I have read and enjoyed Claude Paquin articles in the past, but his last article (”Some bold tax suggestions for legislators”) disappoints.
He begins by giving three choices to balance the state budget: reduce expenses, increase revenues or a little of both, but he focuses entirely on increasing revenues.
This tells me that he believes that government should always have the money it deems necessary to achieve its goals.
We can easily see where that has gotten us nationally and where it will take us as a state. This nation is on an unstoppable path to bankruptcy. There is no way we can repay the debt we have incurred.
Paquin proposes that the state change its income and sales tax system. He states, “It (the income tax) overcharges low-income earners and gives too much of a free pass to million-dollar earners.”
That statement is more about class warfare than a better tax system.
He then goes on to give an example of New York state’s income tax of 12.5 percent to Georgia’s 6 percent in reference to Tom Glavine moving to New York to play with the Mets. Glavine didn’t have to complain because part of the largess of his contract was to offset the high income tax.
By the way, God bless Glavine for getting as much money as he could. Freedom has a way of letting that happen.
Also if you didn’t know, New York is almost $10 billion in debt and thinking of raising the taxes on high earners, and those earners are fleeing the state in droves.
Paquin’s specific proposal is, “I think it would be fair and wise to raise our Georgia income tax rate for annual incomes over $1 million to 10 percent, and to progressively increase the rate from 6 percent after $250,000.” Also, “It would be fair to change the point where 6 percent is charged from the $10,000 level where it is now, to perhaps $50,000.” Let’s look at three specific words to understand his stance.
Fair is defined as free from bias, injustice. It implies the treating of ALL sides alike, justly and equitably. I don’t believe this is how Paquin uses the word fair.
It seems to me that his definition of the word implies that some people have been dealt a bad hand in life and regardless of whether they are willing to work, God forbid, to overcome this bad hand, they are entitled to contribute less and receive more to ensure fairness and happiness.
Is it fair that those who take the most from the government contribute the least? Is it fair that some people that pay no income taxes get a tax refund? Is it fair that married couples pay more tax for the same income as single people? Is it fair that the federal government now wants to give a tax credit for child care to families where both parents work, but not to the family that has one parent stay home with the children?
This country was not founded on fairness. It was founded on liberty and the promise of equality. You cannot have fairness if you don’t have equality.
Wise can be defined as possessed of or characterized by scholarly knowledge or learning. I do believe this is how Paquin meant it to be understood. He follows the line begun by Plato that the general citizenry is too ignorant to understand what’s best for them, so a government of scholars/intellectuals is needed to tell them what is best for them.
The Progressives of the early 20th century were soaked in this belief and we can see it has continued today in the universities and the halls of Congress.
Finally, progressively is defined in taxation as greater taxes on larger bases of income. Nowhere is the class warfare horn louder than in the progressive income tax.
People who believe in this type of taxation have an unabashed jealousy of people who have achieved and been rewarded for their efforts. I believe people are entitled to as much compensation as they can get for their labor, with one exception: Those in Congress are robbing us in the bright sunshine for the salary they receive and in complete darkness with regulations and the tax code.
But there are much more convincing words than mine to reject a progressive tax system. These words come from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the “Communist Manifesto” in the list of measures needed to impose communist socialism, “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” Also there is the statement, “From each according to his means to each according to his needs.”
These forms of government/economics are on the “ash heap of history” and there they must remain.
In summary, Paquin believes that more people should be taken out of the asset (taxpayer) column and placed in the liability (government handout) column.
Paquin confuses me when speaking of the sales tax reform he would like. While he wants lower income people to pay no income tax, he wants them to pay more sales tax. While I don’t have a problem with returning the sales tax on groceries, in doing this he places additional costs on one of the basic necessities for low income people.
I use low income people instead of earners because while most people earn their income, way too many just wait for their government check every month.
I will plead ignorance of the fact that I don’t know if you have to pay sales tax when using food stamps.
Paquin says raise the gas tax. Sure, make it more costly for those low income earners to drive to work. Raise the cost of a driver’s license. Why not? Those low earners don’t need that $20, $30, $40 to pay any bills or take a child to the doctor. Unless he thinks people earning less than $50,000 should get theirs for free.
He also states that the sales tax is an income tax to a merchant. How so? The merchant simply collects this tax and passes it on to the state. The only way that it could be an income tax to the merchant, and this is a stretch, is the cost of labor (himself or his accountant) to the merchant to determine the amount of tax collected and send it to the state.
Quickly concerning the SPLOST, Paquin again believes you are too ignorant and government always knows better how to spend your money or fund your needs.
He concludes by saying that we need more qualified people running for office, and I heartily agree with him, but we first need a more informed/qualified voter. I will confess that in the past I haven’t paid as much attention as I should have to local and state candidates/issues. This I have changed and continue to do so.
The federal government got out of control because we didn’t pay attention to what was going on, and now they control more of our lives than our local or state governments. That is not how America, Georgia or even Peachtree City was set up and we have to change it.
I will close by saying that I don’t know Claude Paquin personally, but I am sure he is a good and decent man, and I always appreciate anyone’s views and opinions. I also don’t want to critique Mr. Paquin’s suggestions without offering at least one of my own.
I am a fervent supporter of the Fair Tax. Here, fair actually meets its definition. Without going deeply into the Fair Tax, it is the best and most efficient tax system put forth. Everyone pays the exact same amount of taxes when they purchase any new item, but with an added benefit to alleviate the tax on the basic necessities, mainly food. Everyone would receive at the first of the month the amount of tax that you pay on the basic necessities up to the federally established poverty level. Therefore, the poor would pay less for their food than they pay now. There’s much more to it, and I would be glad to answer any questions or you can go to www.fairtax.org.
Georgia could do like many states and eliminate the income tax and go to a Fair Tax at the state level. These states are in much better fiscal shape than those with an income tax.
Peachtree City, Ga.