Tag Archive: tax cuts

Romnesia

While this isn’t only New Jersey, there are plenty of voters throughout our state who may be suffering from Romnesia. Check out the President diagnosing the illness and then identifying the cure:

If you know any New Jersey voters suffering from Romnesia, share this message with them before Election Day on November 6.

Cheese it, Drewniak! The jig is up! Gas up the plane and get me outta state!

Too bad he’s rushing from the frying pan into the fire.

Today we find out – late in the day with the governor hot-footing it to a plane, that tax collections for the first two months of this budget year fell short – way short – of Gov. Christie’s rosy revenue projections. You knew that was coming. And you knew that’s why Christie was late providing the figures. In direct violation of his own executive order, by the way.

Boys and girls, this is what you call a news dump. Bad news immediately followed by a quick exit. Stage right, as always.

How bad is this? Pretty bad or Christie wouldn’t have delayed the painful news until he could get out of here. For months, Chris Christie has been pumping his empty Mission Accomplished Jersey Comeback message, thumping the Good News like a street preacher crossed with a carnival barker crossed with a pit bull. Until recently, when numbers began falling noisily off cliffs, the press has largely allowed him to get away with it, with far more ink for Christie’s brash, attractive personality and far less for the hard questions that finally everybody’s asking this guy.

Christie has finally swapped out his (#awkward) Jersey Comeback banner from his taxpayer-funded Town Halls political rallies, in favor of the (equally ridiculous) Middle Class Reform Agenda theme. But this is how we find out if we actually get that tax cut Christie promised (stamping his foot for emphasis as the Legislature acted as the grownups in the room and tied it to revenue levels that would show we could actually afford it). Jarrett Renshaw at the Ledger gives you the numbers:  

Politics

As Rosi mentioned in the roundup, the Star Ledger had an Editorial about the drive behind the Christie agenda in the face of a mounting pile of facts called reality:

Christie, for political reasons, is ignoring the red flags.

That’s nothing new. After revenue fell short in the crucial month of April, Christie’s spokesman said we should resist “the urge to hastily generalize.”

Then in July, estimates of tax collections for the prior fiscal year showed the same thing: a shortfall. The governor’s spokesman said this was “hasty and speculative” – “panicked,” even.

Now the latest numbers from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services and state Treasury tell the same story. The state is looking at a shortfall of at least $200 million for the previous fiscal year. And in July, the first month of the new fiscal year, revenue was also below Christie’s expectations.

As if those numbers weren’t bad enough, they remind us of the need to look forward

Understand that giant spending increases are baked into the state budget over the next several years. That’s because both parties agreed to continue skipping full pension payments, despite making public workers pay in full right away. They also agreed to finance transit projects by borrowing, rather than increasing the gas tax. This is old-school Jersey behavior, and the bill is coming due.

Christie wants to ignore all that and phase in tax cuts beginning in January. Democrats, skeptical that we can afford it, said they would go along in January only if revenues meet the governor’s expectations. That’s simple prudence.

It is prudence, but that rational position has been and will continue to be attacked by Christie and Republicans regularly through the same media that is calling it out. The editorial summed it up this way:

There is really only one way to explain the governor’s insistence that the tax cuts should be locked in now, even in the face of these disappointing revenue reports: politics.

After all, it will make such a great pitch during his speech next week at the Republican convention.

The emphasis is mine. The full editorial is worth a read, but if you’re looking to boil things down that sums it up nicely.

3 Tax Truths: Who’s Carrying Who?

In addition to the “debate”  on the federal level about the wealthiest Americans and corporations getting a free ride off We the People while just about everyone else is sacrificing what little they have left, there are three huge lies that seem to stick around way longer than they should about Americans and taxes.  I’ll put all three to bed right now with three simple facts:

  • Tax cuts for the rich are job killers (as evidenced by these links);
  • Many lower income families pay a lot of tax; and
  • The rich pay a lower percentage of their income in state taxes (at least here in NJ but also in many states) than everyone else.

It is these last two items that have really been in the forefront lately and a lot is based on the completely farcical selective focus on personal income tax.  The excuses and “proof” is laughable – that more money is paid by the top 5% (duh, they have 90% of the total income and wealth), that lower income Americans don’t pay federal or state income tax or whatever else.  But of course, that doesn’t take into account the following:

  • Property tax
  • Social Security tax
  • Medicare tax
  • Sales tax
  • Cigarette tax
  • Hotel tax
  • Non “tax” taxes such as tolls, ATM fees, parking or meter fees, etc.

Even taking the last few out of the mix, a recent 50 state study showed that in almost all states, the top 1% and 5% pay a lower share of their income in taxes, and the lowest 20% paid a substantially higher percentage of income in overall taxes – even when the income taxes are taken out of the equation.  

Here in NJ, just taking sales, property and income taxes, the lowest 20% pay almost 11% of their income in state tax, while the top 1% (with an average 2007 income in excess of $2,250,000) paid under 7.5% of their income in state taxes.  This is the lowest of any bracket (lowest 20%, next 20%, next 20%, next 20%, next 15%, next 4%, top 1%) and substantially lower than nearly all of the other brackets.

Couple this with the debunked lie that Governor Christie and his right wing ilk like to repeat about taxes and the little to no impact they have on people leaving a state, and you have those poor mistreated, misunderstood and unfairly picked on super rich crying about stuff that is a steaming pile of thousand dollar bills lining their pockets at the rest of our expense.

Frauds

What I’m talking about here is that down in Washington, there are a bunch of frauds that claim to represent this state and country.  Frauds when it comes to talk of the budget.  Frauds when it comes to talk about stimulating the economy or creating jobs or addressing budget issues.  And they are on both sides of the aisle.

On the most recent “agreement” between President Obama and Republican leaders, there is much blame to go around when it comes to who the fraud is.  Obama not only folded when it came to extending tax cuts for those earning below $250,000 but also on unemployment benefits, social security, federal employees and the budget.

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The Adler/Runyan Debate

Posted late last night, after the tense matchup. – promoted by Rosi

Tonight was the big showdown.  The first (and probably only) public debate between the diminutive incumbent, Congressman John Adler, and the leviathan ex-footballer Jon Runyan.



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Christie trying to sell more debunked right wing crap to benefit the rich

The Governor who hasn’t met a perk for the rich that he doesn’t like is at it again:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he intends to reduce income taxes within two years to stimulate the economy.

A lower tax rate would help the state compete with neighbors including Pennsylvania, which has a top margin of 3 percent compared with New Jersey’s 9 percent, Christie said in a radio interview today on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene.

“We’ve got to do that,” said Christie, 48, a Republican who took office in January. “You can’t be competitive when your top marginal rate is three times your neighbor.”

Let’s forget the fact that NJ doesn’t have local income taxes or school district taxes like Pennsylvania or that NJ has an exemption from income tax for the first $20,000 in gross income, where Pennsylvania does not.

Instead, let’s focus on other things that have continuously debunked Mr. “I’m not good at math” when it comes to being the Reverse Robin Hood that he is…..hmm, how shall I say this?

How about this:

Tax cuts don’t create jobs or stimulate the economy.  

Or, to put it another way, cutting state corporate income taxes doesn’t create jobs.

Or, maybe a bit differently, wealthy people that get tax cuts save them and don’t “invest in their small business or create jobs”.

Christie is just looking for another tried and true failed right wing meme to shovel more money from the New Jersey middle class to the pockets of his friends and family.