sale or a great place to graze goats…..

The questions I want answered is….who benefited for the sale of that chunk of property?  And what will the tax base be?

Open Letter

This is a letter I sent to the city council awhile back….of curse there was no reply…I did not expect one….this is a valid proposal and would do alot to raise the much needed funds of which the city is in desperate need……..

Open Letter To The City Council Of Gulfport, Mississippi

The city has been having its problems with the generation of much needed funds for programs that will benefit its citizens. There is a way to generate these funds and that course is called Land Value Tax. For years I have been advocating this form of taxation to no avail, but with the economic situation getting worse by the day, I believe this idea can save the city from massive cuts in services.

According to the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, any tax reform should conform to a 3 principle outline.  These are:  1—Be balanced and make work pay, 2—should create opportunity for economic growth and 3—be accountable to the taxpayer.  The Land Value Tax (LVT) addresses all three of the concerns put forth by the MEPC.

Land rent means taxing land. Not buildings, not work, not commerce, just bare land. Or if land has buildings (as most land has) then the equivalent value of the land if it had no buildings.

Land gets its value its improvements (buildings etc) and from its location. The improvements were made by the hard work of the owners. But the location has value because of what society does, because of roads and schools and good neighbors.

If society taxes buildings and improvements, it steals people’s hard work, their time and energy, their life. Most taxation is therefore theft. But if society taxes the location, then it simply claims back the value it creates. Land rent distinguishes between the individual’s property and society’s property.

Land rent creates fairness in the most basic of all issues: who controls the ground beneath our feet.

Land rent is the only rational tax, because it is based on a sound theory of property (you create it, you own it).

Land rent means an end to every other tax. So it becomes much cheaper to create additional jobs and manufacture goods. So wealth increases.

If you tax work, the amount of work goes down, because some work becomes less profitable. But if you tax land, the amount of land remains the same. So if you want to encourage work, you should tax land, not work.

Land rent is the only guarantee of fair property rights. If people can charge rent but they pay no rent themselves, eventually one person or one elite will own everything and nobody else can have any property unless it suits the elite. To see why, play the game Monopoly. Monopoly is based on “The Landlord’s Game,” invented by Lizzie Magie as a way to show why we need land rent.

Land rent is the most efficient way of creating wealth because it gives resources to those who can use them best (that is, those who can generate the most wealth from the land).

Land rent creates economic justice, by ensuring that everyone keeps the wealth they create, and any extra is given back to society. So nobody has unfair privileges, and everyone has an equal chance to succeed.

Land rent provides a fair system for all, because it generates wealth for society, yet it is so simple that corruption and inefficiency have nowhere to hide.

It is as simple as that….it would not take a massive bureaucracy to change the taxation of the city…

If further information is needed I may be contacted at:

CG Streuly

2605 Demaret Drive

Gulfport, MS 39507

Email: chuqalam@gmail.com

SB 2288–Speculator’s Dream

There are times when the state legislature does something that is a blatant disregard of the people it represents and SB2288 is such bill….which states:

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF A COUNTY AND/OR THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF A MUNICIPALITY TO GRANT A PARTIAL AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTION FOR AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY THAT IS BEING CONVERTED TO A RESIDENTIAL USE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY FOR AGRICULTURAL USE AND THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY FOR RESIDENTIAL USE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE EXEMPTION SHALL END WHEN THE PROPERTY IS OCCUPIED BY A HOMEOWNER; TO PROVIDE THE MANNER IN WHICH A REQUEST FOR SUCH EXEMPTION MUST BE MADE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

This appears to be a boon for the purpose of land speculation….

A case could be made that land speculation is the cause of almost every major recession/depression that has occurred whether nationwide or statewide…..The 19th century economist Henry George describes it:

That land speculation is the true cause of industrial depression is, in the United States, clearly evident. In each period of industrial activity land values have steadily risen, culminating in speculation which carried them up in great jumps. This has been invariably followed by a partial cessation of production, and its correlative, a cessation of effective demand (dull trade), generally accompanied by a commercial crash; and then has succeeded a period of comparative stagnation, during which the equilibrium has been again slowly established, and the same round been run again. This relation is observable throughout the civilized world. Periods of industrial activity always culminate in a speculative advance of land values, followed by symptoms of checked production, generally shown at first by cessation of demand from the newer countries, where the advance in land values has been greatest.

This bill is just another attempt to help the land speculators while depriving the state of much needed tax revenue…in these days any reduction in revenue can only lead to a cut in needed services….

Once again, the state legislation is dealing the people of the state a bad hand, just as they do every session…the people need to stop sleeping through the day and wake up politically…they are paying these people to do nothing but screw them at every session….

Fixing Mississippi’s Economy

State after state after state is reeling from the results of the recession……mostly because they have cut taxes to the bone….a promise to get elected……and now the revenues are NOT there……almost all are scrambling to find money for the few services left in the state’s budget….

A report in the Clarion-Ledger:

With the economy continuing to deplete tax revenues, Gov. Haley Barbour said the state is considering some kind of credit assistance that would help small businesses without duplicating programs offered by banks and other agencies.

As the governor and others talked about how the lack of credit is forcing some businesses to close, Jerry Host, president and chief operating officer of Trustmark National Bank, reminded those gathered that the country’s economic problem is complex and needs a multi-faceted solution. Just as other businesses have not gotten expected contracts, Host said banks also are missing anticipated income because businesses have canceled expansions that would have required loans.”The return of a healthy economy is not just dependent on bank lending, it requires the recovery of consumer spending, which in turn increases revenues and leads to healthier businesses – large and small,” Host said in an e-mailed statement sent after the meeting.

The governor repeated his commitment to attracting new jobs as another method of replenishing lost taxes.

Okay there is just so much wrong with this whole approach……first, cutting taxes to be elected is why the state is suffering with low income….second, the state is notoriously always the worst state for employment….none of these “job creation” schemes has panned out in the past…..why would it in the middle of a recession?…….third, “replenishing taxes” cannot be done by cutting more taxes or giving more tax breaks….I have said the demand is the answer liquidity means NOTHING to anyone…..

One question….why are churches tax exempt?  Sorry…I digress…..may I suggest that a new way of thinking about taxes should be considered……why not try Land Value Taxation (LVT)?…….this would be a good way to generate new taxes and if done corrctly all other taxes could possibly be eliminated……

But sadly….NO one in Jackson has the guts let alone the cajones to even consider this…their longevity in the legislature could be in jeopardy…God knows we cannot live without their worthless, do nothing butts…..(in case you missed it..it was sarcasm)…..