Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jepsen Turns A Corner

George Jepsen, a Hartford lawyer, was a state senate Majority Leader and the former chairman of Connecticut’s state Democratic Party.

This is what he has to say in the Hartford Courant about the so called millionaires’ tax:

“The so-called millionaires' tax exacerbates what economists agree is a major defect of our current revenue structure — over-reliance on a narrow, affluent population — which leaves the state's finances highly vulnerable to economic volatility, especially on Wall Street. It also codifies the class warfare ethos of the Democrats (mitigated somewhat by the governor's proposed elimination of the estate tax). This rhetoric gives the wealthy one more reason to shift residency to tax-friendly states, as so many already have, taking their income, local purchases, job creation and philanthropy with them.”
The two or three people in the state who have kept up with this blog might agree that Mr. Jepsen's view is a pretty spare and neat encapsulation of everything said here about the millionaires’ tax for the last year and a half.

There are two possibilities: 1) Mr. Jepsen has fallen away from his reformed progressive party and does not favor despoiling millionaires of their diminishing riches and consigning them to gulags, 2) the light has finally dawned on Mr. Jepsen and he realizes that there ain’t enough water in the millionaires well to tend the garden his progressive party has fussed over for the last three decades , which requires huge transparencies of money and power from citizens to an all devouring state.

Instead of killing the geese that lay the golden eggs, Mr. Jepsen favors raising the income tax to six percent and hedging it about with credits and exemptions that protect poor and middle class-income families.

One wants to ask: protect them from what – the whithering hand of the tax collector?

The poor probably can be best protected through a negative income tax that raises the taxable floor high enough so that they are placed out of harm’s way. But this approach does away with the bureaucracy necessary to administer Mr. Jepsen’s credits and exemptions and so probably will not find favor with Mr. Jepsen.

Such an approach certainly would not find favor with power brokers in the state legislature.

In any case, Mr. Jepsen’s perception is keen, and it will be only a matter of time before he is assailed by the left wing of his party.
Post a Comment