Breaking news out of Des Moines is that many Iowa taxpayers will be eligible for an extra $54 tax credit.
This is the result of one of the most short-sighted pieces of legislation passed by the Iowa General Assembly in recent years. Lawmakers created what they called the “Taxpayers Trust Fund,” which we should call the “Giveaway Slush Fund.” It’s a pot of money to dole out to ...taxpayers and boast about at election time. Chances are, the “givers” won’t give you the whole picture.
Their game is an illusion, a political parlor trick: Hold down funding for key priorities, such as K-12 education, or universities, and then when revenues create a surplus, call it an “overpayment” by taxpayers.
Does anyone really believe their spin? The $120 million to be given away represents easily $120 million in services that could have been provided. For K-12 alone, a little over half of it could have been used this year to fully pay the state’s share of allowable growth at the 4 percent level lawmakers authorized. Instead, state funding only supports half of the state share.
By shortchanging school districts with funding for only 2 percent allowable growth this year despite strong revenues, lawmakers compounded a trend of squirreling away big dollars while claiming poverty. This way, they have given themselves $120 million to spend on dessert — the Giveaway Slush Fund — by choosing not to pay the state’s share of the bill for the meat and potatoes: school aid.
One Iowa columnist who has seen through this is The Des Moines Register’s Rekha Basu, who noted Sunday: “Doling out money piecemeal is a gimmick that may bring smiles to some faces but it can’t take the place of sound and consequential actions.” She’s right.
Is it really worth it to you to receive the $54, instead of putting adequate and appropriate funding back into our education system? Or cleaner water? Or safer streets? Or, well, you get the idea.
Give me a break. On second thought, don’t.
Mike OwenPosted by Mike Owen, Executive Director John Carpenter
In answer to the cuts in Social Security payments to the elderly and disabled that were proposed by the Simpson – Bowles Commission (aka the Catfood Commission), Democrats in both the Senate and House have proposed SS be increased. The new money would come from removing the salary cap for SS contributions.
The Washington Post took to their editorial pages to denounce this proposal. Raising the boogey man of taxing the rich. They also noted that while the elderly may have problems, theirs are not as bad as some others. Therefore do not tax the rich.
In one of the best responses I have ever seen to such tripe is located in the response portion for this editorial. Someone identifying themselves as “Dryly 41″ looks at the history of our debt and notes SS has never added one dime to our debt. They also note that the debt since Reagan has almost totally been driven by borrowing to give tax cuts to the wealthy.
Let me add that we need a few more taxes to make sure everyone has food on their table and medical care also.
Here is the response:
11/18/2013 8:04 AM PST
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese Empire attacked U.S. naval and air bases at Pearl Harbor. Thereafter sixteen million young men wore the uniform, and, after 3 years and 8 months secured the unconditional surrender of Italy, Germany, and, Japan, Then, except for 405,399, they came home, went to school of the G.I. Bill or got jobs and entered into delayed marriages. The delayed marriages created the “demographic bubble” known as the Baby Boom generation and the children of WW II vets began to turn 65 in 2011.
In 1946 the Gross Federal Debt amounted to 121.7% of GDP. the Truman administration reduced it to 71.4% of GDP; Eisenhower to 55.2%; Kennedy/Johnson to 38.6%; Nixon/Ford to 35.8%; and, Carter to 32.5%.
Then came Ronald Reagan with massive “supply side” tax cuts primarily for the wealthy and budget deficits in each of eight years increasing the Gross Federal Debt from 32.5% to 53.1% of GDP. Bush I had four more years of budget deficits increasing the debt to 66.1%.
Clinton raised taxes, had 4% unemployment, balanced budgets and reduced the debt to 56.4%.
Bush II instituted two rounds of “supply side” tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, had eight more years of deficits and increased the Gross Federal Debt from 56.4% of GDP to 85.1% with a crippled economy.
In 1983 Reagan signed a regressive FICA payroll increase so as to create a surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund which has a $2.6 trillion dollar reserve as of December 2012.
Social Security did not contribute one thin dime to the massive Federal Debt.
This massive Federal Debt was caused by borrowing all these trillions to fund “supply side” tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens most able to pay taxes.
The massive Federal Debt was not for any great national purpose such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WW I, or, WW II. It was for “supply side” tax cuts for the wealthy.
Start with eliminating “supply side” economics and return to traditional Republican tax and fiscal policy.