Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Strickland's Big Blink

Governor Ted Strickland announced today that he will seek to postpone the last installment of personal income tax cuts to plug the budget gap now that the video slots idea is in danger. Modern has a liveblog of the press conference and some reax. Some thoughts.

Republicans immediately fell upon the governor like hyeanas on a rancid zebra carcass, calling this a tax increase. Leaving the tax rate where it is does not constitute an increase. They will continue to say it's an increase because it's what they do, and every time they do it will kill brain cells in every sentient being within earshot. But please try to remember that no matter how loud they scream that 2+2=5, it's not an increase.

This is the probably least worst of a number bad choices -- including the video slots. The State, local governments and schools are already cut to the bone. Cutting more would fall on schools and could do long term irreparable harm. Plus more cuts means more unemployment -- another term for a government job is a job.

Of the possible tax changes, it certainly is the best. Strickland is right that raising the CAT would renege on the agreement hammered out with the business community during the tax reform debate that brought us to this point.

And a sales tax increase would be doubly bad. For one thing, sales taxes disproportionately affect working and lower class people. For another, state income taxes are more easily deducted against Federal income taxes. That means that funding through income taxes keeps more money in the state -- for every dollar the state takes in, Ohioans pay some fraction like 70-80 cents. The Feds absorb the rest in lower tax revenue. One legacy of the Taft years is that we bumped the sales tax up a half penny, then dropped the income tax. We increased relative taxes on those least able to pay them and sent more Ohio money to Washington. Brilliant.

Anyway, I have issues with how Strickland has handled the spending side of the budget crisis (about which more anon), but he's right that something needed done on the revenue side. It took a while, but he has made the right choice.


Matt N. said...

LOL- Creating jobs through the public sector. Thank you, Ted Strickland!

If only we could all be limp wristed stay at home daddies.

Pho said...

Ahh, brain-dead talking points and ad hominem attacks. How we've missed you Matt. Don't ever leave us.

Here I spend time and effort proving that the Right has lost its collective marbles when all I have to do is wait for you to show up.

Uh oh. I hear Vessels coming. Better run home Matty.

Anonymous said...

Matt I think you have a point on the job front but I think you are being too critical of Pho. I check his blog daily to find out the happenings in NE Ohio and I have found him to be on point or at least honest with the shortcomings on the left.
I would put it this way. I can at least respect and follow what Pho says as opposed to some progressive blogs that appear on the left of his site.
I also had Pho as a professor for his first outing as a lecturer and found that a majority of the time, he seemed to be pretty fair and sometimes leaning to the right on Commerce Clause cases and only once let his political leanings show on SCHIP funding.

Anonymous said...

However, that is not to say that I don't prefer your blog. I visit it several times a day. I just wish you would quit with the Schultz postings. I don't think her articles are really all that great and she rarely writes anything worth reading.