November 29, 2008

"It's the recession that creates a political opening here. I think there's great receptivity on the part of legislators... because of the economy."

Receptivity to what? To higher taxes here in Wisconsin, where there is a $5.4 billion budget shortfall. The quote above is from Jack Norman, the research director of the Institute for Wisconsin's Future. I'd really like to know why the recession creates receptivity to higher taxes. Is the idea that when people are beaten up badly enough they won't notice a few extra punches?

41 comments:

Darcy said...

Well, let me take a stab at how they'll make people receptive to it: Talk about having less policemen, firemen, and all of the other vital public servants available to the citizens. That usually works. And the media does a good job of parroting that.

They've got the routine down pat. Trust me, I'm from Michigan. :)

Host with the Most said...

I'd really like to know why the recession creates receptivity to higher taxes

Notice the receptivity you quote is on the part of legislators.

Does this really need explanation?

Aren't Democrats - and any legislator in Wisconsin - by default congenital tax raisers?

Original George said...

Look for stealth taxes, like the "vehicle mile tax."

Every year when your car is inspected, your mileage will be noted, and you'll be billed 1/4 cent for every mile you've traveled.

Another scheme is being tested in five states wherein every car will be outfitted with a transponder that will keep track of how far a car is driven. Some 2,700 people have volunteered to take part in the tests.

In the future, your garbage will be weighed, too. You will compost.

Probably be taxes based on on-line times and/or bandwidth usage.

It's for your own good.

Ann Althouse said...

We don't have car inspections in Wisconsin.

I guess I should be grateful for that.

I did just get my registration renewal notice. It costs $75, which seems insanely high to me.

rhhardin said...

Legislators take a small cut of all funds that they control. (This genre is known as a louse; he steals your $500 stereo for the $10 he can get for it.)

So anyway total funds can't fall. If revenue falls, raise taxes to make up for it. Legislators are receptive.

paul a'barge said...

What is the saying? Oh yes, "You just can't make this up".

With the exception of two people on the planet Earth, everyone knows that raising taxes is anathema during a recession. Everyone except this mutt and one other person, who has not yet been identified.

What an idiot.

Geoffrey Britain said...

"I'd really like to know why the recession creates receptivity to higher taxes. Is the idea that when people are beaten up badly enough they won't notice a few extra punches?"

Not quite. Its based in the perception that people who essentially view themselves as VICTIMS of an UNFAIR system will vote to CORRECT the system by raising taxes on those who have 'unfairly' benefited...

When someone believes that they have been unfairly treated, they feel ENTITLED to corrective JUSTICE.

People who feel 'entitled' invariably are either ignorant of how econ 101 works or in willful denial of such.

Because to accept the economic laws of the universe is to accept life's essential 'unfairness' and to realize that past a certain point, 'correcting' the system is ultimately counter-productive.

Expat(ish) said...

You gotta pay for socialism, and when people are hurting (or are told they are for 18 months by the MSM) is a perfect time to promise more.

Delivery, smelivery, that might happen after the money is collected.

Don't worry, though, BHO and his cohort will only take it from The Rich.

-XC

TerriW said...

I did just get my registration renewal notice. It costs $75, which seems insanely high to me.

Ha Ha Hahahahahaha!

When I moved to California -- where I thankfully no longer live -- I was charged 1600 dollars to license my ... 2000 Toyota Echo, about a 10,000 dollar car new. Not exactly an expensive luxury vehicle.

That's not a typo -- sixteen hundred dollars. Apparently, it's what CA will (would?) do to you if your car has less than N thousand miles on your car when you move into the state, since you obviously bought your car elsewhere to evade their godawful taxes. (I seem to recall that this scheme of theirs was thrown out after I got there.)

Of course, that was for the initial registration. They only billed me 800 dollars the following year when it was time to renew.

PatCA said...

Darcy,
Don't forget "it's for the children!"

Der Hahn said...

$75 is the 'cheap' pickup registration in Iowa, at least until the legislature can find a way to increase it the way they reclassified mini-vans a few years ago. Not sure if that was during a recession or not.

CarmelaMotto said...

Receptivity to Tax those rich bastards who have done better than I have! Tax them all more and everything will be solved! Empty their bank accounts! Is that not the cure Obama and the MSM promises?

Original George, in NY, we don't have a miles tax yet (oh, that would make pols from Bloomberg to Patterson drool - for our own good!), but they hide a vehicle use tax in your registration (NYC being the highest at $30). Most people don't know it because it's included in the registration fees which for me every other year which for me and my small car (fees based on weight) is for a total of $64.50.

In NY we have inspections even when your car is a year old - $37 every year. All for the good of the environment!

CarmelaMotto said...

P.S. Let me note that due to all of the taxes NYS imposes on drivers as well as the rule imposed that we can't seek insurance from out of state providers (so my car insurance went from $400 a year as part of a bundle with home insurance with Travlers in CT to $1400) that many people now register their vehicles in Pennsylvania. There are so many PA plates in NYC and surrounding areas these days it's a complete joke.

TerriW said...

In NY we have inspections even when your car is a year old - $37 every year.

For all the flack that MN took for electing Jesse Ventura, at least he got rid of the smog check inspections.

Peter V. Bella said...

Why would people be more receptive to help government out? This is nothing but another ploy to get the middle class to pay hogher taxes- oh for those who do not realize it your license plate "fees" are actually taxes.

The working and middle classes are the largest number of people in the country, thus they can dollar, five, and ten us to death. Oh, and it is now patriotic to pay taxes. So, I guess the poor are not true patriots.

In Chicago we have the highest sales tax, one of the highest gas taxes, higher and higher sin taxes, high utility and cell phone taxes. Pretty soon they may tax the air we breath here. For what? They refuse to cut and prioritize spending.

Some folks should get together and start to agressively market a plan that makes it less receptive to pay higher taxes- actually makming it onerous to pay higher taxes. Also, they should really make the point that there is absolutely no correlation to taxation and patriotism.

TosaGuy said...

"We don't have car inspections in Wisconsin. "

Those of us in Milwaukee and by Lake Michigan have an emissions inspection every other year while those in Madison and other parts of the state do not. No inspection, no renewal. That horse is out of the barn.

Time for biannual Wisconsin budget shortfall dance. Everything vital to society (fire, police, etc) will be threatened with extinction if we don't pony over even more money. Also, we better not have the temerity for any accountability either...we the taxpayer have no right to ask those questions.

TerriW said...

Everything vital to society (fire, police, etc) will be threatened with extinction if we don't pony over even more money.

Certainly there must be a term for the practice of threatening to cut only beloved and visible services -- fire, police, school teachers -- during crises like these.

Darcy said...

Certainly there must be a term for the practice of threatening to cut only beloved and visible services -- fire, police, school teachers -- during crises like these.

"Effective"

Trooper York said...

"Certainly there must be a term for the practice of threatening to cut only beloved and visible services -- fire, police, school teachers -- during crises like these."

"Bullshit."

Hector Owen said...

It's often called the Washington Monument strategy. As one article says, "The "Washington Monument strategy" refers to the bureaucratic practice of threatening to close down the most popular or vital program in response to prospective budget cuts; the U.S. Department of the Interior always says it will have to close the Washington Monument first if its budget is cut. Faced with a budget crisis, Sacramento lawmakers inevitably threaten to slash spending for schools or law enforcement."

Another example, from Indiana.

Michael_H said...

You'd think the "(R)esearch director of the Institute for Wisconsin's Future" could gaze into his crystal ball and see a great fleet of U-Hauls and minivans leaving Wisconsin for states that have no state personal income tax. Apparently not.

Alaska, New Hampshire, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and Florida have no state income taxes. They also have lower property taxes.

Maybe the research director ought to dispatch teams to those states to research exactly how get by without income tax revenue rather than wasting time rationalizing how evermore money can be extracted from Wisconsin citizens to support a hideously bloated state government.

Remember Jim Doyle's promise when he last ran for governor? Jim Doyle was elected in 2002 on a platform that included no new taxes, protecting and creating good-paying jobs, and significantly downsizing state government by eliminating 10,000 positions over eight years.

Lying bastard.

Eli Blake said...

Alaska, New Hampshire, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and Florida have no state income taxes. They also have lower property taxes.

You're dead wrong, at least about Texas and property taxes.

I lived in Texas for one year. I paid a very hefty rent bill, and my landlord, one day when I questioned him about it, showed me the property tax bill. It was stunning (this was for a 1940's era small two bedroom house.)

My vehicle, which cost $43 to register in New Mexico, and cost $150 to register in Arizona, would have cost over $450 to register in Texas (though luckily I was spared the expense because when I went to register it I found out that I first had to have it inspected (at a private inspection station, where they also charge a fee.) So I went and paid to have it inspected, but by that time we were already on our way out of Texas so I just registered it in Arizona when I got here.

In fact, in Texas callers on radio shows invariably complained about the higher property taxes there than they had paid in other states.

The tax bite may be different in different states, but you're deluding yourself if you think you can escape it by moving to another state.

Eli Blake said...

Incidentally, notice that states with higher taxes in general also have higher rates of high school graduation while states with lower taxes (and consequently lower per pupil funding) fare more poorly on this chart.

Now, there are many reasons why students may or may not graduate, not all related to school funding-- for example rural states tend to do better than urban ones (and to be fair the state with the worst per pupil funding in the nation, Utah is tenth best on this list,) but there is a clear correlation between school funding and graduation rate.

The old adage 'do more with less' doesn't seem to apply at least when it comes to high school graduation rates.

Freeman Hunt said...

Eli, where is the data on per pupil funding? The link has the graduation rates but not the funding.

However it comes out though, correlation is not causation. If you have some area with a culture that doesn't put a premium on school, you will end up with lower graduation rates and less funding per pupil. You can expect the same in economically depressed areas as they can only tax so much to spend on education from poor people and many young poor people will prefer to go to work and make some money rather than stay in school. The opposite would be true of affluent areas where the tax revenues are high and junior is free to focus fully on his studies, economically insulated from the pressures of the real world.

AJ Lynch said...

Eli:

Are you sure about that? I have heard Utah spends the least but has the smartest students?

Also:

LOL- Althouse just remembered what she never liked about Dems and doofuses from groups like the Institute For Wisconsin's Future!

save_the_rustbelt said...

Could it have something to do with paying for higher education? You know, professor salaries.

Just wondering.

save_the_rustbelt said...

"Alaska, New Hampshire, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and Florida have no state income taxes. They also have lower property taxes."

This is a seductive argument until you look at some facts.

Alaska - oil
Texas - oil
Nevada - gambling, few people
Tennessee - high sales tax
Wyoming - natural resources, not many people
Florida - weather, tourism, sales taxes

So suggesting the rustbelt states emulate these states is a real stretch (and I hate taxes).

So unless you can get a Disneyland in Wisconsin.............

Seven Machos said...

Eli -- I do not believe you. However, let's assume you are correct. So what? Is high school graduation some great good that people should have to pay hundreds of dollars for each year?

It ain't hard to graduate from high school, pal. I don't care who you are. It would be even easier if ninnies with beliefs similar to yours didn't push years of useless crap classes on students who want to learn a trade.

blake said...

That's not a typo -- sixteen hundred dollars.

I've never paid a quarter of that in my life here. Not on a new car, not on a used car.

How did you hit the jackpot?

Michael_H said...

The tax bite may be different in different states, but you're deluding yourself if you think you can escape it by moving to another state

Delusion is not involved. I will retire to eastern Tennessee. I have already bought the house. It cost about $460,000 and the annual property tax bill last year was $1,300. Last year's property tax bill on my similarly-valued house near Milwaukee was $8,900.

I will pay NO tax on my earned income in Tennessee (dividends are taxable). Tennessee does have a an 8.4% sales tax; I pay 5.1% now in the county where I reside, 5.5% and climbing for purchases made in Milwaukee County. I don't spend a lot of money, so the increase in sales tax doesn't bother me.

Wisconsin imposes a $.33 per gallon tax on gasoline, Tennessee $.21 per gallon.

What is amazing in some of the posts on this thread is how willing, even eager, some citizens seem in rationalizing and justifying high taxes at the state level.

Is there not even a nagging doubt that Wisconsin government is bloated, and that we are overtaxed?

Don't programs like the guaranteed mortgage program for illegal immigrants (not available to natural citizens) seem too much?

Eric said...

Florida - weather, tourism, sales taxes

Yeah? Well, we have all that in California and we came up 25 bazillion dollars short again this year, with a high income tax and a high sales tax, both set to go up again (temporarily, of course).

Of course, the voters in this state are retarded, so that might be part of it.

Michael_H said...

How about Washington State, a place every bit as liberal as Wisconsin?

No state income tax. No oil, coal, or gaming revenue to fill the state coffers.

Sales tax that ranges from 5% to 9%, depending on the nature of the purchase.

Property taxes in Seattle are lower than in Madison or Milwaukee, approx $3,500 on a $460,000 single family residence.

John Stodder said...

I think we're way past the day when holding cops and teachers hostage until taxes can be raised is an effective strategy anymore. Politicians and civil servants are just not trusted anymore.

Hence, I think a few states are heading for bankruptcy.

Pogo said...

It's the sad, recurring, and impossible dream to live beyond one's means without consequences forever.

After the bacchanal comes the hangover, blame, and bitterness. Some people will learn the lesson, others will not, and since they are usually in the majority, the utopian play starts over again.

There will be tears.
Let us hope there will not be blood; for there was blood during the Great Depression, and it ended in war.

bearbee said...

If in economic expansionary times these idiots can't balance a budget, what do they expect during the contractions?

California with a 2009 budget gap of $22.2 billion, is the worlds 7th largest economy and has asked for government bailout.

@#$%^&!!

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

For the record, California has a total projected $27,800,000,000 deficit for fiscal years 08-11. Not just for 08-09.

After that the deficit is projected to be $22,000,000,000 every year for a few years.

California has a net outflow of people moving to other states of 150,000 people per year in that period.

California's population growth is now coming primarily from the inflow (legal and otherwise) of foreigners to the state and their offspring.

Most of the outflow are from the vast middle of taxpayers, most of the inflow are lower or non-income people who pay little if any income tax.

Net-net, California is rapidly and effectively turning into a fourth world state. That is a former first world state deserted by the middle class leaving little but the rich and the poor.

California is the seventh largest economy in the world and accounts for 13% of US GDP - and California is bankrupt in more ways than one.

And the commenter above is right: Too many of California's voters are complete and utter idiots.

AprilApple said...

I notice most blue states are in big financial trouble. It seems states that have had democrats at the helm for years and years are suffering the most.
Do people notice?

holdfast said...

With respect to Washington, the lack of state revenue does seem to show up in crappy roads. Also, while the coast is blue, the interior is red(neck) as hell (I mean that in a good way).

elHombre said...

It's the recession that creates a political opening here." -- Jack Norman

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." -- Rahm Emanuel

Keep that government growin' boys! Damn the taxpayers. Full speed ahead!

The Deacon said...

Yeah, nothing center-right about this blog. Sheesh.