SHOUT LOUDLY AND STRONGLY AGAINST THIS TAX!!
One issue that O'Malley has said he sees as a priority is reforming the referendum process because it makes it too easy for the public to challenge what the Maryland General Assembly passes into law. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A DEMOCRAT!!! NO, IT SOUNDS LIKE A CAPTURED CORPORATE POL TRYING TO TAKE EVER MORE POWER FROM THE PEOPLE TO AFFECT CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT. Make no mistake, this is not only about Republicans challenging issues, it is about the people's plans to use the referendum to change Baltimore's charter involving mayoral powers and city council term limits and recall. O'Malley knows we will have an easy time of collecting signatures on petitions for these referendum items. SHOUT LOUDLY AND STRONGLY AGAINST MAKING IT HARDER FOR PEOPLE TO CHALLENGE LOCAL AND STATE LEGISLATION!!!!!
The other issue that seems to be rising is the idea of eliminating the gas tax and having one state sales tax to cover all taxation. They are saying this because Virginia is doing it. Well, Virginia is a very conservative and corporate state and they are doing it for a reason........IT IS A VAT FORM OF TAXATION THAT IS VERY REGRESSIVE IN THAT IT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLLOW WHETHER BUSINESSES ACTUALLY PAY THE TAX. With Maryland having almost no corporate oversight, what this tax method would do is allow businesses to simply fail to record all of the necessary documentation to track the tax accountability process and the result is that the consumer at the end of the selling process will be the only one paying the tax. Value Added Taxation is simply yet another way for businesses to avoid paying any of the tax at all.
The way it will work is that the poor and middle-class who have little money that they do not spend on consumption will pay this tax on all that they earn while the rich who spend little of what they earn as a percentage in income will pay very little and corporations that are supposed to keep all kinds of documentation as to buying and selling as percentages of their tax amount ignore it. Can you imagine an IRS audit that tries to track each stage of a product's manufacturing? IT IS AN OUTRAGE AND IS SIMPLY AN ATTEMPT TO PUSH ALL TAXATION OFF ONTO THE MIDDLE/LOWER CLASS. Although they pretty much do that now.....this will make it official.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN TROUBLE WHEN FORBES PUSHES IT!!!
Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look
Demonstrators called for a suspension of value-added tax on food in Manila last year. Such a tax is attracting real interest among U.S. policymakers.
By Lori Montgomery Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo: a national sales tax.
Common around the world, including in Europe, such a tax -- called a value-added tax, or VAT -- has not been seriously considered in the United States. But advocates say few other options can generate the kind of money the nation will need to avert fiscal calamity.
At a White House conference earlier this year on the government's budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress. And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama's policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee declared that a VAT should be part of the debate.
"There is a growing awareness of the need for fundamental tax reform," Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in an interview. "I think a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table."
A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by the consumer. Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer. It is also hugely regressive, falling heavily on the poor. But VAT advocates say those negatives could be offset by using the proceeds to pay for health care for every American -- a tangible benefit that would be highly valuable to low-income families.
Liberals dispute that notion. "You could pay for it regressively and have people at the bottom come out better off -- maybe. Or you could pay for it progressively and they'd come out a lot better off," said Bob McIntyre, director of the nonprofit Citizens for Tax Justice, which has a health financing plan that targets corporations and the rich. DO YOU REALLY THINK THE POOR AND MIDDLE-CLASS WILL COME OUT PROGRESSIVELY BETTER OR WILL IT BE REGRESSIVE LIKE EVERY SINGLE TAX WE HAVE!!!!
A White House official said a VAT is "unlikely to be in the mix" as a means to pay for health-care reform. "While we do not want to rule any credible idea in or out as we discuss the way forward with Congress, the VAT tax, in particular, is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers," said Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for White House Budget Director Peter Orszag.
Still, Orszag has hired a prominent VAT advocate to advise him on health care: Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and author of the 2008 book "Health Care, Guaranteed." Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul A. Volcker, chairman of a task force Obama assigned to study the tax system, has expressed at least tentative support for a VAT.
"Everybody who understands our long-term budget problems understands we're going to need a new source of revenue, and a VAT is an obvious candidate," said Leonard Burman, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, who testified on Capitol Hill this month about his own VAT plan. "It's common to the rest of the world, and we don't have it."
Seeking New Revenue
The surge of interest in a VAT is testament to the extraordinary depth of the nation's money troubles. While some conservatives have long argued that a consumption tax would provide a simpler and more efficient alternative to the byzantine U.S. income tax code, this time it's all about the money.
The federal budget deficit is projected to approach $1.3 trillion next year, the highest ever except for this year, when the deficit is forecast to exceed $1.8 trillion. The Treasury is borrowing 46 cents of every dollar it spends, largely from China and other foreign creditors, who are growing increasingly uneasy about the security of their investments. Unless Congress comes up with some serious cash, expanding the nation's health-care system will only add to the problem.
Obama wants to raise income taxes for high earners and impose new levies on business, but those moves would not generate enough cash to cover the cost of health care, much less balance the budget, and they have not been fully embraced by Congress. Obama's plan to tax greenhouse-gas emissions could raise trillions of dollars, but again, Congress is balking.
Key lawmakers are considering other ways to pay for health reform, including new taxes on sugary soda, alcohol and employer-provided health insurance. The last proposal could raise a lot of money -- nearly $1 trillion over the next five years, according to White House budget documents. But options on the table would raise a fraction of that sum. And while it might pay for health care, it would barely dent deficits projected to total nearly $4 trillion over the next five years and to grow rapidly in the future, as baby boomers draw on Social Security and Medicare.
Enter the VAT, one of the world's most popular taxes, in use in more than 130 countries. Among industrialized nations, rates range from 5 percent in Japan to 25 percent in Hungary and in parts of Scandinavia. A 21 percent VAT has permitted Ireland to attract investment by lowering its corporate tax rate.
The VAT has advantages: Because producers, wholesalers and retailers are each required to record their transactions and pay a portion of the VAT, the tax is hard to dodge. It punishes spending rather than savings, which the administration hopes to encourage. And the threat of a VAT could pull the country out of recession, some economists argue, by hurrying consumers to the mall before the tax hits.
A VAT's Bottom Line
What would it cost? Emanuel argues in his book that a 10 percent VAT would pay for every American not entitled to Medicare or Medicaid to enroll in a health plan with no deductibles and minimal copayments. In his 2008 book, "100 Million Unnecessary Returns," Yale law professor Michael J. Graetz estimates that a VAT of 10 to 14 percent would raise enough money to exempt families earning less than $100,000 -- about 90 percent of households -- from the income tax and would lower rates for everyone else.
And in a paper published last month in the Virginia Tax Review, Burman suggests that a 25 percent VAT could do it all: Pay for health-care reform, balance the federal budget and exempt millions of families from the income tax while slashing the top rate to 25 percent. A gallon of milk would jump from $3.69 to $4.61, and a $5,000 bathroom renovation would suddenly cost $6,250, but the nation's debt would stabilize and everybody could see a doctor.
Sales Tax Gains Momentum
Burman, who helped House Democrats craft an unsuccessful 2007 plan to repeal the alternative minimum tax, said he's received a number of phone calls from lawmakers interested in his idea, though "they can't quite imagine how to make it happen politically." Burman said the 25 percent rate has caused some sticker shock, and he's trying to figure out how to bring it down.
Graetz's proposal drew an endorsement from Volcker, who last year called it "a sensible plan for reform." (Volcker did not respond to a request for comment.) It also has piqued the interest of Conrad, the Senate Budget Committee chairman who argues that it could be modified to accommodate Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on families who make less than $200,000 a year.
"I think interest is quietly picking up," Graetz said. "People are beginning to recognize that the mathematics of the current system are just unsustainable. You have to do something. And a VAT has got to be on the table if you want to do something big and serious."
Still, the Senate Finance Committee declined to include a VAT among the options it is considering to pay for health reform. And even VAT supporters doubt the tax will find a place among the tax-reform proposals the Volcker panel has been asked to produce by Dec. 4.
Though the nation's fiscal outlook is grim, Burman said "the situation will have to get more desperate" before lawmakers are likely to consider a new levy aimed directly at the pocketbooks of every one of their constituents.
Most lawmakers are still looking for "a painless source of revenue" to overhaul the health-care system and dig the nation out of debt, Burman said. "Who knows?" he added. "Maybe the tooth fairy will bring that to them."
THE PEOPLE CAN KNOW THEY ARE IN TROUBLE WHEN FORBES PROMOTES THE IDEA OF A VAT. WE ARE HEARING RUMORS AS TO JUST THAT IN MARYLAND. YOU CAN BELIEVE THEY WON'T ANNOUNCE IT OFFICIALLY UNTIL THEY ARE READY TO VOTE AS PEOPLE WILL BE OUTRAGED.
THEY WILL TRY TO MAKE IT SOUND THAT CORPORATIONS PAY INTO THIS SYSTEM AT EVERY STAGE BUT IN REALITY THEY PAY NOTHING AND IT IS SO REGRESSIVE THAT THE POOREST PAY THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE SINCE ALL THEIR MONEY IS SPENT ON CONSUMPTION. THE RICH WHO SPEND A VERY SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY ON CONSUMPTION RELATIVE TO THEIR EARNINGS WILL WIN BIG....CORPORATIONS WILL JUST IGNORE IT AS NO ONE WILL CHECK THE DOCUMENTATION TO VERIFY......
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
Want Lower Corporate Tax Rates? Pay A Value Added Tax
| 2/22/2012 @ 5:03PM
Janet Novack, Forbes Staff
The Obama Administration today released its long promised plan for reforming the corporate income tax, proposing to eliminate a slew of special tax breaks, while bringing the top rate down from its current 35% to 28% and to 25% for domestic manufacturers. But the document, a slim 25 pages that the Administration calls a “framework” for reform, is short on specifics and likely won’t do much on its own to move corporate reform ahead. “This proposal is designed to start the process of tax reform. This process is going to take some time. It will be politically contentious,’’ Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters.
No kidding. Just about everyone agrees that it hurts the U.S.’s international competitive position to be tied with Japan for having the highest stated corporate income tax rate (including state levies) of the developed countries. While the U.S.’ effective corporate tax rate is closer to the average, the Administration paper does a reasonable job of setting out the problems with the current system: It produces widely different tax rates for different industries (leading to unfairness and skewed investment decisions); encourages companies to finance themselves with debt instead of equity; creates incentives to shift profits and production overseas; fosters games playing and tax shelters; and is complicated for small business. A mess.
But bringing the rate down to 28% (let alone the 25% or lower Republicans want) without increasing the deficit, is no easy trick. In fact, the dirty little secret of corporate tax reform is this: you can’t pay for a low rate just by closing questionable corporate loopholes. There aren’t enough of them. So how would Obama get to 28%? The framework suggests, as the President did in his State of The Union address, some sort of minimum tax on multinationals which park profits overseas. In addition, it rehashes earlier Obama proposals to get rid of last in-first out accounting and to end special breaks for oil and gas companies; for the carried interest earned by hedge fund and private equity managers; for depreciation of corporate jets; and for inside build up of corporate owned life insurance. (Zing to Exxon-Mobil, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman, Gulfstream Aerospace and MetLife.)
As the Administration admits, however, if you add all those items up, they still don’t pay for a 28% rate. And so, the framework says, reformers will have to draw from a vague “menu of options” including changing depreciation schedules, limiting deductions for interest and taxing larger “non-corporate” entities. (In a post here, contributor Dean Zerbe explains what this “non-corporate” entities reference might mean for small and medium sized businesses.)
The lack of detail isn’t really surprising, even if it is disappointing. “They don’t want to put political capital behind it,’’ observes economist Martin A. Sullivan, a former Treasury and Congressional staffer and author of Corporate Tax Reform: Taxing Profits in the 21st Century. Sullivan, who blogs for Tax Analysts here , isn’t just picking on the Administration, mind you. He finds the same fault with other corporate reform proposals, including from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI). “They advertise lower rates, but nobody is willing to belly up to the bar and say how they’re going to pay for it, and until they do that, you have no real credibility to say you’re serious about reform. It’s like saying, `I’m going to lose 40 pounds.’”
Sullivan notes that other countries have paid for lower corporate rates by raising taxes on individuals, either through higher taxes on capital gains and/or dividends or through a higher value added tax. Of course Republicans resist any increase in taxes on investment income. And both parties treat the notion of the U.S. adopting a VAT –a type of sales tax created by the French—as political poison.
“The arithmetic is brutal,’’one Administration official said in explaining why the new proposal doesn’t take the corporate rate below 28%. “Sometimes countries will reduce their corporate tax by increasing their value added tax. That’s not an option in our case.”
Read here about a plan that would use revenue from a national consumption tax to lower the corporate tax rate to 15%, while eliminating the income tax on families earning less than $100,000.
THIS IS SERIOUS FOLKS....THEY WILL TRY TO MAKE IT SOUND AS IF IT IS THE REPUBLICANS WHO WILL BE HURT, BUT FOR THOSE OF US WANTING TO CURB THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE PROCESS HARDER FOR ANYONE TO CHALLENGE LEGISLATION OR THE CITY CHARTER!!!!!
SHOUT LOUDLY AND STRONGLY AGAINST THIS !!!
O’Malley threatened by the voice of the people through the referendum petition
When our elected officials pass a bill that is unpopular with the people, our only recourse and constitutional right is to petition it to referendum, which puts it on the ballot at the next general election so the voters can have final say.
This election cycle, three bills passed by the state general assembly were petitioned to referendum by the people in our exercise of the citizen’s veto power over the legislature. The current process to petition a bill to the ballot is cumbersome, and requires tens of thousands of signatures to be collected in a short timeframe under stringent rules. As a result, only three of the approximately 3,000 bills passed in this cycle made it to the ballot. That represents one-tenth of one percent of the total bills considered. Governor O’Malley thinks that’s too much say to be in the hands of the people.
Because the process is citizen-driven and undertaken by volunteers, only the most radical and unpopular legislation is petitioned to referendum. And after that, it becomes an expensive messaging war between the citizens who sponsored the petition and the special interests and legislature who supported the bill. That messaging war was why the three referred laws were not overturned.
And the voters even chose not to veto those bills, so what’s he complaining about? He can’t tolerate the embarrassment of the citizens voicing disapproval? He doesn’t want any roadblocks to threaten his ramming of radical bills through the legislature? He’s annoyed by having to defend his positions to the public who dare to question the decisions of elected officials?
O’Malley is apparently not familiar with the First Amendment which intentionally gives the people a stake in the system of checks and balances over the government. Governor O’Malley said in Robert Lang’s article, "I think we have been best served in our state in the over 200 years or more of our history, by a representative democracy rather then plebiscites.” And so the messaging war begins. O’Malley intends to paint our Constitutional right to petition as somehow overturning our representative democracy. What a spoiled, power-greedy statement by our state’s leader.
And it doesn't stop there. Apparently the order has been sent. Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk recently told one of our petition leaders that he intends to make the process harder as well. Having a five to two majority on the council must not be enough.
Don’t let O’Malley and gang take our constitutional rights away. Protect our First Amendment rights by calling and emailing O’Malley, your state delegates and senator, and our county councilmen. It only takes a few minutes to stand up for our rights.