Thursday, August 27, 2009

The “Framework” And The Need For Quotes

A day after Republican Gov. Jodi Rell caved in on Democratic demands for an increase in the so called “millionaire tax,” her “breakthrough” was touted by Democratic leaders as providing a “framework” for a future budget “deal.”

Some in the media are calling the cave-in “a sharp reversal.”

Isn’t it nice to know that Orwellian wordsmiths are still with us, long after Orwell wended his way to heaven on angel’s wings?

No doubt the Democrats will want to erect their own house on the “framework” provided by Rell.

No modest cape for them. Progressive tax rates will permit a more lavish life style for tax consumers and tax gatherers. In as much as the deficit now can be liquidated by tax hikes on a minority class rather than by spending cuts, tax consumers and gatherers needn’t be quite as watchful in their future consumption and spending habits. Now that Rell has caved on the matter of a progressive income tax, Connecticut’s new tax system can always be adjusted upwards, so as to spare state and municipal governments the necessity of being prudent and living within their means.

The Rell cave-in permitted Democrats to cancel the special session in which they had threatened to “write their own budget.” The governor, it turns out, was easily spooked. Henry David Thoreau once asked: When a bandit shakes his gun at me and demands, “Your money or your life!” why should I be so anxious to give him my money? But, alas, Thoreau will not be running for governor on the Republican ticket next term.

Democrats determined there was no need for a budget session after Rell had shown herself to be amenable to a “millionaire’s tax?” Rell has proposed to raise the income tax on millionaires and half-millionaires a percentage point, from 5.5 to 6.5 percent, thus making Connecticut’s tax system “progressive.” If one judges progressivism from the actual collection of taxes, Connecticut’s system already is progressive in its present form, since about 40 percent of state revenue is already collected from the state’s millionaires and mini-millionaires.

That resource, however, will be a diminishing one. National Democrats are hoping to be able to tap into rich folk’s deep pockets to pay for their lavish new spending programs, such as President Barack Obama’s preferred single payer – i.e. publicly financed, government run – health care system. By the time Connecticut Democrats begin to plumb those pockets, they will be considerably shallower.

One can only go to the well so many times a day for water before it runs dry.

The special session was easily surrendered by the Democrats.

Following Rell’s cave-in, House Speaker Chris Donovan said, “Generally, we’re encouraged by the governor’s proposal,” adding the caveat, “We see common ground that would serve as a basis for that agreement.”

And according to one report, Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams graciously acknowledged that “the governor’s support of the so called millionaire’s tax was ‘a significant step’ towards reaching a deal.”

Indeed, the step – a complete and utter surrender of principle – was significant: It opens the way to future plundering and will spare Democrats the necessity, in the future, of making economies in the state budget.

House Republican leader Larry Cafero said of the Democrats, “They’ve got to suck it up, find the cuts like every household and every business are doing.”

Cafero is wrong on one count: Businesses, unlike state governments, do not have the ability to make their pricing structure progressive, so that their more wealth clients pay a higher cost for their products and services. Were this the case, companies, like governments, could give their products and services “free” to those could not afford higher prices. When business run into recessionary walls, they must cut back on costs, unlike state and national governments.

Rell, Mr. Cafero’s party leader, has just given Democrats in the legislature a tax structure that will make prudent cost decisions less not more likely.

Democrats are deliriously happy with the gift. On Tuesday, Donovan and Williams led a bunch of children caring balloons to the Capitol to protest the governor’s proposed cuts in the Head Start program – a children’s crusade. Armed with the millionaire’s tax, the crusaders have captured the holy land. Why should they now surrender to Republican marauders?

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