As an American I find myself stunned, over and over; like fish in the reach of the tenticles of a man-o-war, at political solutions to human and spiritual problems.
I live in Masschusetts, and we are the most liberal state in the US. We were first in gay marriage, we were first in mandatory healthcare, we have rejected mandatory sentencing for repeat and sex offenders, we are ahead of the Global Warming curve, we have high taxes (on average 10%), we are split on casino gambleing only because we've missed the boat (if doesn't create jobs, it's a political flop), and well John Kerry and Ted Kennedy were our sentaors for many years (Kerry still is). The last time we went red for president was in 1984!
|I'm no republican, I am not a liberal, and I am not a conservative, and defiantly not a Democrat. For instance, I am big fan of green energy and getting off foreign oil yesterday, but I think Global Warming is a farce. I am anti-abortion and pro-death penalty.I am anti-war unless we've been attacked. I am against off-shore drilling - or any drilling for that matter. I don't like nukes, and I think the government is trying to regulate morality in business. I am pro-immigration and anti-illegal immigration. And I am a fiscal conservative.|
This past weekend we had a tax-free holiday. The pols decided to give us a weekend in which we could buy pretty much anything under $2,500, and not pay the 6.25% sales tax. It was intended to stimulate the economy, and by the increase in shopping traffic, it did.
Increased sales are good for the local ecomony and the Chinese who probably produced most of the electronics, and furniture items that were sold.
If we take a closer look, here is what we really got for our tax free holiday:
- The Democrats and some of the Republicans got a political lift because it sounds good. They didn't have one last year, because; in their view, not collecting a few million in sales tax was bad for the government budget - and hey - the ecomony was already tanked and that was Bush's fault. But we're well beyond blaming Bush, aren't we?
- It stimulated sales and the economy; tax cuts will do that. Is anybody listening? Those that could afford to went out and spent money!
- It benefited the rich, because 9% of the state is unemployed and does not have money for taxable luxuries. Let's face it, there is a very select part of the population that will think that saving $62.25 on a $1000 item is a big deal. It doesn't matter to those who cant spend money on a taxbable item. Conversely, it is not a big savings when most retailers do 10 or 20% sales all the time - plus the sales tax savings.
- It benefitted to politicians because elections are coming. And this is a good thing if everyone remembers it. Everything they do works towards that end. Maybe if we had term limits, we'd get past this?
I would have done it differently. Suppose they gave a tax rebate for those on unemployment or making wages that are considered poor in this state? If they spent it on food clothing or shelter, it would have been tax exempt, and it they chose to spend it on luxuries, the state would have recouped 6.25% on their investment.
Me, I didn't spend a dime in MA. In fact, except for gas and guitar strings, I don't pay sales taxes. I sure do pay a lot in property taxes and income taxes though. I feel as if I am building the goevermnent payrolls, while I am not able to spend money in the private sector to stimulate the economy.
If I really want to avoid sales tax, I simply buy in New Hampshire; a mere 30 miles away,where there is no sales tax ever.
The economic climate is bad enough that no manufacturing even considers coming to the state. The average 3 bedroom home in greater Boston is still over $300K. With a 5.5% income tax, property and vehicle taxes, folks are leaving at a fairly steady rate. It will be interesting that to see how the census comes out.
How about you, can you make a case for increased sales taxes, or one for tax cuts?