Taxing the Blue States: it’s a thing…
Democrats have been saying for years that we need tax increases, and that paying taxes is one of the greatest forms of patriotism. Now it looks like President Trump is going to put their beliefs to the test.
Trump’s new tax plan would hit blue states hardest, by eliminating the federal deductibility of state income and property taxes. That’s going to make it harder for blue states to maintain the high tax rates they’ve traditionally levied…
As attentive readers will have noted, I’ve long dropped off the idea of cutting taxes merely to cut taxes. There are taxes which are bad, and taxes which ain’t so bad…and also taxes which are merely useful for various purposes. I’ve long advocated a “wealth tax” on super-rich individuals who own a great deal in stocks and bonds…part of this is so that the income tax on less wealthy people can be reduced, but the other part is to make these super-rich liberals feel the heat: they’re always calling for income tax hikes they never have to pay because they don’t make income, as such. But I also like this idea of putting pressure on Blue State tax rates…they jack up their rates sky high and offset it by allowing people to deduct it from their federal tax. No more, as far as I’m concerned…you want to soak your people, then pay the full political price for it.
Should we amend our libel laws?
On Sunday, a day after President Trump railed against the press at a rally marking his 100th day in office, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said of amending the Constitution to expand libel law: “I think it’s something that we’ve looked at, and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”
It would take an amendment – case law on this is pretty set in stone: you can say what you want about people and unless the target can not only prove it a lie, but prove the person saying it knew it was a lie, then the accuser is off the hook. As for me, I don’t think that the 1st Amendment was intended to provide such iron-clad protection for dishonesty.
There is an argument to be made – and its a strong one – that when someone set out to critique especially a political person, the widest latitude must be given. It is a difficult thing to get into policing political comment. On the other hand, it is so hard to combat outright lies that mostly the are left out there, unchallenged in any meaningful way. And now in the age of social media, even regular folks are coming under the gun of crude fabrications for political purposes. I’ve said before what I’d want in this area: a mere protection of employment for things uttered outside the place of employment. I know this means that a person can run down their employer, but it also – and most crucially – means that a person’s job isn’t at risk if a Twitter mob decides to take exception to a statement. Losing a job is a huge risk for people…and to protect their jobs, people will do just about anything…even knuckle under to political correctness. We need to think on this and discuss it.
The spending bill to carry us through to October 1st is not getting a lot of Conservative approval. Rightly so – it is a bad bill. I only moderately excuse it by noting it is, really, Obama’s last budget. Had their been regular order in 2016, this (or something even worse) is what we would have gotten this year. I’ll forgive this dog of a bill if the FY 2018 budget has at least an ounce of Conservatism in it.