Rad Geek People's Daily

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State’s-Eye View

So, Carla Howell got another voter referendum on the ballot in Massachusetts to completely repeal the state’s personal income tax. The last one, in 2002, was defeated, but with a remarkably high Yes vote (55% No-45% Yes). Voter polls show that this year’s ballot issue currently has only about 45% of the voters in the state against it, and about the same number for it, with the deciding margin still undecided.

Howell is spearheading the campaign on behalf of a ballot initiative that would cut the state income tax, currently at 5.3 percent, to 2.65 percent in 2009 and then do away with it entirely the next year.

Howell claims that eliminating the income tax would put an average of $3,600 in the pocket of every taxpayer, every year. … If the income tax is eliminated, the overall state budget, totaling $26.8 billion this fiscal year, would be cut by about 40 percent—reducing it to $17 billion, or what the state government ran on in 1995, according to Howell.

— Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth (Winter 2008): Voters get another shot at erasing the state income tax

Let’s watch how Michael J. Widmer, who spent at least ten years of his life drawing a tax-funded salary from the Massachusetts state government and now presides over the tax-exempt Massachusetts Taxpayers’ Foundation, reacts:

The president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, who single-handedly led the charge against the first repeal effort and debated Howell several times, plans on building a coalition of groups to oppose the question this year. … Since the question did so well the last time, Widmer isn’t surprised to see that it’s bounced back. But Widmer argues that Massachusetts can ill afford to see $12 billion in fiscal 2009 revenues disappear into thin air.

— Gabrielle Gurley, CommonWealth (Winter 2008): Voters get another shot at erasing the state income tax

Please keep in mind that, in the minds of people like Michael Widmer, the Massachusetts state government, and most of the professional blowhards who report and comment on their views, if the government doesn’t take $3,600 a year out of a worker’s paycheck, that money just vanishes into thin air.

You might have thought that money not taken out of your paycheck actually just goes to somebody other than who the government says it must go to — that is, first to the worker herself, and then, secondarily, toward whatever needs projects that worker may have, like her or her children’s education, retirement savings, healthcare, food, rent…. But from the state’s-eye view, those little projects of hers are worth nothing or less; unless that money passes through the hands of political appropriators and government bureaucrats, it may as well not exist, and it’s surely never going to do a lick of good for anybody or anything that counts (in the reckoning of the state).

If nobody is in charge of distributing all the food, how will Paris ever get fed?

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  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-03-11 – Colonialist logic:

    […] their government seizure and government financing projects at home—whether in the form of taxes, government-driven technology plans, or the seizure, bulldozing, transfer, and subsidized remaking […]

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