[Vision2020] Tribune editorial on faith and taxes

Donovan Arnold donovanjarnold2008 at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 23 17:17:01 PST 2010

To be perfectly honest, my state taxes don't bother me very much. They are relatively low, I usually get a refund at the end of the year, and I know the money goes to things I can access. It is the Federal Government that really takes such a huge amount of money out of my check and provides me little or nothing in return. 
 I think Ron is absolutely correct that it is the lobbyists pushing for tax cuts though, and that there is not real supporting data that if Idaho cuts its taxes even more it will benefit the State more than it will hurt it. I do believe that if Obama cut federal taxes on the middle classes and lower classes instead of  giving it to CEOs of Banking Corporations and other failed institutions it would do more help than harm.
Your Friend,
Donovan Arnold

--- On Sat, 1/23/10, Ron Force <rforce2003 at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Ron Force <rforce2003 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Tribune editorial on faith and taxes
To: "Bill London" <london at moscow.com>, vision2020 at secure.fsr.com
Date: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 8:59 PM

While I wouldn't presume to read politicians' minds, I believe the desire to cut taxes is not directed at attracting new business to the state. It's so that the businesses who are already here (and fund the politicians' campaigns) get to keep more money. "Economic Development" is just a smokescreen, as attested by numerous studies like the Louisiana one cited.

Ron Force
 Moscow, ID USA

From: Bill London <london at moscow.com>
To: vision2020 at secure.fsr.com
Sent: Sat, January 23, 2010 11:38:39 AM
Subject: [Vision2020] Tribune editorial on faith and taxes

Trillhaase has come through with another excellent editorial (see below) in today's Tribune.  
The Republican fantasy that cutting taxes boosts economic development has become an article of faith, not an experience based in reality.  Please note the Louisiana study that Trillhaase cites.  Corporations and entrepreneurs (the ones every city and state is courting) just do not care as much about tax rates as they do about good schools, roads, and amenities.  The study also applies to cities like Moscow where short-sighted conservatives want to cut back on Moscow's quality of life and gut community control of business in their faith-based economic development fantasy.
Lewiston Tribune
Who needs facts? Tax-cutters have faith
Marty Trillhaase
January 23, 2010
Idaho's House Republican leaders are brewing a new batch of voodoo economics.
When they are finished, they ought to name their product "Faith-based Economics."
Why not? 
House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, and his allies know what they believe - or is it the other way around?
They're promoting a vigorous round of income tax cuts. Corporations and wealthy individuals would pay a third less. Moyle and company are promoting this idea just as the state is weathering year two of falling tax revenues and budget cuts. Their plan would take effect in 2012 and be phased in over the next decade.
The Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey says Moyle, House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, are "drop dead serious."
"If you really believe in Reaganomics that less is more, this has the potential to get us out of this situation," says Denney. 
Confronted with a recent state Tax Commission review that shows Idaho's tax burden is the sixth lowest in the nation, the House members rounded up their own study. The conservative Tax Foundation says Idaho's tax climate is poor.
OK, but if you cut taxes, Idaho's already crimped budget could be injured more. Prepared by Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter's budget office and the tax commission, a fiscal statement suggests this bill would cost the state $55 million in 2012 and $250 million by 2021.
What do they know? This is faith we're talking about.
The figures "don't make any sense," Hagedorn says. Cut taxes and the economy will bloom, producing more revenues overall. It will work out. 
You just need to have a little faith.
And a short memory.
When Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, he complained the $74 billion federal budget deficit was "out of control." He promptly cut taxes and the deficit swelled to $208 million. When he left office, Reagan had expanded the national debt from $930 billion to $2.6 trillion. Following his example, George W. Bush cut taxes again and the debt got even worse.
Of course, when Reagan and Bush got it wrong, they simply borrowed more money. Idaho must balance its budget. When there's less money, programs get slashed or other taxes get raised.
What's history when you believe lower taxes will attract all those businesses now aching to move to Idaho?
Anybody notice how the Legislature's tax cuts of 2001 - which triggered a budget crunch not long after - and in 2006 managed to spare Idaho from the recessions of 2002 and 2008? It didn't happen because tax cuts don't bring new businesses.
Investments in an educated and skilled labor pool attract new employers.
Proximity to markets and transportation systems bring industry.
So does cheap labor, low crime, good health care and quality schools.
In its survey of employers, Louisiana economic development promoters and the state's governor's office found low corporate taxes ranked 10th on the list of concerns. State and local incentives were 16th. Tax exemptions came in 18th.
So the way to jump start Idaho's economy would be investing in schools, universities and transportation systems.
Moyle and his crew would never believe it. - M.T.

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