May 16, 2007

Illinois Dodges a Bullet Ohio Has Already Taken, and Won’t Remove

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:08 am

A subscription-only Wall Street Journal editorial Monday covered the humiliating rejection last (I think 107-0 is pretty humiliating) of Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s attempt to impose “universal health care” and pay for it with a “gross receipts tax.”

Although the details were apparently pretty fluid during the proposal’s short life, here is where it stood at one point — “The gross receipts tax would apply at the rates of 0.5% for manufactured goods and 1.8% for service-based businesses.” It would have replaced the income tax, and at the time the linked post was written, would have exempted the first $1 million in revenues.

The Journal’s take, supported by Tax Foundation research (here and here) should be required reading for Ohio legislators who think enacting the Commercial Activities Tax (CAT – Ohio’s name for its gross receipts tax) was a good idea:

As tax increases go, this was one of the worst. A “gross receipts tax” is popular with politicians because it applies to every dollar of company revenue, not merely on profits, or on final sales the way a retail sales tax does. But this means the tax tends to hit hardest those small and medium-sized businesses that have healthy sales volumes but narrow profit margins. The tax is a huge revenue-raiser but can also be a job killer.

….. And because the tax applies to all business transactions, it creates what economists call a “pyramiding” effect that has a damaging overall economic impact.

Chicago Mayor Dictator for Life Daley was quoted thusly by the Journal:

“To describe every major CEO in Illinois as fat cats is a mistake,” said Chicago Mayor Daley. “They don’t have to be here. They can go to Wisconsin. They can go to Indiana. They can go to India. They can go to China. So if you want to beat up businesses, go beat ‘em up, and when they leave, just wave to ‘em and they’re going to wave back to you.”

Then there’s the question of where expanding business locate. Honda decided to build its new plant in Greensburg, Indiana. I believed at the time, and still believe, that a significant factor in the decision was the fact that Indiana had a gross receipts tax years ago and got rid of it, while Ohio decided to impose one for the first time.

Everyone in the Ohio House appears to be patting themselves on the back in Columbus for passing a conflict-free budget. Yet instead of killing the CAT cancer, it will be allowed to grow. Other Midwestern states are surely pleased.

Column of the Day: Steyn on the Open-Borders Contributions to the Near-Miss at Ft. Dix

As usual, it’s a read-the-whole-thinger, but Steyn’s last four paragraphs from his Sunday Chicago Sun-Times column are priceless. The first section bolded by me should outrage everyone; the second should be read at the opening of business every day in the House and the Senate until the job of truly securing our borders is done:

Tough, you say. So what? Washington still has no dog in these fights. It’s time to hunker down in Fortress America. Which brings me to the fourth lesson: What fortress? The three Duka brothers were (if you’ll forgive the expression) illegal immigrants. They’re not meant to be here. Yet they graduated from a New Jersey high school and they operated two roofing companies and a pizzeria. Think of how often you have to produce your driver’s license or Social Security number. But, five years after 9/11, this is still one of the easiest countries in the world in which to establish a functioning but fraudulent identity.

Consider, for example, the post-9/11 ritual of airline security. You have to produce government-issued picture ID to the TSA official. Does that make you feel safer? On that Tuesday morning in September, four of the killers got on board by using picture ID they’d acquired through the “undocumented worker” network in Falls Church, Va. Half the jurisdictions in the United States issue picture ID to people who shouldn’t even be in the country, and they issue it as a matter of policy. The Fort Dix boys were pulled over for 19 traffic violations, but because they were in “sanctuary cities,” any cop who suspected they were illegals was unable to report them to immigration authorities. Again, as a matter of policy.

On one hand, America creates a vast federal security bureaucracy to prevent another 9/11. On the other hand, American politicians and bureaucrats create a parallel system of education and welfare and health care entitlements, maintaining and expanding a vast network of fraudulent identity that corrupts the integrity of almost all state databases. And though it played a part in the killing of 3,000 Americans, leaders of both parties insist nothing can be done to stop it. All we can do is give the Duka brothers “a fast track to citizenship.”

The Iranians already are operating in South America’s Tri-Border area. Is it the nothing-can-be-done crowd’s assumption that the fellows who run armies of the “undocumented” from Mexico into America are just kindhearted human smugglers who’d have nothing to do with jihad even if the price was right? If you don’t have borders, you won’t have a nation — and you may find “the jobs Americans won’t do” covers a multitude of sins.

Still waiting for the reax from the “There Shall Be Open Borders” Wall Street Journal …..

Positivity: Woman Survives Internal Decapitation

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Denver:

POSTED: 11:37 am MDT May 9, 2007
UPDATED: 11:55 pm MDT May 11, 2007

DENVER, Colo. — Miracles do happen. That’s what doctors said about 30-year-old Shannon Malloy.

A car crash in Nebraska on Jan. 25 threw Malloy up against the vehicle’s dashboard. In the process, her skull became separated from her spine. The clinical term for her condition is called internal decapitation.

“I remember the impact and then I had no control over my head,” said Malloy. “I wasn’t focused so much on the pain. I just kept thinking, ‘I have to stay alive.’”

Dr. Gary Ghiselli, a chiropractor at the Denver Spine Center, said Malloy’s will to survive is what saved her.

Go here for the rest of the story.