Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Jason, Jason, Jason . . .

Like the periodic flashbacks of a bad acid trip, Jason Lewis sometimes comes back to the Twin Cities to provide the wing nuts with renewed hallucinations, a freshening of the kool-aid, so to speak. He did it again today with This tax-the-rich chicanery is anti-American in the July 13th StarTribune. For those of you who are unaware, Lewis used to produce large quantities of bile and flatulence on his daily radio talk show on KSTP. But then he moved on to the undoubtedly greener pastures of North Carolina, leaving several of his listeners bereft. He sends a missive of hope to them once in a while. It is the least he can do.

Today's bon bon was a rant about how the Minnesota DFL wants to redistrubute income! This is apparently because the DFL controlled-Minnesota Senate proposed a new top income tax bracket that rolled back some, but not all, of the income tax reductions enacted several years ago.

Jason Lewis is a dumbass. A. Dumb. Ass.

(Spottie got that technique from Clever Sponge; pretty cool, don't you think?)

Well, okay; let's dig in. One of his first points is that Minnesota's budget is larger per capita than North Carolina. He says that Minnesota's is 30 billion for five million residents, while North Carolina's is 32 billion for eight million residents. Now everyone knows that North Carolina is a true garden spot; they play pretty good basketball there; it is the home of that true internationalist Jesse Helms (who is reported to have once said: Democracy used to be a good thing, but it has gotten into the wrong hands), and Spottie recalls that they used to make a lot of textiles, mass-produced furniture and other high value-added products there. And, let's not forget, it is the gateway to Appalachia, America's Ruhr Valley.

How do Minnesota and North Carolina compare income-wise? Median annual income for a family of four, from statistics compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services for the most recent period available:

Minnesota - $72,379

North Carolina - $58,227

Jeebus Christmas! How can that be? North Carolinians are so much freer than Minnesotans! Spottie says it is because Minnesotans are healthier and better educated that North Carolinians and attract a better class of value-added businesses.

Spottie commends the above-referenced statistics to you, dear reader. Please compare Minnesota to such tax shangri-las as South Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Montana or even Florida. Then, just for fun, look at Taxachusetts. Any additional taxes paid in high tax states is easily paid out of the higher income earned in those states. A coincidence? Spottie doesn't think so.

What is really at issue is a redistribution of the tax burden, not income. Presently when you combine income, sales, and property taxes in Minnesota, top income earners play less as a percentage of income than lower income earners. Yup, it's true. Spottie refers you to this post from Minnesota Politics and the most recent tax incidence study by the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Lewis thinks this is fair.

If there is any redistribution of income going on, it is from bottom to top, just like the Guilded Age. We all know what came after the Guilded Age.

I have a tongue twister for you Jason. Can you say equal marginal sacrifice principle of taxation? Good. Now say it three times, sorta fast if you can. Do you know what it means? Of course not, you putz. Let Spottie put it to you this way, my knuckle-dragging friend. The last dollar you tax the poor is more dear to them than the rich unless the rich pay a greater rate on the portion of their income that is higher. Why is this fair?

It is fair because virtually everything the government does benefits the wealthy more than the poor. That is true on a federal level: regulation of capital markets, transportation subsidies (locks, dams, federal highways, airports), maintenance and enforcement of intellectual property protections, patroling the customs frontiers, etc. and etc. It is also true on a state level: transportation and education (where do you think educated workers come from Jason?) to name just a couple.

Lewis would apparently prefer a return to feudalism. That's really un-American in Spottie's opinion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

excellent technique