Thursday, April 22, 2010

Illinois Protesters: Raise My Taxes !

From The Chicago Tribune:

SPRINGFIELD --- Thousands of protesters bused down by labor unions and social service advocates rallied at the Capitol today in an attempt to pressure state lawmakers into raising the income tax to avoid more budget cuts.....

"Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes!" they chanted, lined up shoulder to shoulder for a few hundred yards stretching a street in front of the Capitol.

(See all the homemade, witty, and creative signs these protesters are using to display their commitment to their cause?  What a spontaneous, diverse, grassroots group !  You can go here for the complete photo gallery.) 

....Jennifer Ritchason, a middle school social students teacher in Bloomington, came armed with hundreds of letters from her students asking legislators for more money for schools. She said she hopes the children’s words will resonate with the governor and House Speaker Michael Madigan, among other legislators the letters are addressed to.

“If you don’t care about your future, I don’t know what you can truly care about,” she said.

Well, Jinny, there are lots of ways to care about the future. 
Here's a chart showing Federal Spending vs. Federal Revenue.  I care about it deeply.  O so deeply:

Well, you say, if taxes aren't rising as fast as spending, shouldn't we be paying more taxes?  Or should we take a long hard look at where the tax money is going? 
Here's a look at what we're now throwing down the Government School Rathole, as compared to 1970:

See the flatlines running along the bottom?  That's not Jimmy Hoffa's pulse rate.  Those are the reading, math, and science scores. 
The government spending line in blue has been adjusted for inflation.  I suspect that the flatlines at the bottom have been adjusted upward for grade inflation also. 

I'm so tired of banging on this particular drum. 
1) If you want to pay more taxes, pay more taxes.  Don't go on talk shows or attend protests demanding that your rates be raised.  Just pay more taxes.  It's easy.  Don't take any deductions.  Write the check for 50% more than you have to.  Then explain your actions to the men in white coats, because your friends and family are going to call them. 
2) With the possible exceptions of a few things relating to infrastructure and the use of force, everything that is privatized runs more efficiently than things that aren't privatized.  Don't bother bringing up G.M. or Chrysler as examples to the contrary.  No one reading this woulda voluntarily contributed their own money to saving those companies.  In the real world, businesses that don't work properly go under. 
3) Can you imagine the employees of Microsoft, Target, Exxon, or Starbucks taking to the streets with signs, demanding that we, their customers, give them more money?  If you felt that they deserved it, would you shop there more?  Or would you politely hint that they get a job with better hours, pay and benefits elsewhere?
4) Does anybody know anyone who has been laid off from a government job in the last two years? 

1 comment:

Nick Rowe said...

Not only shouldn't spending grow as fast as revenues, it should grow MUCH SLOWER.

Tax revenues are volatile, going up and down with business cycles. Reliance on progressive income taxes makes revenues even more volatile.

So in order to maintain a balanced budget, spending should grow at a slow, linear rate. The reality is that spending grows to match (or surpass) revenues and spending is "sticky downward" - late to fall and they dont fall far enough, fast enough.