Commentary: Yes, Taxes Can Drive People to Move

Many people will tell that people choose to live somewhere based on factors like the weather or proximity to family, and that taxes don’t enter into the equation. While there is a lot of truth to that understanding, when taxes reach a certain point, they can cause people to alter their behavior. Have you heard of voting with your feet? Here’s how that exact concept is playing out for two Iowa families.

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Philadelphia Voters Want Lower Property Taxes, but Higher Taxes on the Rich

Philadelphia has one of the worst city tax burdens in America, and voters aren’t pleased. It will also be a struggle for city leaders to find a politically popular solution.

A poll from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Philadelphians have become more opposed to taxes, but an anti-tax revolt isn’t brewing in the city either.

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Tennessee Will Waive State Personal Vehicle, Motorcycle Registration Fees Starting on July 1

State registration fees for personal vehicles and motorcycles will be waived starting on July 1 for a full year.

The move comes out of legislation passed at the end of this year’s session and then signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee earlier this month.

The law applies to registrations that expire after July 1 and before June 30, 2023.

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Gov. Walz Offers Minnesotans $1,000 Checks to Spend Half of $9.2 Billion Surplus

Gov. Tim Walz suggested sending half of the state’s $9.2 billion surplus back to taxpayers in a 15-minute special session.

Walz last weekend proposed sending individuals $1,000, and married couples $2,000.

Only Walz can call a special session, but he hasn’t after a GOP and DFL broad deal for $4 billion in tax relief and $4 billion in savings disintegrated in May as the regular session concluded.

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State Tax Revenues in May Exceeded Budgeted Estimates, per Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration

The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration announced Tuesday that overall May state tax revenues exceeded budgeted estimates. On an accrual basis, May is the tenth month in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

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Brian Kemp Denounces Stacey Abrams’ Calls for More Government Mandates

Governor Brian Kemp condemned Stacey Abrams on Monday for her support for increased government involvement in the lives of Georgians.

“Stacey Abrams wants longer lockdowns, more government mandates, and higher taxes. Not on my watch! Join the fight for the soul of our state,” the governor said. “When Georgia was the first state to re-open, Stacey Abrams campaigned for longer lockdowns.”

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Tennessee Representative David Kustoff Selected to Serve on Ways and Means Committee

Tennessee Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08) announced Saturday that he was selected to serve on the Ways and Means Committee.

“I am honored to be on this committee, & I look forward to advancing policies that will get our nation’s economy back on track,” Representative Kustoff wrote on Twitter.

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Policy Director J.P. Cortez of Sound Money Defense League on the Untaxing of Precious Metal Assets in Tennessee

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed J. P. Cortez, Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League to the newsmaker line to talk about their mission and Tennessee’s recent decision to stop taxing the purchase of gold and silver.

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Arizona Gained 80,033 People, $4.8 Billion in Gross Income in 2020, Per IRS

Arizona Capitol

IRS migration data show Arizona gained 80,033 more people from tax-filing families than it lost – mostly from California – gaining billions of dollars in income in the process. 

The Internal Revenue Service tracks interstate migration using tax filings that had moved from one state to another and how many dependents they brought along. After subtracting the number of outgoing residents, the state gained 80,033 taxpayers and their dependents that filed in 2019 in another state but filed as an Arizona resident in 2020.

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Virginia Budget Deal Includes Middle-Class Tax Cuts, Grocery Tax Cut

After months of debate about Virginia’s biennium budget, lawmakers reached a deal to provide an income tax cut for the middle class, a reduction in the grocery tax and a pay raise for teachers.

The deal earned approval from Republicans and Democrats in a joint conference committee, but still needs to pass the House of Delegates and the Senate and be signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Republicans narrowly control the House and Democrats narrowly control the Senate.

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Despite Soaring Property Values, a 10-Year-Old Ballot Initiative Keeps Arizona Taxes Lower

A decision by voters 10 years ago is keeping most Arizonans’ property taxes from skyrocketing as the market values on their homes rise as fast as anywhere else in America.

Property analytics company CoreLogic released its monthly Home Price Index last week showing U.S. home prices increased a record 20.9% in March compared to a year prior.

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Lawmakers Slam Northern Arizona University’s Decision to Offer Free Tuition to Half of Arizona Households

While Arizona’s three public universities are demanding tuition increases, at the same time one is also announcing that it will provide free tuition to about half of Arizona households. Northern Arizona University (NAU) said its new financial aid initiative, Access2Excellence, will cover tuition expenses for every Arizona resident who is admitted to the university and has a household income of $65,000 or less. The median family income in Arizona is $65,000.

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Surprise Home Reassessments Create a Tax Burden in Pennsylvania for New Owners

Spot assessments can be used across Pennsylvania to reassess a property’s value, resulting in higher tax bills for homeowners. According to a new report, Allegheny County’s school districts have driven an increase in spot appeals, increasing assessed values by almost $462 million.

The result is that homeowners must pay more in taxes, incentivizing school districts to request a spot assessment.

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Tennessee Legislature Votes to Grow State Government $3 Billion and 16 Percent More than the Growth of Tennesseans’ Incomes

Tennessee Capital building

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that acknowledges that the growth in state government this year exceeds the growth of Tennessean’s income by $3 billion, or 16 percent.

The action by the legislature is mandated by the Tennessee Constitution in Article II, Section 24 when state spending grows faster than its economy.

The measure, commonly known as the Copeland Cap, was named for its House sponsor of the constitutional amendment, the late Republican State Representative David Copeland of Ooltewah, who passed away in 2019.

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Tennessee Revenues for March $348.8 Million More than Budgeted, Annual Surplus Hits $2.5 Billion

Tennessee tax revenues for the month of March exceeded budgeted estimates by $348.8 million, putting the fiscal year surplus at $2.5 billion, reported Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley in a statement Thursday.

March tax revenues totaling $1.6 billion were $286.8 million or 22.78 percent higher than the state received in March 2021.

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Commentary: The Tax Increase That’s Hidden in Plain Sight

Americans have less money than they had last year — though taxes haven’t been raised. So what’s the problem? Inflation, which has increased at a 40-year high annual pace of 7.9%. It acts as a hidden tax because we don’t see it listed on our tax bills, but we sure see less money on our bank accounts.

In fact, inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings for private employees are down about 2.5% over the last year. This means a person with $31.60 in earnings per hour is buying 2.5% less of a grocery basket purchased just last year. “For a typical family, the inflation tax means a loss in real income of more than $1,900 per year,” stated Joel Griffin, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

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Connecticut Bills Could Bring Changes to Property, Income Tax Calculations

Holly Cheeseman

As inflation soars to 40-year highs, Connecticut lawmakers are considering a package of bills that could bring changes to the manner property and income taxes are calculated in the future.

This legislative session, the General Assembly is considering House Bill 5487, which could increase thresholds for the state’s property tax credit and eliminate some of the eligibility restrictions that are in place.

Also on the Legislature’s radar this session is House Bill 5489, which calls for inflation indexing the personal income tax, and House Bill 5490, which would establish a personal income tax deduction on rent paid, so long as the person’s primary residence is in Connecticut.

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Lawmakers Call for Challenge to ARPA Rules Limiting Connecticut Tax Reduction

Ned Lamont

Connecticut Republican legislators said on Saturday they want the state to challenge a part of the American Rescue Plan Act which limits states’ ability to cut taxes.

GOP senators and representatives are calling for tax reduction beyond the targeted relief backed by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). A major roadblock to greater decreases will be the COVID-relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law last year. The act included $195.3 billion in recovery funds for states and barred states accepting allocations from using them to “directly or indirectly offset a reduction in net tax revenue… or delay the imposition of any tax or tax increase.”

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Tennessee’s Proposed Public School Funding Formula Will Not Increase Local Taxes, Commissioner Schwinn Insists

Local taxpayers should not be worried about a large local tax increase in four years if a new public school funding formula is enacted, Tennessee Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner Penny Schwinn said.

An introductory overview of the proposed new formula, which would replace the current Basic Education Program (BEP) created in 1992, from the DOE showed “local contributions are set to be lower in FY24, FY25, and FY26 and begin to increase again in FY27, in an amount similar to prior years so that the new state investment does not overwhelm local requirements.”

During discussion in the House K-12 Subcommittee, however, Schwinn pushed back on the notion there would be a four-year cliff where local governments would see a heightened required local expense for public schools.

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Former Yale Med School Employee Admits to Stealing and Selling over $40 Million in Electronics

Jamie Petrone, a former Yale University School of Medicine employee, pleaded guilty Monday in Hartford federal court to fraud and tax offenses related to her theft of $40 million in computer and electronic hardware from the university, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced in a press release.

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Tennessee U.S. Rep. David Kustoff Introduces the Small Business Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2022

Tennessee Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08) recently introduced the Small Business Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2022 (H.R. 7033) that he says “strengthens taxpayer protections, prohibits improper IRS targeting of taxpayers, compensates taxpayers for IRS abuse, and lowers the compliance burden on taxpayers.”

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Biden Unveils $5.8 Trillion Budget Proposal with Increased Taxes on Businesses, Wealthy Individuals

President Joe Biden unveiled a new 2023 budget proposal Monday along with major tax increases to help pay for it.

Biden’s budget, which comes in at about $5.8 trillion, is not expected to become law, but presidential budgets help set the legislative priorities for the year to come.

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With Gas Prices at Historic Highs, Biden Calls for Raising Taxes on Oil Drillers

President Joe Biden’s budget proposes to scrap more than $45 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, his administration’s latest attack on the beleaguered industry.

The White House budget will remove more than a dozen fossil fuel industry tax credits, increasing the federal government’s revenue by an estimated $45.2 billion between 2023-2032, according to the proposal published Monday. The administration explained that the proposal was written to prevent further fossil fuel investment.

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Michigan House Approves Cutting 27-Cent Gas Tax for Six Months

Andrew Beeler of Michigan

The Michigan House on Wednesday voted 63-39 on a bill aiming to suspend the state’s 27.2-cent per gallon fuel tax for six months.

For the first time since 2008, gas prices broke $4 per gallon nationwide.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law, House Bill 5570 would suspend the state fuel tax on gas, diesel, and alternative fuels starting April 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022.

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Minnesota Republicans Continue Calls for Tax Cuts amid Budget Surplus

Minnesota Republican Mike Goggin

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate continue to push their proposal to cut taxes in the state, pointing to the $9 billion surplus the state has amassed.

However, the forecast warned that “inflation and geopolitical conflict pose risk to the budget and economic outlook.”

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Governor Youngkin Renews Calls for a Gas Tax Exemption to Combat Rising Fuel Prices in Virginia

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced his plan to combat rising gas prices in his state Monday while delivering a speech to ChamberRVA.

During his speech, the Governor blamed the current energy price hikes as results of bad energy policies at the federal level. Youngkin also admitted that inflation could not be fixed through the actions of one state’s governor alone, however, continued his push to suspend Virginia’s gas tax increase for one year.

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Commentary: The IRS Can’t Get the Basics Right, So Don’t Add to Its Authority

All taxpayers are dealing with a disastrous filing season this year, with the IRS backed up on processing millions of returns and refunds from last year and communication from the agency nonexistent at best. But some taxpayers will have an added headache in the future as a result of an unnecessary new paperwork requirement that went into effect this year. Fortunately, however, legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) would address this issue by removing the burdensome new requirement.

Ever since IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig claimed last year that the “tax gap,” or the gap between what the IRS collects and what it believes it is owed, could be as large as $1 trillion, politicians and legislators have been scrambling to propose ways to collect all that missing revenue. That’s despite the fact that more sober analyses show that the $1 trillion figure is probably wildly exaggerated, that it is functionally impossible to wholly prevent tax evasion, and that a far greater concern is the IRS’s inability to handle its taxpayer service responsibilities.

But as far as proposals to collect all this supposed “extra revenue” go, most of the focus has rightly been on schemes to drastically increase the IRS’s enforcement budget and allow the IRS to snoop on taxpayers’ financial accounts. But another more targeted change has already gone into effect, and is already causing problems.

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U.S. Senate Lawmakers Call on the IRS to Provide Maximum Support for Taxpayers This Filing Season

Tennessee Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have joined their Senate colleagues in urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to do “everything it can to support taxpayers during the current tax filing season.”

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Minnesota Senators Pass Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Bill

Eric Pratt of Minnesota

A bill to repay Minnesota’s federal Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund passed the Senate Monday and it will now travel to the House for consideration.

The bill, SF 2677, appropriates $2.3 billion from the state fiscal recovery federal fund and $408.5 million from the fiscal year 2022 general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development. 

The commissioner would repay the federal government outstanding loans and accrued interest within 10 days of the bill’s enactment. For the 2022 and 2023 calendar years, the base tax rate would be one-tenth of one percent.

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IRS Reverses Plans for Facial Recognition Software on Its Website

man in purple sweater sitting in front of a computer

On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a statement that it would no longer be moving forward with previous plans to implement a controversial facial recognition software on its website in order for users to access certain tax records.

According to CNN, the IRS’s reversal came after widespread backlash by elected officials, privacy groups, and others who pointed out that such technology would constitute a massive overreach and violation of individual privacy. The IRS said in its statement that it would “transition away from using a third-party verification service involving facial recognition,” and would instead add an “additional authentication process.” The agency also vowed to “protect taxpayer data and ensure broad access to online tools.”

“The IRS takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously,” IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “and we understand the concerns that have been raised. Everyone should feel comfortable with how their personal information is secured, and we are quickly pursuing short-term options that do not involve facial recognition.”

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New Report: Pennsylvania’s Government Spending Damaging Economy

A report released this week by the Commonwealth Foundation (CF), a Harrisburg-based think tank, underscores the drawbacks of lavish government spending for ordinary Pennsylvanians.

Inflation and the economic policies that fuel it have already weighed on the minds of Americans for months. Federal spending during the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed to create a debt nearing $30 trillion, equating to 133 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and amounting to $239,000 per taxpayer.

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Commentary: The GOP Can Reclaim the Child Tax Credit – And Use it to Win in 2022

family of three eating pizza

As part of his Contract with America, House Speaker (and my former boss) Newt Gingrich helped first introduce the Child Tax Credit (CTC), passing it in 1997. Originally the idea of President Ronald Reagan, the CTC was founded on the conservative principles that raising children is God’s work, and parents should not be punished or held back for choosing family in a country that is always moving forward. President Trump continued this tradition by doubling the CTC in 2017. As Speaker Gingrich said during a 1995 speech, “We believe that parents ought to have the first claim on money to take care of their children rather than bureaucrats.”

Democrats reformed the CTC in 2021, as part of their wildly overdone American Rescue Plan. They’ve sought to continue their changes to the CTC in the even-more-overdone Build Back Better Act (BBB), a hulking Frankenstein of bad Democratic ideas. But the new version of the CTC may be an exception. It continues fulfilling Speaker Gingrich’s contract, empowering families to work and earn, and to raise their children with their own values. The spirit and core of that policy is even better reflected by flat, poverty-busting monthly disbursement of the credit. It’s the only salvageable ship in the sinking BBB fleet.

The CTC – in its 2021 form – does not stray too far from the $500-per-child tax cut that was initially passed in 1997. The payments, which provided eligible families with up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child aged 6 to 17, stimulated regional economies, protected families from rising costs, provided direct cash relief, and removed bureaucratic hurdles.

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Commentary: We Can’t Split the Difference on Culture

The United States is an outlier among established democracies in two respects: We face both falling social trust and rising polarization. I have argued that the two dynamics connect in a doom loop. Trust in others and institutions falls, leading to greater polarization, which drives trust down even more. That is why the two processes are getting worse at the same time. A nasty dynamic has taken hold in the country, and it regularly affects all of us.

Many issues polarize us, but we should prefer polarization on economics to polarization on culture. Polarization is least damaging on issues most amenable to “splitting the difference”—as many economic issues are.

Consider taxes. Progressives want higher taxes on the rich, while conservatives want lower taxes. The possibility of compromise always exists—and even if it is obscured beneath the surface of our political tempers, uncovering it is not hard. For example, we could average our preferred tax rates, and no one would come away emptyhanded. Granted, that’s not how we have handled this issue in the past, but it’s at least conceivable.

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Tennessee Collects $3.3M in Taxes on $340M in Sports Bets in December

Tennessee collected $3.3 million in taxes from the $340 million in bets placed at Tennessee’s sportsbooks in December, according to Tennessee data acquired by PlayTenn.

December was the third-highest month for amount of bets placed since betting began in November 2020. In October, $375.3 million was wagered and $365.7 million was wagered in November.

More than $2.7 billion in bets were placed in Tennessee in 2021 with $39.3 million in taxes paid on $239.9 million in gross revenue.

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Bill Strips Ohio School Districts’ Ability to Challenge Property Valuations

Ohio State House

Property owners could be spared challenges to property valuations from local school districts and the potential of higher property taxes if a bill recently passed by the Ohio Senate clears the House and is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Amended House Bill 126 stops local school districts from initiating challenges to property tax valuations and appealing a decision from the board of revision to the board of tax appeals if a property owner filed a challenge.

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) called the legislation an overreach, while the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Realtors Association supported the bill and recently penned an opinion piece on it.

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December Revenue Exceeded Expectations, Says Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration

The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration announced Friday in a press release that revenues for December 2021 were higher than expected and exceeded the monthly revenues from the previous year. On an accrual basis, December is the fifth month in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

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Potential Tax Relief Available to Tennesseans Impacted by Recent Storms, Department of Revenue Says

On Thursday in a press release, the Tennessee Department of Revenue reminded Tennessee residents impacted by December’s severe weather that they are potentially eligible for sales tax refunds on home appliances, home furniture, and home building supplies, as they rebuild after storms.

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Kansas Lawmakers Reveal Draft Bill to Eliminate the Food Tax

Laura Kelly

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and the Legislature’s Democratic leadership on Thursday released a draft bill to get rid of the food sales tax in the state. 

Known colloquially as the “Axe the Food Tax” bill, the legislation would eliminate the state’s 6.5% sales tax on food. The draft bill also includes a full exemption on state and local taxes for items bought at farmers markets. 

Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa, and House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, helped craft the legislation and are formally looking for co-sponsors. 

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Youngkin Announces Finance Secretary, Vows Lower Taxes

Glenn Youngkin in crowd during a rally

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin announced his new finance secretary and vowed his team will promote lower taxes and greater fiscal responsibility in Richmond.

The governor-elect’s incoming finance secretary will be Stephen Emery Cummings, the former president and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

“Lowering taxes and restoring fiscal responsibility in Richmond is a primary focus of our Day One Game Plan, and Steve’s experience and expertise will help make sure we deliver real results for Virginians,” Youngkin said in a statement.

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Manchin Reportedly Told the White House He Supports a Billionaire Tax

Joe Biden and Joe Manchin

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told the White House last week that he was willing to endorse some type of billionaire tax in President Joe Biden’s domestic spending package before coming out against it days later, The Washington Post reported.

Manchin said that a tax on billionaires’ wealth could be a means to pay for the package, according to the Post, citing three people familiar with his offer to the White House. The outlet reported that it was unclear whether Manchin provided an estimate of how much money the provision would raise.

Programs in Manchin’s $1.8 trillion counteroffer included universal pre-K for ten years, expansions to the Affordable Care Act and billions of dollars for climate change mitigation measures, according to the Post, but it did not include the child tax credit, which many Democrats have touted as one of the single biggest policy achievements of the year.

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Commentary: When Envy Trumps Economics

President Joe Biden has seized on a winning message: tax the rich. He tweets incessantly, “Big corporations and the super wealthy have to start paying their fair share of taxes. It’s long overdue,” and claims his Build Back Better agenda “will be paid for by the wealthy paying their fair share.”

Instead of highlighting the few benefits of his Build Back Better Act, (H.R. 5376) his public positioning is about harming a particular group. Why? This message sells with three key constituencies he’s counting on to pressure Congress to vote yes.

Younger millennials and Gen Z who believe the uber-rich should not exist.
The working rich who believe taxing themselves is a solution to poverty and a source of economic growth.
The governing elites who want to accumulate more government control by enlarging the dependent class.
Younger Millennials and Gen Z: Being Rich Is Inherently Bad
A recent PEW research poll revealed that half of adults under 30 believe billionaires are bad for the U.S. One self-proclaimed “anticapitalist” Millennial and trust fund beneficiary summed it up this way: “I want to build a world where someone like me, a young person who controls tens of millions of dollars, is impossible.” Accordingly, wealth comes from exploitation. Giving their money away (or giving it to Washington to redistribute into a social justice plan) is making “reparations.”

Using this logic, the late Steve Jobs should have been prohibited from earning ridiculous amounts of wealth. Because of his ingenuity, however, millions of jobs have been created, young people have been inspired, and some of the greatest technology has been made available. Like Jobs, those who earn their billions through innovation (and experience many failures in their pursuit and on their own dime) reinvest it in the economy in ways the government could not. Moreover, their earnings are a result of what others were willing to pay them.

Working Rich: We’re Moral People
A 2019 letter penned by more than a dozen of the wealthiest Americans — including George Soros, heiress Abigail Disney, and Molly Munger, daughter of Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger— stated, “it is our duty to step up and support a wealth tax that taxes us.” They believe America “has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more.” Mr. Biden’s allies on the Left share this opinion.

A “transfer of wealth” by taxing the rich is nothing short of legal theft. Government is not, and cannot be, altruistic. Government has nothing to give that it has not taken from another by force. With few exceptions, this type of help will erode self-reliance and the moral incentive of charitable action, leading to more government spending.

Ignored is that the free market has done more to break the cycle of poverty than any government program, as it empowers people and mends the nonfinancial, relational parts of society.

The wealthy could put their money to better use by directly donating to effective charitable causes, investing in local communities, or investing in expanding their businesses to serve more consumers and create more jobs. Moreover, there is nothing stopping billionaires from giving their wealth directly to the U.S. government. If they genuinely believe it is their “moral, ethical and economic responsibility,” there is no need to wait.

Governing Elites: We Like Being In Control
They say it’s about social or economic justice, but President Biden’s messaging is déjà vu from Obama-era calls to redistribute wealth, or Marxist accolades of redistribution as a form of economic justice. The increasing popularity of taxing the rich makes the job of government elites easier. President Biden even engages in shame-tweeting such as, “Those at the top have been getting a free ride at the expense of the middle class for far too long.” But the bureaucrats’ real reason to tax the rich is to snatch individuals’ birthrights of personal responsibility, a move toward a centralized system that deflates personal choices and violates personal rights.

Taken together, these ideas unfortunately resonate beyond younger millennials and Gen Z, the working rich, and the governing elites. Jumping onto the “tax the rich” bandwagon feels good because – why should the rich have that much money anyway?

Envy permeates this ideology. Yet economics trumps envy.

The actual tax burden will not fall on folks writing checks to the US Treasury. The rich will, for the most part, still be rich. It’s the middle- and working class who will pay dearly when high-income individuals respond to the tax hike by simply investing less, resulting in fewer job opportunities and lower wages.

Left to fend for their economic lives will be small-business owners. President Biden may consider them wealthy, but taxing these individuals more will decimate communities, as jobs are lost or not created, and wages and hours are cut.

There’s no question that taxing the rich is popular. Problem is, it’s also reckless.

Instead of highlighting the few benefits of his Build Back Better Act, (H.R. 5376) his public positioning is about harming a particular group. Why? This message sells with three key constituencies he’s counting on to pressure Congress to vote yes.

Younger millennials and Gen Z who believe the uber-rich should not exist.
The working rich who believe taxing themselves is a solution to poverty and a source of economic growth.
The governing elites who want to accumulate more government control by enlarging the dependent class.

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IRS Extends 2021 Tax-filing Deadline for Tornado Victims in Tennessee, Illinois, & Kentucky

In a Tuesday press release, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that victims of the deadly tornadoes that swept across parts of Tennessee and Illinois will have an extended deadline for filing their taxes this year. The announcement came days after the IRS first announced a tax-filing deadline for victims in Kentucky affected by the tornadoes.

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Michigan’s Whitmer Signs Off on $409 Million Small-Business Relief Program

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing legislation

The third time was a charm for a small-business relief provision of Senate Bill 85, which was signed Monday by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A House version of the bill, House Bill 4047, was proposed by Rep. Timothy Beson, R-Bangor Twp., last March, and signed by the governor. However, Whitmer exercised a line-item veto of the afflicted business relief. Another version of a small-business relief subsequently was passed by the legislature with bipartisan support. Whitmer again exercised her veto authority to squelch it.

SB 85 was introduced by Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Abolish the Georgia State Income Tax

Newt Gingrich

The time has come to abolish the Georgia state income tax.

Sen. David Perdue was exactly right in proposing to eliminate the state income tax. He was also right in suggesting that he could work with the Georgia state legislature and find ways to return money to the people of Georgia rather than focusing it on the state bureaucracies.

The money is clearly there. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, “Despite pandemic, Georgia ends fiscal year with a record $3.2 billion jump in revenue.” The article went on to note, “The state saw revenue grow 13.5% over 2020. … Besides the boon in state tax collections, Georgia is also receiving about $4.7 billion or so from the latest federal COVID-19 relief plan.”

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In Another Viral Speech, Rep. Schweikert Says It’s About Time to Declare the Pandemic over, and Exposes Fraud and Budget Gimmicks in ‘Build Back Better’

Just two weeks after his House floor speech on financial fraud in Congress went viral, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) delivered another epic speech, this time focusing on COVID-19 and President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Schweikert said the country is about at the point to declare the pandemic over, and he slammed Biden’s “social spending plan” for “economic violence” against the working poor and “laced with budget gimmicks.”

Schweikert explained how the combination of several factors now means the pandemic is about over. Pfizer’s new antiviral medication, which is about to be approved by the FDA, is 89% effective and will be available to millions by January. There are at-home COVID-19 tests and multiple vaccines. He will be putting forth legislation shortly to address this developing situation.

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Tennessee’s October Revenues of $1.4 Billion Result in a $256 Million Budget Surplus

The state’s revenues for October of $1.4 billion exceeded budgeted estimates for the month by $256.2 million, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley announced Friday.

This October’s revenues exceeded last October’s by $238.9 million, representing a 20.52 percent growth rate year-over-year.

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Commentary: Youngkin Shock Win in Virginia Vote of No Confidence in Biden, Portends Red Wave for GOP in Congress in 2022

This is one of the greatest votes of no confidence in the 21st Century.

Against the destructive policies of President Joe Biden, a torrent of spending that has brought back memories of the 1970s — surging inflation as the middle class are taxed their savings at the grocery store and then scenes of American defeat overseas in Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans and thousands of American allies, who now suffer under the tyranny of the Taliban.

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Arizona Rep. Schweikert’s House Speech on Fraud, Spending, and Running Out of Money Goes Viral

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-AZ), known as the wonky numbers member of Congress, gave a speech on the House floor a few days ago about runaway spending in Congress that has gone viral with over 1.2 million views. It’s on Social Security and Medicare running out of money and how the U.S. is headed for a dystopian future if it’s not fixed. He addressed several myths and offered solutions.

He began saying he’s about to say some things most people don’t want to hear, “We call it math.” The biggest threat over the next couple decades facing the country is demographics. “Getting older isn’t Democrat or Republican, it’s going to happen to everyone.” But he says he’s been booed for telling people the truth. “You don’t raise money telling people the truth about what’s going on.” Referring to Congress, he said, “We live in a financial fantasy world in this place … there’s a fraud around here.” 

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Gov. Whitmer Asks Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to Refund $5 Billion to Ratepayers

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to refund $5 billion in surplus funds to Michigan automotive insurance customers.

“My office recently reviewed the Annual Report of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) to the Legislature issued in September 2021,” the governor wrote in a Nov. 1 letter addressed to R. Kevin Clinton, MCCA executive director. “The report stated that the MCCA had a surplus of $2.4 billion at the end of 2020. In your annual statement issued on June 30, 2021, the surplus is now $5 billion. I am calling on you today to refund money to Michiganders.”

The governor attributes the surplus to the bipartisan Senate Bill 1 insurance reform bill she signed in May 2019. Provisions of the bill include:

Guaranteeing lower rates for drivers for eight years;    
Giving people the choice to pick their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) options with coinciding PIP rate reductions, offering unlimited coverage (at least 10% PIP reduction), $500,000 coverage (at least 20% PIP reduction), $250K coverage (at least 35% PIP reduction), $50,000 coverage for Medicaid eligible recipients (at least 45% PIP reduction), or a complete opt out for seniors or anyone with sufficient private insurance (100% PIP reduction).  
Increasing consumer protections by banning companies from using the following non-driving factors to set rates: ZIP code, credit score, gender, marital status, occupation, educational attainment, and homeownership.  
Setting fee schedules for hospitals and providers to prevent overcharging for auto-related injuries.   

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