May 28, 2010
By R.D. Norton The late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman liked to point out that when it comes to the size of government, it's not how much revenue it collects that matters most, but how much it spends. If you cut taxes by half but don't reduce spending, you haven't done anything to shrink the size of government. All you've done is shift the burden to future generations. Every April, the Tax Foundation announces the arrival of Tax Freedom Day. The idea is that this is the day of the year when Americans are "free" of the burden of taxation, assuming every penny earned before that date is used to pay federal, state, and local taxes.
April 21, 2010 |
HERE'S THE news from the New York Times on the day before Tax Day: "Forty-seven percent. That's the portion of American households that owe no income tax for 2009. The number is up from 38 percent in 2007. " Given that nine-point jump in no-pays in just two years, it looks as if it won't be long before a solid majority of American households are taking out more than they're putting in when it comes to federal income tax monies. Here's the problem. Paying zero, what's their incentive to keep from pushing for bigger spending on every federal boondoggle that's funded by the income tax, no matter how wasteful or crooked the project?
December 1, 2009 |
To local fans they might be the "Damn Yankees," but to Harrisburg and City Hall, the Phillies couldn't have hosted better guests than the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira. And to Eagles loyalists, the Washington Redskins might be bumbling division rivals who at the very least deserved to lose, but state and city tax collectors saw a welcome shade of green in those burgundy uniforms. That's because the New York Yankees, just by spending an autumn weekend in Philadelphia, probably chipped in well over $300,000 to the state and city treasuries in the form of income taxes.
August 26, 2009
CHEW ON THIS: Our "leaders" in Harrisburg are considering taxing gum, candy, chewing tobacco, stogies and more. Like what? Well, how about basic-cable TV, ATM transactions, legal services or any of a host of things currently tax-exempt such as toothbrushes, flags, twine, airline food, dry cleaning, sports tickets or (gag) newspapers? I'm not saying that this is going to happen. I'm saying that those fiddling with the stalled budget - the seventh in a row, now 57 days late - say that they're looking at all options to help close a $3 billion-plus deficit.
January 24, 2008 |
Recently, three published reports documented New Jersey's problems attracting and retaining residents and jobs. This is a major issue for the business community and workers in the state, and policymakers cannot afford to ignore or downplay these reports, or consider them a self-fulfilling prophecy. One of the most publicized reports, released in October by Rutgers University's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, documented the migration of New Jersey residents to states that are more affordable and have lower taxes.
April 17, 2003 |
By proposing more Band-Aids for a festering wound, State Sen. John Adler's "modest tax proposal" of a constitutional convention would not solve the New Jersey property-tax quagmire. The average property tax on residences in New Jersey exceeds $4,000 a year, the highest rate of any state. The tax burden increasingly threatens residents' economic well-being. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the per-capita New Jersey state and local tax burden for 2002 was $4,146, or 10.3 percent of the state's $40,258 per-capita income.
April 26, 2001 |
May 3 is Tax Freedom Day for the nation as a whole, according to a new report from the Washington-based Tax Foundation. That's when we stop working to pay local, state, and federal government and start working for ourselves. The federal tax burden has grown by 14 days' pay between 1992 and 2001, even though President Clinton declared that "the era of big government is over. " In contrast, state and local tax burdens have remained virtually unchanged during that period. The burden of government has expanded by two days from last year and now stands at the highest level since World War II. Taxes take 35 percent of a worker's gross income - 24 percent for federal taxes and 11 percent for state and local.
March 2, 2000 |
Two years ago at a Texas convention, the president of a large petroleum company walked up to me and said, "I just bought gasoline for 68 cents a gallon. " I asked him how he managed to get such a great price. "That's the cost before taxes are added," he said. As fuel prices rise, pushing, even passing, $2 a gallon in parts of California, politicians blame production cutbacks by Arab nations. But the primary culprits are taxes, a refusal to exploit oil sources on U.S. territory for fear of a backlash from environmentalists, and what looks suspiciously like a deal among politicians, American oil companies and Arab oil-producing states.
October 28, 1998 |
Camden County Republicans know they are facing an uphill battle in the First Congressional District - a traditionally Democratic area that incumbent U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews has dominated since 1990. But that is not deterring GOP candidate Ron Richards, who is aggressively campaigning to unseat the four-term congressman in a district that spans portions of Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties. Richards, 50, marketing manager for a software firm and a member of the Voorhees Township Committee, is painting Andrews as a "professional politician" who is robbing the district.
March 12, 1998 |
Advocates of radical changes in the federal tax system are busy these days trying to convince the American people that their paychecks are about to be devoured by the U.S. government. "The typical family pays more than 38 percent of its income in taxes. That's nearly 40 cents of every dollar," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in his response to President Clinton's State of the Union address. "That's not just bad policy. It's immoral. " It's also just plain wrong, say analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based liberal research group.