It appears that the new words that liberal Democrats and Republicans will use to replace taxes are "fee increases". And the leader in that will be New York State, without a doubt.
According to the New York Daily News, everything from iPods to regular sodas will face a tax and or fee increase.
Here are the increases proposed by the New York Democrat governor, David Patterson:
Tax raises for movie tickets, taxi rides, regular soda (not sugar-free), beer, wine, cigars and massages. And there would be sales tax increases for cable and satellite services as well as removing a tax exemption for clothes costing less than $110 dollars.
But, Gov. Patterson will not say that these are tax increases but fee increases. Really?
A tax is a tax and an increase in a tax is an increase in a tax.
The proposed tax/fee increases would bring an estimated $4,100,000,000. That would close a quarter of the projected $15,400,000,000 deficit in the New York state budget.
So, let us all understand this.
What we call luxuries will face a tax/fee increase, right? Is there any proposed serious cuts in the state budget of $121,000,000,000?
Of course not!
But even this article is misleading because it implies that there will be cuts in school funding and payments to hospitals and nursing homes.
Yes, there will be a proposed 3.3% reduction in school aid, but not a permanent cut. And the same for the hospitals and nursing homes. The state will simply reduce those payments. Reductions are not permanent cuts. But, believe you me, the liberals and Democrats will have you believe that they are.
To be fair, there is a proposal to eliminate seven state agencies that would result in laying off 521 state workers. But are these large agencies? Or are they antiquated agencies that are places to employ those that are not employable anywhere else?
Here is a quote from Gov. Patterson:
"If you start taxing at times when (revenues are) receding, you'll drive job creators out of the state."
So, why do you want to put movie houses out of business? Taxi drivers out of work? Liquor stores out of business? Legitimate massage houses out of business? After all, do these places not employ people? If these places expand, do they not create jobs? Of course they do. But, because these liberal Democrats are afraid of raising taxes outright, they are dancing around the whole issue. And not addressing serious budget reforms and yes, genuine cuts.
With all of the crisis atmosphere, the New York state budget will still increase by one percent. It should not increase at all, but remember folks, this is what happens when liberal Democrats run a state and drive out any kind of business that does not conform to its world view. The state of New York has been able to avoid this mess because, as Gov. Patterson himself admits, they had been able to have seemingly exhaustive tax collection from Wall Street. Gee, no one ever thought that there could be a down economy and that the stock market may go down with it.
Like many other states, California being one of them, run by the liberal, Democrats, they do not have any clue on having policies that encourage economic growth. Income redistribution, yes. But growth does not register on their radar screen. Favorable tax policy to encourage business to locate in their state. Not. Deregulation that would do the same thing. Not.
We are watching how a state that can not raise income taxes is dealing with a budget shortfall in a punitive and meaningless way. But sounding like they are "doing something" about it. Too bad it will lead to a disaster.