Jon Stewart on Mitt Romney’s Biggest Problem

| Lauren Lipsay | Rolling Stone

“…presumed de facto front-runner” Mitt Romney must really be getting “hurt where [his] feelings should be.” After all, the former Massachusetts governor has had his eyes on the White House since 2007, and “looks like the guy you’d cast as president in a movie.” The only obstacle to Romney’s candidacy, according to Stewart? Mitt Romney, and his history of flip-flopping. Watch the Daily Show host hit Mitt where it hurts: his past positions.

Jon Stewart on Mitt Romney’s Biggest Problem | Lauren Lipsay | Rolling Stone

Sandy Springs, Georgia: The City that Outsourced Everything | Reason TV

While cities across the country are cutting services, raising taxes and contemplating bankruptcy, something extraordinary is happening in a suburban community just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.

This is the story of Sandy Springs, Georgia—the city that outsourced everything.

Approximately 8 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

The Myth of the Sustainable Public Budget

by Wendell Cox 11/16/2010
Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman caused a stir on ABC’s This Week, expressing the following view to Christina Amanpour on the recommendations by the leadership of the US Debt Reduction Commission:

“Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes. It’s going to be that we’re actually going to take Medicare under control, and we’re going to have to get some additional revenue, probably from a VAT.”

He later clarified his statement to be less provocative, noting that health care costs had to be better controlled and that there is a need for “several percent” more revenue, which might “most plausibly” come from a value added tax.

He went on to say that “And if we do those two things, we’re most of the way toward a sustainable budget.” That is a very tall order. Any serious examination of government costs makes it clear that there is no such thing as a sustainable budget. Click here to read more of wendell Cox’s superb writing.

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Remember This When You Hear Politicians and Public Emp Union Reps Condemn Hold-Outs for not “Compromising” (support raising taxes) to Fix the Budget:

Escape from Taxation
A new study shows that wealth flees after taxes rise. WSJ 2-13-2010

( Thanks to friend, Richard Rider for alerting me to this report and for his note, excerpted here, followed by the WSJ op-ed: I’ve written on this several times.  Those of you who get my “Breaking Bad — CA vs. Other States” know of our state’s net loss of 1.4 million Californians to other states over eight years.

Here’s the latest study reaching the same conclusion about the effect of high taxes.  It’s based on New Jersey — a state which in just a few years changed from a low income tax state to a high income tax state — especially for the wealthy.  When the change took effect, so did net migration change direction.

I don’t think this lesson can be repeated often enough.  High taxes drive the wealthy and businesses away — and discourage their in-migration.  Yet this “soak the rich” mentality is spreading through states — the latest to fall is Oregon.

For Californians, the more dumb states that boost their taxes (especially on the prosperous), the better — it reduces our state’s financial refugees’ options.  Sadly for us, some states are not following suit — notably income tax-free Florida, Nevada and Texas.  But also South Dakota, Wyoming and Washington state have no personal income tax.  In addition, Tennessee and New Hampshire don’t tax “earned” income — only dividends and interest.

When the “wealthy” have departed — taking their earning power and wealth with them — watch what our Big Spenders conclude.  The solution I suspect we’ll see from pinhead politicians will be that we need to raise taxes on the less prosperous — lowering the “millionaires” tax”bracket down to a half million (already there for NJ), a quarter million, $150K and so on.)

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie must be following the economic news from Greece. Its tattered reputation for fiscal control has turned Greece into an international financial nightmare and laughingstock. Perhaps tiring of New Jersey jokes, Governor Christie this week handed down a stiff freeze on spending.

Announcing the freeze on $1.6 billion of unspent money, Mr. Christie was blunt: “Today, we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want. Today, the days of Alice in Wonderland budgeting in Trenton end.”

Not a day too soon, judging from the striking data that a just-released study reveals about the number of residents of the Garden State fleeing to greener pastures.

The study by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy—”Migration of Wealth in New Jersey and the Impact on Wealth and Philanthropy”—looked at 1999 to 2008. It found that in the decade’s first half New Jersey experienced a “substantial increase in both household wealth and charitable capacity,” otherwise known as “expected giving.” During those five years the Garden State had a $98 billion net influx of capital due to wealthy households moving into the state, and it enjoyed a corresponding $881 million increase in “charitable capacity.”

The Garden State was blooming. Then the trend reversed. From 2004-2008, author John Havens found “a large decline in the number of wealthy households entering New Jersey” as well as “a moderate increase in the outflow of wealthy households leaving.” The result: a net decline of $70 billion in household wealth while the “expected giving” became a net outflow of $1.132 billion.

So what happened in 2004?
Click here to read more

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By Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters

August 21, 2009 (San Diego) — Here’s a depressing comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (I keep updating this article):

California has the 2nd highest state income tax in the nation: . 9.55% at $48,000. 10.55% at $1,000,000

Our state is by far the highest state sales tax in the nation. 8.25% (not counting local sales taxes)

We have the highest state car tax in the nation – at least double any other state. 1.15% per year on value of vehicle.

Our corporate income tax rate is the highest in the West. 8.84%

California’s 2009 Business Tax Climate ranks 48th in the nation.

We have the fourth highest capital gains tax 9.55%

We also have the highest gasoline tax (averaging 64.5 cents/gallon) in the nation (July, 2009). When gas hits $3.00/gallon, we are numero uno – because unlike many states, we charge sales tax on gasoline purchases (built into the price).

Our state has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the nation. (July, 2009) 11.9%. National rate 9.4%.
Read the rest of the report here

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Morality and Charlie Rangel’s Taxes: It’s much easier to raise taxes if you don’t pay them.

JULY 27, 2009, 4:28 P.M. ET.

Ever notice that those who endorse high taxes and those who actually pay them aren’t the same people? Consider the curious case of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, who is leading the charge for a new 5.4-percentage point income tax surcharge and recently called it “the moral thing to do.” About his own tax liability he seems less, well, fervent.

Exhibit A concerns a rental property Mr. Rangel purchased in 1987 at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. The rental income from that property ought to be substantial since it is a luxury beach-front villa and is more often than not rented out. But when the National Legal and Policy Center looked at Mr. Rangel’s House financial disclosure forms in August, it noted that his reported income looked suspiciously low. In 2004 and 2005, he reported no more than $5,000, and in 2006 and 2007 no income at all from the property. (Click here to read more)

May election more of an IQ test: Voters can pass the test by voting no on everything.

Sunday, May 10, 2009
Steven Greenhut
Sr. editorial writer and columnist
The Orange County Register

Don’t think of the May 19 ballot as a special election so much as an IQ test.

California voters are being asked to approve six budget “reforms” that will supposedly fix the state’s massive budget deficit and keep politicians from digging a big hole in the future. The titles and verbiage for each one are rather complex, but it’s not any test of intelligence to figure out what the measures really mean. The politicians who drafted them – or at least who hired the lawyers who drafted them – don’t really know how they will play out, and I doubt any legislator or the governor has more than a passing knowledge of the details contained within 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E or 1F. How can an average voter be expected to do any better?
click here to read more

Biden’s Tax Truth: That ‘tax cut’ threshold keeps falling

Well, will families making less than $250,000 get a tax cut under President Obama, or not? Senator Obama has been saying this for months, but on Monday Joe Biden put the tax-cut income threshold at $150,000 in an interview with a TV station in his beloved Scranton, Pennsylvania

Spreading the Wealth, Obama-Style

by James Freeman