Ga. ‘tax reform’ will mean big tax hike for many

If you want to pay higher taxes, state Sen. David Shafer, the Senate president pro tem from Gwinnett County, has just the plan for you. He has proposed two amendments to the state constitution that, if approved by voters, would lead to significantly higher taxes on the vast majority of Georgia households, while sharply reducing taxes on the wealthiest.

That ought to be controversial under any circumstances. As it is, lower- and middle-income Georgia households already pay a significantly higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than do the wealthy. The Shafer amendments would make that disparity considerably worse.

gataxes1

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

First, let’s take a look at the current disparity. According to a study of state tax structures by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, middle-class Georgians — those with incomes of $15,000 to $80,000 — today pay roughly 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes. In contrast, the top 1 percent — with an average income of $983,000 — pay less than 5 percent of their income. That’s barely half the rate paid by lower-income Georgians.

The reason for that disparity is clear. Unlike the federal government, Georgia raises roughly a third of its revenue from the sales tax, and the sales tax always hits the poor and middle class much harder than it does the wealthy.

Again, the ITEP report documents the disparity. The richest 1 percent of Georgia households today pay just 0.8 percent of their income through the state sales tax and excise taxes. In contrast, the sales tax takes 4 to 6 percent of the income of middle-class households, because unlike the wealthy they tend to spend most of their income, and they tend to spend it on taxable items rather than services.

gatax2

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

By “creating a pathway” to higher sales taxes, as Shafer put it, his proposals would take an even larger bite out of the paychecks of lower-income and middle-income Georgians. It would make the current system even more imbalanced than it already is.

In an interview this week, however, Shafer shrugged off that critique and defended the proposals. “I just think it’s better to tax consumption rather than tax productivity,” he said. “It’s a philosophical question.”

Senate Resolutions 412 and 415 would also write another important shift into the state constitution. Under those proposed amendments, future state legislatures would be forbidden in most cases to raise either the sales or income tax to generate new revenue.

“Tax caps force governments to make smarter decisions,” Shafer said. “They force legislators to focus on essential services.”

Shafer and other legislators have decided that in the current environment, raising state taxes is not necessary and would even be counterproductive. That is their right as representatives of the people; it is the kind of decision that they were elected to make.

But with all due respect to current officeholders, none of them has the wisdom to anticipate the problems that the Georgia General Assembly might confront in 2023, or 2033, or what steps future legislators might need to address those problems. To sit today and dictate what future legislators can or cannot do in times unknown is an act of arrogance, and it’s entirely unnecessary.

If future Georgia legislators, elected by future Georgia voters, decide that they need to raise more revenue, or if they decide that it is wrong to tax lower- and middle-income Georgians at rates twice as high as those paid by the wealthy, they ought to have the authority to act on those decisions.

– Jay Bookman

511 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
7:58 am

“I just think it’s better to tax consumption rather than tax productivity,”

What a d*k.

Ronald Reagan Parkway

March 15th, 2013
8:04 am

Senate Resolutions 412 and 415 would also write another important shift into the state constitution. Under those proposed amendments, future state legislatures would be forbidden in most cases to raise either the sales or income tax to generate new revenue.

_____

The Repubs have changed the state’s constitution too many times since 2000. Does Georgia set a new record on how many times that it has been changed under Republican rule?

A Simple Man

March 15th, 2013
8:10 am

Taxing consumption would be fine if that were ALL they taxed. They’re doing that and much more…

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 15th, 2013
8:10 am

Just my opinion, of course, but ALL elected Republicans are criminals, and their “flock” should rise up and lynch them to the nearest Georgia Oak. I am sick of them.

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
8:12 am

I can’t wait until my wife finishes her Master’s degree so we can move out of this ars-backwards state.

Cosby

March 15th, 2013
8:12 am

Ahh..lets tax the rich….I love a comsumption tax, at least you have a choice to consume or not….the Cap…what a neat idea..but I may add a little difference…they have to let the people vote…IE explain why they spent all the money…and a comsumption tax spurs the elite state leaders to promote growth..if we grow the state economy, then we get more revenue…what the hell is wrong with that…but those poor..wait..over 50% of these wonderful people do not pay income tax so yes, a consumption tax will make them pay and help in lieu of sucking it down…..I love it..Cap it and if they want a different Cap they have to take it to the voters…and everyone pays…just one hell of an idea!!!

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 15th, 2013
8:14 am

Missing from the above discussion is the untaxed income. Lots of people are operating on a cash basis, and not reporting or under-reporting income. At least everyone pays a sales tax.

td

March 15th, 2013
8:14 am

Where are your charts that talk about how much more of the under ground economy that will now be coming into the tax coffers now?

Jerome Horwitz

March 15th, 2013
8:15 am

Bro from downstairs – re Portman. It often takes a personal experience to change a persons prejudgices (sp?). Like walking in a man’s shoes often enlightens. Change comes one person at a time.

Jerome Horwitz

March 15th, 2013
8:17 am

Funny part is the masses buy this consumption tax hook, line, and sinker. They think they’ll be better off – same theory applies to electing dufus’s like this guy.

TaxPayer

March 15th, 2013
8:18 am

This just in: Avoid I575. A truckload of Republican politicians were dumped onto the expressway.

straitroad

March 15th, 2013
8:18 am

Consistent with many of the commenters on this blog, the first one begins with the usual name calling. Jay, for the record, Clark Howard says your analysis is wrong and I trust him as a better consumer advocate.

Jay

March 15th, 2013
8:21 am

“at least you have a choice to consume or not….”

I just love that theory.

As if a household of four on a $50,000 income can CHOOSE not to consume to stay alive. I suppose they could live in a tent made of hides from deer that they killed by hand — guns and bullets being taxable items — and clothe themselves in similar manner, etc.

The sheer lunacy of that notion, combined with the intellectual certainty in which such slogans are repeated, is downright charming, don’t you think?

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:21 am

JAY

I was listening to Tom Hartmann yesterday. He and his guest were salivating over and idea that the government could fix the unemployment problem by basically hiring all those out of work who want to work. They would show up everyday and get an assignment.

Once again your not in the least bit ceative solution (talk about Rubio) is to tax the wealthy in any fashion necessary and rely less and less on whatever this middle class is….Real creative.

The uber wealthy should pay more. However, you and you liberal sheep are under the assumption that this will solve underlying issues and/or our spending will not continue to grow and eat up new revenues resulting in same problems we now face. Will you follow this tactic with gloom, doom and despair scare tactics? YOur leader set a pretty good example.

We can’t even implement spending growth containment without all this hysteria….IMO our political situation is nothing short of National Enquiresque….

The state of Georgia's Constitution

March 15th, 2013
8:23 am

The Georgia Constitution is divide into 11 articles.

Article I is the Bill of Rights for the citizens of Georgia.
Article II concerns voting and elections.
Article III establishes and defines the legislative branch of government.
Article IV deals with constitutional boards as well as commissions.
Article V establishes the executive branch and details the responsibilities of the governor.
Article VI establishes the court system in the judicial branch of government.
Article VII concerns taxation and state finance.
Article VIII establishes the education system for the State of Georgia.
Article IX is entitled Counties and Municipal Corporations.
Article X frames the process for amending the State Constitution.
Article XI deals with other miscellaneous provisions of the government.

The state of Georgia has had 10 state constitutions

1.Constitution of 1777 [1]
2.Constitution of 1789
Brought in-line with the US Constitution
3.Constitution of 1798
Popular election of the Governor
4.Constitution of 1861
Added a Bill of Rights
5.Constitution of 1865
Prohibition of Slavery
6.Constitution of 1868
Establishment of free public education
7.Constitution of 1877 (text)
8.Constitution of 1945
Addition of a lieutenant governor
9.Constitution of 1976
10.Constitution of 1983 (text)
The largest re-write since 1877. Amendments in 1992 and 2004 allowed for the creation of the lottery (Art I, Sec II, Par VIII) and banned recognition of same-sex marriage (Art I, Sec IV, Par I) respectively.
Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 (2004)

Thomas Heyward Jr

March 15th, 2013
8:23 am

Whatever the wealth/poor gap and/or tax contributions………..as per the last article——it will not be because of the government.
.
lol

A Simple Man

March 15th, 2013
8:24 am

Oh, and for those saying they can’t wait to go somewhere else, why are you here right now? Where is better? California? New York? Puhleeze. Tell us and we’ll all join you in your utopia.

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:24 am

Jay

March 15th, 2013
8:21 am

At least you have the choice to reproduce eh? Those folks having more children despite the fact they can’t afford them is something to talk about. What exactly is the logic to have kids when you know you can’t afford to feed them properly, offer family environment or have secure housing?

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
8:25 am

“The uber wealthy should pay more. However, you and you liberal sheep are under the assumption that this will solve underlying issues

They’re paying low taxes right now + record profits and look where we are.

straitroad

March 15th, 2013
8:25 am

Jay, if you don’t agree with taxing at the point of consumption, do you think it would be wise to remove sales taxes from everything we purchase? Would you be in favor of income tax at the county level instead of property tax or sales tax?

TaxPayer

March 15th, 2013
8:25 am

How many of our resident cons get out and scavenge off the land for sustinence in the buff each day as a matter of choosing not to pay a consumption tax. :lol: Anyway, arrogance doth become the Republican.

Brasstown

March 15th, 2013
8:26 am

“I just think it’s better to tax consumption rather than tax productivity,” he said. “It’s a philosophical question.”

And your Socrates,right? Please just shut your pie hole and close the tax loopholes. Idiot.

A Simple Man

March 15th, 2013
8:26 am

Jay,

There are states with no income tax. Are those states full of people living in tents?

Jay

March 15th, 2013
8:26 am

“Once again your not in the least bit ceative solution (talk about Rubio) is to tax the wealthy in any fashion necessary and rely less and less on whatever this middle class is….Real creative.

The uber wealthy should pay more.”

—————-

So once again, Stevie Ray, YOUR solution is to tax the wealthy more, correct?

Read the piece again. I am arguing against taxing the wealthy LESS, and against taxing the rest of us MORE. But you and others are so pre-programmed on such issues that you find yourselves regurgitating slogans even when they do not apply, and even where you yourself agree with the notions that you are pre-programmed to reject.

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
8:27 am

Stevie Ray
March 15th, 2013
8:24 am

B/c condoms, pulling out, and birth control are 100%. Accidents neeeeeeeeeever happen.

williebkind

March 15th, 2013
8:27 am

If you want the rich to pay more taxes then get rid of the tax loopholes. Of course Obama can hire another 1.5 million federal workers at 80K to 150K to generate a larger tax base…hehe. Yep government makes money so it needs PHD’s for employees.

Jay

March 15th, 2013
8:29 am

“There are states with no income tax. Are those states full of people living in tents?”

No. But those are states where lower- and middle-income families are paying a much higher share of their income on taxes than are wealthy families in those states.

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:29 am

Why don’t we simply tax the assets? That will surely allow us to continue to increase the number of folks we can support who have a hard time contributing….

Jay, what is the definition of “fair share” anyhow?

TaxPayer

March 15th, 2013
8:29 am

Obviously I’m one of the many jealous bloggers frequenting this site for if I were one of the wealthy upper crust that the GOP chooses to cater to, then I too could have the likes of Shafer, et al, licking my feet clean every day. I wonder, does it tickle.

fedup

March 15th, 2013
8:31 am

Only in GA I like idea of flat tax. Everybody pays 11.3%.

Granny Godzilla

March 15th, 2013
8:32 am

A Simple Man

http://www.itep.org/pdf/lafferhighrate.pdf

“states that levy personal income taxes, including the states with the highest top rates, have seen more economic growth per capita and less decline in their median income level over the last ten years than the nine states that do not tax income. Unemployment rates have been nearly identical across states with and without income taxes.”

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
8:33 am

indigo

March 15th, 2013
8:35 am

“while sharply reducing taxes on the wealthy”

Republicans totally depend on their election and re-election funding from wealthy Big Business sponsors. So, it’s no wonder the care and feeding of the wealthy is their number one priority.

They don’t worry that their middle-class electorate will turn on them for any tax increases however. Why you ask? Because, through the use of sophisticated propaganda techniques learned from their corporate sponsors in the Advertising industry, they’ve demonized Democratic liberals to such an extent that their simple voters would vote for the Devil before they would support anyone who is not a Republican.

Only in America.

Thomas Heyward Jr

March 15th, 2013
8:37 am

Keep in mind…………..Somebody has to pay for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The state of Georgia's Constitution

March 15th, 2013
8:38 am

Some noteworthy features of Article X:
• It contains a prohibition found in very few state constitutions in that it explicitly restricts the type of amendment that can be offered by saying, “Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people.”
• The governor is also explicitly forbidden from vetoing acts of the legislature to propose amendments or call conventions.
• Newly approved amendments or revisions are effective on the first day of January following their approval.
• The state legislature can vote to put an entire new constitution on a statewide ballot, rather than just an amendment.
• Unlike in many other states that allow for constitutional conventions, the legislature can unilaterally call for a convention without submitting that proposal to a vote of the people.

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 15th, 2013
8:39 am

B/c condoms, pulling out, and birth control are 100%. Accidents neeeeeeeeeever happen.

“Accidents” seem to happen more frequently to those that can least afford them.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 15th, 2013
8:40 am

Well if they are so worried about taxing consumption instead of productivity, then they need to quit subsidizing productivity. If you are going to take $200 million of taxpayer money for a stadium, then you need to pay taxes on your “productivity”.

It would be nice to have a sensible discussion about long term tax policy and process with the legislature. Most of them are too wrapped up in their slogans and bought by the lobbyist to stop, comprehend and enact sensible fair policies. Instead most are being led around like they are puppies on a leash for the monied interests that will bleed the coffers dry.

by golly

March 15th, 2013
8:44 am

godless heathen – owner of many things he does not need

March 15th, 2013
8:39 am
B/c condoms, pulling out, and birth control are 100%. Accidents neeeeeeeeeever happen.

“Accidents” seem to happen more frequently to those that can least afford them.

Perhaps an abortion is not in this month’s budget.

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
8:45 am

godless heathen – owner of many things he does not need
March 15th, 2013
8:39 am

What do you suggest then? No sex at all?

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:46 am

JAY,

No Jay, my solution is to move to a slight progressive tax but only with the caveat that spending growth is contained so new revenues are not spent before collected. Maybe you should read my post again.

The “have’s not so much” should not have taxes raised and that I agree…I am of the opinion that no matter what is done to control spending, we can’t expect our legislature to make better decisions…as suggested.

A Simple Man

March 15th, 2013
8:47 am

Granny, I’m convinced. The answer, as always, is to raise taxes to the max! Then we’ll have economic growth! Dang, my 30% income tax is way too low!

Brosephus™

March 15th, 2013
8:48 am

“I just think it’s better to tax consumption rather than tax productivity,” he said. “It’s a philosophical question.”

Shorter: “F**k those who have to spend to survive.”

Senate Resolutions 412 and 415 would also write another important shift into the state constitution. Under those proposed amendments, future state legislatures would be forbidden in most cases to raise either the sales or income tax to generate new revenue.

Isn’t the GOP supposedly the “run government like a business” thinking party? What business purposefully puts a cap on it’s revenue stream and expects long term survival? This is stupidity of the highest form. Just when you think you’ve seen the worst in government…

GB

March 15th, 2013
8:49 am

Families with an annual income of 15,000 are middle class? That income, for a family of TWO, is 130 below the poverty level as defined by the federal dept of health and human services.

I have no major disagreement arguments made by Mr. Bookman, but he does not take into account the government benefits that many of these “middle class” families get. Medicaid. Peach Care. Food stamps. WIC. Housing assistance. Free breakfast and lunch at school.

These families pay very little in taxes and get a great deal of public assistance.

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:50 am

godless heathen – owner of many things he does not need

March 15th, 2013
8:39 am

It is selfish to have kids without means to provide appropriate environment and resources. Yet the culture created allows that practice to continue. Everyone should have access to birth control, I understand that such goods are available for free and clinics but I recall hearing that wasn’t convenient to many.

Maybe we simply ship a supply once a month on our nickel?

Brosephus™

March 15th, 2013
8:50 am

Jerome @ 8:15

I understand that and all. I have no problem reading stories like that. It seems though, if so many people openly discuss their revelations like that, more people would quit being such d*cks to others just for the sake of d*ckishness.

Bob

March 15th, 2013
8:52 am

I would like to see a chart showing real dollars paid instead of pecentage of income. It would show that the wealthy pay a bigger chunk. I am glad more taxpayers will contribute more into running the place. Not only do the less wealthy pay less in tax they consume much more in services from police, schools and healthcare. This opinion my not sit well with some here considering the fact that the left has continued to create more poor people that want gov assistance.

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:56 am

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 15th, 2013
8:40 am

About a 100 little monkeys just flew out of my arse.. We agree on this. I’ve been a Falcon fan since they arrived on the scene but the idea that things would be so much better off with a new venue at any time on our nickel is idiotic.

State government is simply a cousin of federal approach. Dsyfunction due to top priority of getting re-elected will forever queer and suppress decision that favor us or our money.

To me, red or blue have not much bearing on the sad state of affairs. The dysfunctional system with its contrarian incentives is the root…all the piddly rants about which party sucks the most or least is just a symptom..

JamVet

March 15th, 2013
8:56 am

Peadawg to your point about ML and Jay’s observation at 8:21.

Georgia is overflowing with simpletons. Who in too many cases are simpleton voters. Who elect…. simpletons like David Shafer. A man who cannot even explain why he legislates the way he does. (Philosophical question, my ___. Georgian’s livelihoods are not a philosophical matter.)

I just read his bio and had to go brush my teeth. The names that appear in it are enough to make even the most serious political junkie a bit nauseous.

is it any wonder that with gullible Republican rubes putting men like this in office we are now hopelessly screwed and looking straight into the face of being the permanent indentured class for the super-wealthy?

As long as self-destructive guppies like cosby abound in this state and in the Republican party – who actually still believe that trickle down is a smashing success, and who believe that the proper evolution of capitalism is to have more and more and more wealth and more and more and more power concentrated into fewer and fewer and fewer hands – the answer is yes.

Welcome to the Plutocracy! (Where economic justice is not valued.)

John Buck

March 15th, 2013
8:56 am

Oh you libs and your progressive tax rate…..Let’s look at it another way… If someone who makes 40k per year pays a 10 percent tax rate…They pay $4k in taxes. Someone who makes 200k per year paying a 5% tax rate pays $10k per year in taxes.

Even at the lower rate, the person with the higher salary pays more than twice as much for the same gov’t services in actual dollars.

Percentages have nothing to do with taxes actually paid. Now most people agree to the progressive tax rate but you greedy libs often forget where the actual dollars come from to fund you precious social experiments. A little gratitude would be appreciated.

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
8:56 am

” It would show that the wealthy pay a bigger chunk.” – Well duh if you go by dollars.

But 30% of someone making 30k is A LOT different than 30% of someone making 300k. Do you honestly not see the different?

rightwingextreme

March 15th, 2013
8:56 am

Jay, you have to consider that if the people want these “services/benefits/entitlements” they should have to pay for them. That way there’s skin in the game.

If the people don’t like these taxes then maybe we should address the spending issue by government. Do we really need all of these “services/benefits/entitlements”?

I’d be willing to bet we could cut the fat out of the state budget, and the federal budget for that matter, and keep the current tax structure…or possibly even lower it.

The problem we’ve got in this state and country is that somehow government has become indispensible. We can’t cut it anywhere. I find that statement ridiculous.

Somehow the AJC, businesses and families are doing more with less…..why can’t the government?

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:58 am

GB

March 15th, 2013
8:49 am

Yes, that seems to be the missing link here.

BRO,

D*ckishness? Extreme Di*kishness…

JohnnyReb

March 15th, 2013
8:58 am

All this wealth envy must be tiring, but but I’m sure thinking of ways to take other peoples money is challenging.

Stevie Ray

March 15th, 2013
8:59 am

Could there be a way to normalize Jay’s data to include the value of entitlements obtains by the folks who need them..??

MiltonMan

March 15th, 2013
8:59 am

“I can’t wait until my wife finishes her Master’s degree so we can move out of this ars-backwards state.”

We can’t either.

clem

March 15th, 2013
9:00 am

shafer looks like an expert on consumption; a 6% state income tax is not onerous and much more stable than consumption tax which is regressive. but after all that’s what conservatives are, regressive.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 15th, 2013
9:01 am

Not only do the less wealthy pay less in tax they consume much more in services from police, schools and healthcare

Really? You have some evidence to back all that up? Cause when I see all the police protection for a Braves game or a Falcons game outside the stadium, on the roads on the way, on the back ups created in traffic, dealing with accidents caused by game traffic and lost time… and the overtime, seems to me the team owners are getting a lot of services.

JamVet

March 15th, 2013
9:01 am

Reb, I have a hygiene question for you.

How do you get the taste of trickle down bootpolish off of your breath?

LOL!

williebkind

March 15th, 2013
9:02 am

MiltonMan

March 15th, 2013
8:59 am
Is your wife using the HOPE funded by Ga tax payers? Did the citizens of Ga educate her and you want to leave?vvWell leave we do not want your type of thinking in Ga.

Fred ™

March 15th, 2013
9:02 am

However, you and you liberal sheep

Yup, he’s not a far right wing Talk radio/FOXBOT is he…………….

An observer

March 15th, 2013
9:03 am

Was Jay a supporter of raising the sales tax for the transportation T-SPLOST?

Fred ™

March 15th, 2013
9:04 am

As a member of the consumption tax state, I’m anxious to hear Micks take on this. Texas also has no income tax, but I don’t recall there being a consumption tax on EVERYTHING like there is in Florida.

Billy Bob

March 15th, 2013
9:04 am

Jay, in the example you used about the family of 4 with an income of $50,000, how much federal income tax do they pay, presuming there are 2 children? If my calculations are correct they pay $0 in federal income tax due to tax credits. Is that correct? If so, they can afford to pay a lot more in state and local taxes. Have a great day.

MiltonMan

March 15th, 2013
9:04 am

Yes we should practice a form of de-evolution and put democratic idiots like Roy Barnes back in office so that he can steal money from Ga-400 tolls, piss-off every teacher in this state, implement lib-friendly gerrymandering districts that get thrown out in court, etc., etc.

Thomas Heyward Jr

March 15th, 2013
9:04 am

That recent Obama 2% increase in the more……..” progressive”……… “income” tax sure burned up alot of babyfood.
.

JamVet

March 15th, 2013
9:05 am

Was Jay a supporter of raising the sales tax for the transportation T-SPLOST?

I would suggest that you really are not much of an observer.

williebkind

March 15th, 2013
9:07 am

Milton Man I am sorry I intended to cut and past the remarks “I can’t wait until my wife finishes her Master’s degree so we can move out of this ars-backwards state.”

JohnnyReb

March 15th, 2013
9:07 am

Well, I see the bluenose does not like me this morning, so I’ll amend.

JamVet – I grew up in a three room mill village house with an outhouse toilet. Now I’m in the income group you hate. I got here by working. If all you libs would put your energy into improving yourself instead of sitting around complainging about what other people have and how they should give more to others who also set on their butt, we would be much better as a nation.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 15th, 2013
9:07 am

Interesting read, sorta on topic, and makes some valid points…even from a rich guys perspective…

http://www.thenation.com/blog/173328/whats-matter-graham-hills-living-less

Jay

March 15th, 2013
9:08 am

Rightwing, Georgia’s per capita spending by state government ranks 50th of the 50 states. State and local spending combined, we rank 49th. The number of state employees has been cut by 14 percent since 2008.

I recognize that none of that matters to you. You are programmed to respond in only one way: “So cut so more anyway.” But I thought the record should be set straight nonetheless.

I would also note that despite these low low taxes, Georgia still has a much higher than average unemployment rate, and in fact metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate jumped considerably this week, at a time when unemployment in the rest of the country is improving.

This of course represents yet another real-life falsification of conservative theory, and of course that too will have no impact on your willingness to regurgitate what you’ve been thought without thinking through the evidence. But again, for the record, it should be noted.

dbm

March 15th, 2013
9:09 am

Morally, rather than focusing on taxing consumption, or productivity, or whatever, we should finance government by associating payment with government services to the extent that this is feasible and reasonable. But before this can work, we must first cut government back to its proper functions.

In terms of long-term effect on the economy, it is probably better to tax spending than to tax savings and investments, to avoid consuming our seed stock. (Please note that I am drawing a somewhat different distinction from the one drawn above.)

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
9:10 am

“Is your wife using the HOPE funded by Ga tax payers? Did the citizens of Ga educate her and you want to leave?vvWell leave we do not want your type of thinking in Ga.”

I can answer that. Yes, my wife used HOPE for her undergraduate degree. GA citizens did help with that and we thank those who play (waste money on) the lottery but the politicians in this state are getting worse and worse.

MiltonMan

March 15th, 2013
9:10 am

“Is your wife using the HOPE funded by Ga tax payers? Did the citizens of Ga educate her and you want to leave?vvWell leave we do not want your type of thinking in Ga.”

Nice juvenile try there kid. The wife went to school in California on a free-ride from an endowment scholarship; she moved here because Ca has been hijacked by liberal morons who have implemented a “fair-tax” system with a state income tax of top rate of 10+%. Libs do not like living here, please feel free to move – New York is calling.

Lynnie Gal

March 15th, 2013
9:10 am

Conservative Republicans pick the pockets of the poor and middle class and sell them back their own watch. This scheme is a thinly veiled kick in the gut to anyone making less than $100k/year. Sales tax increases ALWAYS hit the poor and middle class harder because a greater PERCENTAGE of their income gets paid in taxes, and a lower PERCENTAGE of the rich’s income will pay the increase in taxes. Shafter is a wolf preying on the flocks of downtrodden Georgians.

JamVet

March 15th, 2013
9:11 am

MiltonMan, you’re leaving Georgia? (Will there be a big going away party?)

BTW, when you get to wherever you’re going, maybe you’ll read a few facts about Georgia’s recent history and actually learn who broke the promise to end the Ga 400 tolls. (It weren’t Roy or the Democrats.)

Are you one of those low information voters?

LOL…

Uh, Jay...

March 15th, 2013
9:11 am

…where did you go to school?

10% of $50,000 is $5000; 10% of 100,000 is $10,000; 10% of $500,000 is $50,000…etc., etc….

So, who is paying more in income tax?

Did you really mean to say “In contrast, the top 1 percent — with an average income of $983,000 — pay less than 5 percent of their income. That’s barely half the rate paid by lower-income Georgians.” -Looks to me like the RATE is the same for all of those in my scenario…

Now if you are talking PERCENTAGE of income then that is another deal, yet that is NOT what you wrote….

Jefferson

March 15th, 2013
9:11 am

So who thinks high income = high productivity, its not always the case.

JohnnyReb

March 15th, 2013
9:12 am

Enough of this pitty party for now.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 15th, 2013
9:12 am

JohnnyReb

March 15th, 2013
9:07 am

I call BS on that. Not everybody gets the chance to make it, as you say you did. I congratulate you on your success, but don’t disparage others, call them lazy, because they didn’t get the same breaks you got. That is why we will always need good programs to aid our less fortunate citizens. We can reform programs to work better. There is no need to repeal them.

Jefferson

March 15th, 2013
9:12 am

Ga need a progressive income tax not a regressive one.

clem

March 15th, 2013
9:13 am

hey milton, things have gone just great since 2003, you idiot. thought you railed against educators. and when it comes to stealing, better check on sonny and deal’s bank accounts before and after they leave office. yea, roy got carried away on those districts, but seems like that is the soup du jour for repubs around the country.

Jay

March 15th, 2013
9:13 am

“Yes we should practice a form of de-evolution and put democratic idiots like Roy Barnes back in office so that he can steal money from Ga-400 tolls”

—————-

Remind me again, Milton. Which governor broke the promise to the people by keeping tolls on 400 even after the bonds were repaid?

Fred ™

March 15th, 2013
9:14 am

But before this can work, we must first cut government back to its proper functions.

And since these “proper functions” are the ones YOU think are “proper” perhaps you could share with us what those are. I KNOW you have an idea and aren’t just repeating the bumper sticker line from the radio……….

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 15th, 2013
9:15 am

What do you suggest then? No sex at all?

I suggest people behave responsibly and make every effort to not have children they can not provide for. I support free birth control and free abortions for qualified applicants. Best investment our government could possibly make.

Jefferson

March 15th, 2013
9:15 am

Milton is full.

JamVet

March 15th, 2013
9:15 am

Now I’m in the income group you hate.

Sure, you are.

And you fly helicopters and have a villa in the south of France too, right?

All from staying at a Holiday inn Express once…

Jay

March 15th, 2013
9:15 am

“Uh, Jay”?

Look up the definition of “rate”. It’s a simple word, not too difficult to comprehend, I hope.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 15th, 2013
9:16 am

Well, you know they wouldn’t be messing with taxes if it didn’t raise more money than they have now. And those poor overburdened high income people need another tax break. Besides, we need jobs, and with this plan there’ll be a big bump in sales of bulldozers for those people that need one to pile up their money. Heck, we might could get a new John Deere plant down here.

Anyhow, just tell me when to drop ‘em and when I need to bend over. Maybe the state can just go ahead and carry my billfold for me.

Have a good Friday everybody. I’m out here hauling and lugging and getting you ready for what might could be the last FNM. Waiting for this new blog thingie to fall on us is kinda like being a condemned prisoner that don’t know when they’re going to take him from his cell and stick needles in his arms.

Mr. Snarky

March 15th, 2013
9:16 am

Schafer makes it clear that “philsophically” they prefer to tax the poor and let the rich off easy. This should be a surprise to no one.

Peadawg

March 15th, 2013
9:16 am

“I suggest people behave responsibly and make every effort to not have children they can not provide for.”

And like I said…you can use bc, condoms, AND even pull out and it still may happen.

Find Muck

March 15th, 2013
9:18 am

That’s what “reform” means when concerning taxes. You swarm on this like the apparatchik you are because GA is a run by the GOP. When
President phony photo-oP talks about reform and lies about only taxing
or “reforming” the evil rich you believe the hyPe.

Uh, Jay...

March 15th, 2013
9:20 am

Ok, Jay – see wikipedia’s definition:

“In a tax system and in economics, the tax rate describes the burden ratio (usually expressed as a percentage) at which a business or person is taxed. There are several methods used to present a tax rate: statutory, average, marginal, and effective. These rates can also be presented using different definitions applied to a tax base: inclusive and exclusive.”

So, as usual, we agree to disagree…

Erwin's cat

March 15th, 2013
9:20 am

So we want more revenues…just not from us?
I have no problem with a consumption tax…but i tend to look at taxes in absolutes and not percentages…I understand the argument, I just don’t agree with it

weetamoe

March 15th, 2013
9:20 am

Moderate Northeastern Republican orders specialties of her region (all healthier than cheeseburgers and tacos) for rare–nay unprecedented-lunch with Obama. he *looks longingly* at food but can not eat any of it because he *does not have his taster with him.* Hey, Obama, Mithridates, he died old.

dbm

March 15th, 2013
9:21 am

Fred ™

March 15th, 2013
9:14 am

As I have said on other occasions, the proper function of government is to defend people from the initiation of direct or indirect physical force.

There are three fundamental categories under this: military protection against foreign aggressors, police protection against criminals, and a system of courts and objective laws to resolve disputes.

Jay

March 15th, 2013
9:22 am

No, “Uh Jay.”

You agree with yourself to pretend that you didn’t say something stupid.

The rest of the world isn’t part of that agreement.

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 15th, 2013
9:22 am

AND even pull out and it still may happen.

And the effectiveness of the method is dependent on socioeconomic class?

F. Sinkwich

March 15th, 2013
9:24 am

I understand it’s fashionable for Jay and the AJC to bash the GA legislature, but to provide some balance, I’d like to offer a couple of kudos:

1) End of the birthday tax. I purchased a car last year and paid $465 ad valorum in January. Never have to pay that again!

2) Double the homestead exemption positively affecting North Fulton. ‘Bout time. I would much prefer a Milton County, but baby steps are better than nothing.

guy

March 15th, 2013
9:24 am

Everyone,have a great weekend and thank God in Heaven for life. In the end,we will own nothing that we possess anyway.

Uh, Jay...

March 15th, 2013
9:25 am

Please explain how what I wrote is “stupid” – kind of snarky this morning, Jay? It seems you are the one who does not understand that a 10% rate is a 10% rate, whether used on $500 or $5mil…only the percentage of the outcome is different, not the rate…