Friday, November 28, 2008

Talking back to "This American Life" - episode #367, "Ground Game"

Shorter TAL:

  • Abortion good.
  • Unions good.
  • Capital gains tax good.
  • Obama believes all of the above, therefore, Obama good.

Anyone who doesn't believe these things is a fool, and anyone who advocates against these things (i.e., anyone who supported McCain) is a naïve robot. Lather, rinse, repeat, until everyone is singing along ...

Luckily, the Democrats will implement the Fairness Doctrine, and NPR will be forced to allocate an hour to respond to Ira Glass and his snarky producers for every hour of TAL.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hottest October on record!

Global Warming is Proven At Last! Right? Well, upon further review, what we really have is ...


How do any of these Chicken Littles on the subject of global warming (Goddard Institute for Space Studies / International Panel on Climate Change) have credibility at this point?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Income Tax VII - The Aftermath

Couple of articles poking at the corpse of the Pataskala income tax.

This article, in the Newark Advocate, confirms what I believe -- the supporters of the income tax include retirees, because each of the seven failed proposals would have levied the income tax only on earned income, not on retirement income. (I guess you stop using civic services in Pataskala when you retire.)

Rolling back the snark a little bit on that last sentence, I'm not totally unsympathetic to retirees -- they're likely living in homes that are paid off, so there's no monthly mortgage payment any more. Thus, the property taxes come straight out of the retirees' cash flow. However, on my house, only 11.95% of the property tax goes to the city (vice 13.37% to fire, and 59.14% to school). Even if you zero out the Pataskala share of the property tax, you'd still be left with 88% of your total tax bill.

Also, since "fairness" always comes up when taxes are discussed, do retirees use more, less, or the same amount of the services and infrastructure provided by the city of Pataskala? If the answer is either the same, or more, then it is patently unfair that their income should not also be taxed.

I didn't know that Pataskala is one of only two cities in Ohio that doesn't levy an income tax -- I'm actually kind of happy about that. (Do I hear a theme for the Pataskala Convention and Visitors Bureau?)

And this article, by Lori Wince (never will get tired of that name ...) surfaces the idea that Pataskalians (Pataskaloids?) don't trust their government. Ya think? They've run the same issue at us seven times, and been rebuffed each time. Each time this issue comes up on the ballot, the mayor and council members come around to tell us why we need this tax, why we're going down the drain if it doesn't pass, etc., etc..

But -- I never hear from them before the income tax proposal goes on the ballot. I never see them barnstorming the subdivisions, in a donated RV, to ask what the citizens' priorities are. I never get to vote on a full and irrevocable repudiation of the Pataskala property tax (a necessary precondition to an income tax to me). I just hear what I'm going to lose if I don't vote the right way.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pataskala income tax fails, 65.82% - 34.18%


November 2001 (1.00% income tax):Against: 71.02%For: 28.98%
November 2002 (0.75% income tax):Against: 68.61%For: 38.39%
November 2004 (1.25% income tax, ??? credit):Against: 66.46%For: 33.54%
May 2006 (1.50% income tax, ??? credit):Against: 58.95%For: 41.05%
November 2006 (1.50% tax, 100% credit):Against: 62.43%For: 37.57%
November 2007 :Against: 57.59%For: 42.41%
November 2008 (2.00% tax, 50% credit):Against: 65.82%For: 34.18%

Moral: In a sluggish economy, never, ever f*ck with another man's livelihood (Risky Business, 1983) -- or in this case, don't try to take more money out of the pockets of income earners who have already been nailed by the stock market and lower property values.

Can we stop now, Pataskala City Council? Would you please throw a new street levy on the next ballot, and renew the police levy? If you let us choose which taxes we want to pay, rather than asking for a big (and unaccountable) lump of money, I think you'll get a better reaction next time.