If the amnesiacs driving the current policy debate will remember, during the campaign, candidate Chris Daggett proposed a tax plan reform package.
At the time, I naively had hoped that Daggett’s analytical policy based approach to politics would change the Trenton conversation and force media to engage the substance.
And for a fleeting moment in late September it did.
Daggett’s plan ran in detail on page one Star Ledger, and the media actually engaged the substance of an issue.
But man was I wrong in terms of Daggett’s ability to alter the conversation and inject more substance into media and the political debate.
It was amazing how quickly Daggett’s plan fell into obscurity.
After just weeks, things reverted to the same old politics.
This only opened the door to the Christie “shock doctrine” (N. Klein) and retrograde ideological attack on all things public (while diverting attention away from the finance industry Wall Street types that caused the economic collapse at the heart of the state budget crisis).
Amazingly, while the rest of the country is in populist outrage over the greed of Wall Street and the obscenity of the taxpayer bailout while homeowners are foreclosed on and Main Street is ignored, the cowardly corporate NJ democrats and media have allowed Christie to stand reality on its head: attack teachers, librarians, and social workers as the greedy ones!
In addition to Wall Street anger, the whole world can see how failure to regulate BP led directly to the gulf oil disaster – and a mine explosion that killed 25 workers. (Tuesday nite, PBS Frontlinewill run a story about how cost cutting and lax safety regulation results in plane crashes).
But, despite this hugely visible reality of what happens when safety and environmental regulations are gutted for corporate profits, Chrisitie is allowed to target environmental regulations (aka “red tape”) as the cause of the recession.
In the Orwellian Chrisitie world, it’s not Wall Street, corporations, and deregulation that are to blame, it’s greedy teachers, ibrarians, unions, and environmental regulations!
So, let’s bring back the Daggett analytical approach to policy and re-examine key aspects of the Daggett plan.
This would include a focuse on broadening the sales tax to the currently untaxed service sector to better fit the shift in the economy. This would levy the burden on those in the financial sector that are most able to afford to pay.
Of course the Daggett plan would have to be modified to include restoring the $400,000 income threshold (no need to raise it to a million, which was a ploy to support a slogan “millionaire’s tax”) and get rid of his call for corporate and wealthy tax relief:
The candidate’s plan, which he devised over several months using independent studies and state budget numbers, also would reduce corporate taxes by $750 million and income taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents by $620 million. To compensate, Daggett proposed eliminating $1.6 billion in property tax relief programs like rebates.
Independent N.J. governor candidate Chris Daggett proposes overhaul of tax system