GOP Economic Roundtables find fertile ground _ CT Post

Story in today’s CT Post about the McKinney/Cafero roadshow perfectly illustrates my frequently-raised opinion that higher taxes, fees and regulation decrease rather than increase government tax receipts.

Here it is: http://www.connpost.com/ci_13041773?source=most_viewed

It seems to me that the GOP leadership has really hit upon a weapon, not merely for the budget war (is it a war, now? More like a Cold War, never ends, but quiet on all fronts), but in next year’s elections. If the business owners’ remarks quoted here are any indication, the GOP no-new-taxes budget will not only find great favor with the middle-class electorate, but will also greatly assist in fundraising. As one attendee put it, “I’ve given up on Connecticut.”

Before more businesses do, it is time for Hartford to look at the GOP back-to-2007 plan as a possible way to avoid economic Armeggedon, which would occur when small businesses just get up and leave en masse — as they will if and when the business tax is raised.

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42 responses to “GOP Economic Roundtables find fertile ground _ CT Post

  1. Carcharodon Carcharias

    You are spot on. The legislative Republicans are out there speaking to employers asking them what is hurting them, keeping them from expanding or threatening to shut them down. The answer? The exact kinds of taxes that the Democrats have been pushing for.

  2. Show me the new or raised fees, the programs being cut and by how much, the discontinuued programs being dumped on local budgets, the fake budget manipulation bookeeping, the so called balance in the Rep budget; and I will show you a document just as absurd as the last one they floated before admitting their deficit numbers were bogus.

    This is political posturing at it’s worst.

  3. Alex P. Keaton

    Political posturing? Manipulated bookkeeping? Dempsey, you must’ve picked up Donvan’s playbook by accident before posting that gem. So far, Republicans have been honest in their budget proposals. They didn’t sugarcoat a single thing. Donovan and his goons, on the other hand, have claimed they made cuts. They didn’t. Increased spending, actually. And while people continue to lose jobs, Donovan is busy yucking it up over the thugs he dressed up like billionaires to protest meetings that have Republicans talking to the very people Donovan says he’s trying to protect: working families. That’s bogus. That’s political posturing at its worst.

  4. Carcharodon Carcharias

    Dempsey-

    Sure there are fees, that’s never been hidden- but there are fees in the Gov’s budget and the Dems. Programs have been cut to more than 2007 levels which wasn’t exactly the dark ages and, oh yeah, no municipal funding was cut even though the Gov and Dems both did. How about you show ME the “fake budget manipulation bookeeping” that you speak of because OFA says the numbers are real…pretty easy to make such claims, much more difficult to base them in fact. Seems to me that the Republicans, once again, put forward a reasonable and balanced “No tax increase” budget and you you don’t really know how to attack it other than laying unproven claims and talking about things that are not in the budget.

    Desperation is a stinky cologne.

    Now onto your claim of political posturing…Donovan has been going on his “road shows” for quite some time playing up to people’s fears of cuts that are in the Governor’s budget. Is that not political posturing? Earlier this year they released a fake budget just to “scare people straight.” What is that called?

    The Cafero/Mckinney “road show” is talking to business owners and asking them what is helping their business and what can hurt it. AKA “How can we keep jobs in CT?!?” That sounds more to me like responsible leadership.

  5. Story in today’s CT Post about the McKinney/Cafero roadshow perfectly illustrates my frequently-raised opinion that higher taxes, fees and regulation decrease rather than increase government tax receipts.

    Did you even read the article you brought up?!

    I know you haven’t been in Connecticut for too long, but every single last complaint these people had was a symptom of bad short-term planning, mostly by quasi-conservative nepotists. Since we deregulated our wholesale electricity providers in 1997, rates have skyrocketed despite claims that it would’ve dropped them considerably or at least would have kept them in check.

    “On January 1, 2007, electricity rates increased 25% to 72%, in the Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating electricity service territories, resulting in higher costs for all commercial customers. ”

    http://www.goodenergy.com/electricity_deregulation/connecticut.aspx

    I could continue but you’re really good at putting words in the mouth of small-business when we can do it just fine ourselves:

    “He said his electricity bill is $580,000 and his property tax bill is $246,000.” Electricity? boom. Over-reliance on property tax? boom.

    Affordable housing? Yeah they complained about that.
    Hard to find talent? Yeah they mentioned that, too. Can’t have an educated workforce that stays if you don’t invest in those that need it the most.
    Cost of health care? You bet your sweet bottom they mentioned it.

    Budget Crisis? An issue, but not one affecting day-to-day operations.

    What you’re trying to do is implement tax structures that help organisations that simply aren’t too common in Connecticut, at the expense at all the other interests. And here’s the quote that warmed my heart as a sign of what kind of people we have here and what we should try to encourage:

    “Several business people at the table said they could increase their profits by moving out of state, but remain here because they are committed to their communities and workers.”

    These people have invested both money and emotion here, this isn’t just a place to make money, it’s usually that and a home.

    Good times always come and go, but when we try to entice businesses here just with little to no investment what makes you think they are going to stick around once fields get greener elsewhere?

    ~Cheers

  6. Story in today’s CT Post about the McKinney/Cafero roadshow perfectly illustrates my frequently-raised opinion that higher taxes, fees and regulation decrease rather than increase government tax receipts.

    As usual, we get another “It’s obvious – it’s just common sense – here are two guys I know who can confirm it” non-rational non-argument about taxes and jobs.

    Uh, sorry to press the whole “truth” business so hard – but do you have Connecticut-specific data to back up these free-wheeling claims? Research? Peer-reviewed studies?

    I now, I know, it’s so very unfair to ask….. But otherwise, these posts are less than worthless.

  7. Martin Brody

    Carcharodon Carcharias,

    Was it you who ate “Ben Gardner” who’s posting on the Courant and “Alex Kinter” over on NewsJunkie? Didn’t you eat them both alive in Jaws? No? Then it sounds like one of Cafero’s hacks must’ve spent too much time watching SharkWeek.

    Looks like Cafero’s gonna need a bigger caucus!

  8. pintofguinnessdraft

    so the Democratic supermajority wants to save the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. Is that a priority? Seriously anyone who thinks taxing corporations won’t lead to job loss needs their head examined.

    Its time to primary this FAUX Republican GOVERNOR! She is poison. My guess is she’ll sign a budget with $800 million in taxes, making her part of the problem why people are leaving this state.

  9. Pint–
    Don’t go after the Governor–she’s not writing these posts. It’s just what her press staff does between getting their stories straight on who’s meeting with her and sending out releases trumpeting programs that are twenty years old.

  10. so the Democratic supermajority wants to save the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. Is that a priority?

    Depends if history matters.

    I think it does.

    However it could be done with private funds if only someone would champion the cause.

  11. First, the Rassmussen presidential poll. This is called a trend line:

    News on the state front is no better. Arlen Specter, who changes political parties the way many people change socks, is also taking a whipping:

    Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is feeling the heat of the health care debate. He now trails Republican Pat Toomey by double digits in an early look at the potential 2010 race. Two months ago, Specter led by double digits. Most Pennsylvania voters oppose the Congressional health care reform effort. Also, Specter’s lead is shrinking in his Democratic Primary match-up with Congressman Joe Sestak.

    The Democratic Health Care Plan is out of favor:

    Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan. That’s down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.

    And in state races the polls show that the time for change may be at hand.

  12. Vincent,

    An opinion worth stating is an opinion grounded in truth (unless you are describing your favorite ice cream flavor).

    Everything I write is, of course, MY opinion — BUT I try to ground it as solidly as I can in FACT.

    You make a strong statement: ” ….economic Armeggedon, which would occur when small businesses just get up and leave en masse — as they will if and when the business tax is raised.”

    If that is merely a fact-free opinion, then why state it at all? And with such misplaced confidence?

  13. Vincent,

    You believe that, “When business taxes increase, some businesses will leave. This is not even debatable.”

    If there are “truths” like this that you believe are “not even debatable,” then why are you involved in a blog that (should) encourage debate?

    Ask any successful businessman. There are many, many reasons that businesses decide where to locate: quality/education of workforce; quality of life; cost of health insurance; quality of infrastructure; tax rates; quality of schools for employee children; availability of customers; etc, etc. Taxes are just one of many factors and generally not the most relevant. THAT’s according to the research.

    FYI: There ARE no economic laws that act like the laws of physics. In fact, the commonly-understood laws of PHYSICS (such as gravity) don’t even work like actual physics, as Einstein and quantum physics have demonstrated.

    So you are merely perpetuating a fact-less, evidence-less misperception that can be used as an excuse to cut the very services that make a state attractive to businesses.

    And here are two other opinions on this “un-debatable” topic:

    “Any company that makes a decision as to where they are going to be based on the tax rate is a company that won’t be around very long. If you’re down to that incremental margin you don’t have a business.” — NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

    “I never made an investment decision based on the tax code…If you are giving money away I will take it. If you want to give me inducements for something I am going to do anyway, I will take it. But good business people do not do things because of inducements.” — Paul O’Neil, CEO of Alcoa Aluminum and Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush

  14. You believe that, “When business taxes increase, some businesses will leave. This is not even debatable.”

    So you are merely perpetuating a fact-less, evidence-less misperception that can be used as an excuse to cut the very services that make a state attractive to businesses.

    iBlog, I don’t have the time or the energy to dismantle all of your post, but, just to let you know, in order to disprove that quoted statement, you will have to prove that NO business will leave when taxes are raised. Citing two quotes from people who say they won’t leave based solely on taxes doesn’t come anywhere close to proving your point. Good luck with that.

  15. Frankly, I’m just sick of all of these people who are intentionally keeping us from having any meaningful debate on health care…

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/08/13/patterico-busts-grad-student-obama-delegate-posing-doctor-chron-doesnt-c

  16. Vincent,

    We are not debating anything of significance. The conservative blogs are full of unsubstantiated claims about so-called obvious truths. Most are blatantly false. When I and others ask for facts to back up the claims, the general response is 6th-grade-level tactics to avoid addressing the actual question. This “debate” about what a debate is is one such juvenile dodge of the original question.

    And it is tiresome.

  17. iBlog, I don’t have the time or the energy to dismantle all of your post, but, just to let you know, in order to disprove that quoted statement, you will have to prove that NO business will leave when taxes are raised. Citing two quotes from people who say they won’t leave based solely on taxes doesn’t come anywhere close to proving your point. Good luck with that.

    JD,

    Is this a serious comment? Or am I missing some subtle sarcasm?

    I asked for actual research/studies/proof to back-up some typical right-wing babbling about taxes and jobs. You prove you can’t do it by trying (awkwardly) to put the burden on me. Strictly 6th-grade thinking, Jack. (“I KNOW you are, but what am I??”)

    Does that really pass for intelligent conversation on this blog???

    If so, I should pass this keyboard over to my eight-year old and let her have at it.

  18. OK, I’ll jump in here.

    It’s not ever just about taxes, and I’ve said that here many times before. It’s also about regulation, cost of living, weather, electricity prices, and so on. Some of these things we have control over, other things we don’t.

    “He said his electricity bill is $580,000 and his property tax bill is $246,000.” Electricity? boom. Over-reliance on property tax? boom.

    The electricity market wasn’t really deregulated: it was just differently regulated. CL&P and UI couldn’t own power plants. That was a regulation. CT has the highest electricty rates after Hawaii. We can surmise pretty easily why Hawaii is expensive: it’s in the middle of the ocean. Connecticut is expensive because we don’t have enough generation capacity, and our electric infrastructure sucks, and we are much more reliant on expensive natural gas versus cheaper coal in this state. The electric infrastructure sucks because there are 169 local towns, plus the siting council. It’s difficult to extend high voltage lines in the state: it took a long time to get the Norwalk-Bethel link approved and done, for instance. We are reliant on natural gas over coal because we are’t that close to the coal mines, we don’t have a good freight rail infrastructure, and the locals would go nuts even if we could do more coal. So we rely more and more on natural gas, but God forbid someone wants to build a natural gas terminal anywhere that would, you know, bring natural gas to the power plants.

    However, I do think in this case state ownership of electricity generation might do better than private industry. This is because a state owned power plant might have better luck at simply pushing over the local politicians and local interest groups and build a power plant, a substation, a power line, etc. Right now, politicians can rail on against the power companies (like J Destefano did in that incoherent rant someone posted here a few months ago). They can make it difficult for power plants to do much of anything, and then they can rail when the power companies raise their prices because demand is outpacing supply. Put all the eggs into the central state government, and suddently denying a power plant or substation or electric line might mean people are going to be in the dark and blame the government.

    Over reliance on property taxes: what else do you propose. Higher personal income tax rates aren’t going to do what you think they will because of all the people that work in NY state and thus pay their taxes to NY state. We’re a small state, so boosting the sales tax means that border runs become more expensive (and while not many people may relocate when a state government jacks up the income tax, they can certainly go a few extra miles to get cigarettes or something in the next state).

    so the Democratic supermajority wants to save the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. Is that a priority?

    I don’t know about any of the specifics, but that certainly isn’t even in the top 100 of stupid government spending that I’ve heard of…

    First, the Rassmussen presidential poll. This is called a trend line:

    Yeah, well the Republicans are pretty damned short on leadership right now. There’s no one on the horizon who really looks like a good candidate. I don’t know that much about Sanford, but he seemed like he could hav been a decent contender: appealing to various factions in the party, and he is fairly intelligent. But then he did that absolutely crazy Argentina trip. The Republicans could make a very bad choice in 2012 for the nominee. Something along the lines of Bob Dole, where you just knew there was no way it could happen (Democrats have the ability to do this too: they chose Walter Mondale and even John Kerry was a very bad choice).

    FYI: There ARE no economic laws that act like the laws of physics. In fact, the commonly-understood laws of PHYSICS (such as gravity) don’t even work like actual physics, as Einstein and quantum physics have demonstrated.

    While they might not be just like gravity, and while there may be some exceptions in limited cases, there are some economic realities that will fairly quickly become evident. If the supply of something increases, the price will go down, all other things being equal. If supply decreases, prices rise. If demand increases, prices rise, if demand falls, prices fall. If you subsidize something, you’ll get more of it, if you tax something, you’ll get less of it. Maybe not huge amounts, but that’s what happens, it depends on the situation. If the government fixes the price below where the market would, then there will either be a shortage, government will have to ration the good in some other way, or government will have to subsidize. If the government fixes the price higher than where the market will, there’ll be a glut (think of most of the farm products that are subsidized). So government will either ration production (farm subsidies, for instance), or buy the excess.

    You can probably find very limited exceptions to the items I’ve laid out above, but they are going to be fairly rare.

    We are not debating anything of significance. The conservative blogs are full of unsubstantiated claims about so-called obvious truths. Most are blatantly false. When I and others ask for facts to back up the claims, the general response is 6th-grade-level tactics to avoid addressing the actual question. This “debate” about what a debate is is one such juvenile dodge of the original question.

    Kind of like when you asserted that insurance companies make ridiculous profit margins without any way to back that up?

    I asked for actual research/studies/proof to back-up some typical right-wing babbling about taxes and jobs. You prove you can’t do it by trying (awkwardly) to put the burden on me. Strictly 6th-grade thinking, Jack. (“I KNOW you are, but what am I??”)

    I don’t think that you can argue that at some point, higher taxes are going to impede economic growth and job growth. We can argue about where this level might be, but to say it doesn’t exist is ridiculous.

    At 0% taxation, you are going to collect 0 in taxes. At 100% taxation, you’re going to collect 0 in taxes, because no one would work (and those that really wanted to work wouldn’t care about getting paid). At 1% taxes, you’d collect a lot of taxes. At 2%, pretty close to twice as much. Keep raising the rates. At some point, people decide not to work as much. Now, some people on this board imply that level is between 6% and 8% for Connecticut state income taxes. You might think that there won’t be a meaningful drop until say 20%. But at some point, you’ve got to admit that it exists. People will begin to say, what’s the point of working overtime, or why not a part time job, or why not another state, or whatever.

    As far as people running for the borders with every tax increase, I think that’s way overblown. Some people that had planned to move out of state might move that timetable up I guess, a few people might move, but it’s never that many. If this did happen, Tennessee and NH and Washington state and whatever other tax free states would have massive population inflows. However, higher taxes certainly won’t attract as many people to move into the state. We have one of the lowest population growth rates of any state.

  19. An opinion worth stating is an opinion grounded in truth (unless you are describing your favorite ice cream flavor).

    Everything I write is, of course, MY opinion — BUT I try to ground it as solidly as I can in FACT.

    Strictly 6th-grade thinking, Jack. (“I KNOW you are, but what am I??”)

    Does that really pass for intelligent conversation on this blog???

    This — this — from iSpam, or Jack D, or Jack D. Without a Period, or whatever SockPuppet name he’s adopted this week, who just a day or so ago explained how every single one of the rotten sons-uh-bitches who wuz fightin’ that there healthy care bill was jest a good ol’ boy. That’s right, they ain’t nuthin but closet racists, every man Jack: Obama haters, all of ’em, who just can’t abide havin’ one o’ them there black folk in the White House. That’s the real reason they oppose health care reform — and only iSpam had the sack to lay it out for ya.

    Please, iSpam, share some more of your — what was it again? — opinion grounded in truth and fact, your intelligent conversation.

    Or — as I believe you first suggested — try cutting through the bullshit instead. So far you’re neck and neck with PoopyScoopy for the Hypocrisy Stakes.

  20. Story in today’s CT Post about the McKinney/Cafero roadshow perfectly illustrates my frequently-raised opinion that higher taxes, fees and regulation decrease rather than increase government tax receipts.

    As GMR noted, that isn’t exactly right. It depends on which side of the laffer curve you’re on. But cutting taxes will always increase the rate of economic growth.

  21. I asked for actual research/studies/proof to back-up some typical right-wing babbling about taxes and jobs.

    “the ten states with the highest tax burden, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, respectively lost around 441,000 residents and $12.8 billion of net-adjusted income in 2007 alone.

    “From 1997 through 2007, the ten states with the highest tax burden lost over 3 million residents to the other states. These residents took with them a staggering $82 billion in income.”

    “between 1997 and 2007, the ten states with the lowest tax burden, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, enjoyed an in-migration of 2.3 million residents from the other states. Due to this influx of residents, these ten lowest-tax states saw a cumulative real income gain of $88.7 billion from 1997 to 2007.”

    “Furthermore, not only do high-tax states experience higher outmigration, they also they have higher unemployment rates, placing their increasing tax burden on an ever-shrinking tax base. Not surprisingly, the top five highest-tax states consistently have about a 0.5 percent higher unemployment rate than the five states with the lowest tax burden.”

    http://www.fiscalaccountability.org/index.php?content=cog09-10

  22. Also, Connecticut’s Cost of Government Day is September 7th this year. That would be the day when the average Connecticut resident has earned enough income to pay off his share of government spending and regulatory burdens. We’re dead last. Again.

    http://www.fiscalaccountability.org/index.php?content=cog09-5

  23. I asked for actual research/studies/proof to back-up some typical right-wing babbling about taxes and jobs. You prove you can’t do it by trying (awkwardly) to put the burden on me. Strictly 6th-grade thinking, Jack. (“I KNOW you are, but what am I??”)

    (a) I was only responding to your earlier comment, i.e., that you could prove that NO company would leave somewhere based on taxes, simply because two people said that they wouldn’t move their companies. That you say stupid things is not my fault.

    (b) Perhaps no one posted anything, until JP’s latest post, because it’s patently obvious that tax burdens can cause some companies to leave?

    (c) For an example of what happens when costs are too high (including union labor, taxes, utilities and the like):

    http://www.courant.com/business/hc-pratt-cheshire.artaug14,0,5601931.story

    (d) Do your own research and tell me how many Fortune 500 companies were located in Fairfield County in 1989, and how many are located there today. Guess what happened in 1991?

  24. None of the numbers (if they are indeed accurate) and case studies presented in the previous posts demonstrates any causal relationship between taxes and anything else. Absent genuine research (ideally, longitudinal, and with controls for the numerous other factors, and peer-reviewed), they are interesting, but prove nothing. I learned that in high school. You probably did too.

  25. FYI –

    Here is an example of the sort of information that adults use when they actually debate an issue:

    Corporations in Connecticut are responsible for a lower percentage of the total state and local revenue than corporations in all but one other state in the nation, according to the state’s Office of Legislative Research (at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0290.htm).

  26. If the supply of something increases, the price will go down, all other things being equal.

    But there’s the problem with your “economic realities,” gmr. In the real world of real human beings, all other things are NEVER equal. And here’s a news flash: People do not act rationally. Thus, none of your “rules” apply to actual events in Connecticut or anywhere else.

  27. Corporations in Connecticut are responsible for a lower percentage of the total state and local revenue than corporations in all but one other state in the nation…..

    Fails to consider fees & licenses where the rascals have been heading so as to hide their dirty work.

    Never mind that it puts Connecticut businesses (you know, those despicable greedy people that create jobs and employ people) at a disadvantage that occasionally is fatal.

    But never mind, don’t let me trouble you with any pesky facts.
    You’re on quite a roll, please by all means carry on.

  28. Iblog

    You are a very agile dancer, but you are still dancing around the point.

    It’s very clear that your debate with Jack Dobb cannot go forward unless you are willing to assert a) the corporation tax has no effect on company out-migration in Connecticut, or b) the corporation tax does have an effect, positive or negative, on out-migration.

    You are asserting that “People do not act rationally. Thus, none of (Dobb’s) ‘rules’ apply to actual events in Connecticut or anywhere else.” Apparently, this is something you learned in school. It could not have been the school of hard knocks.

    At the same time, you are adducing a study to show that Connecticut corporation tax relative to other states is low. Surely, you bring forward this statistic to demonstrate that those who assert b) above are wrong: The state’s corporation tax is low, therefore it cannot be one of the causes of out-migration.

    This argument is vitiated by your assertion that people do not act rationally, and therefore no rules apply – ever – to human behavior – ever.

    I should like to ask you a question: Democrats in the legislature have proposed a 30% increase in Connecticut corporation taxes. Once that tax clicks in, do you thing this rational choice will have any effect on Connecticut’s present standing in the statistics you’ve cited?

    Or will decision makers in corporations decline to account for this change in corporation taxes because, as you think, “people do not behave rationally?”

  29. Don,

    Is this a serious comment? Or am I missing some subtle sarcasm?

    I asked for actual research/studies/proof to back-up some typical right-wing babbling about taxes and jobs. You prove you can’t do it by trying (awkwardly) to put the burden on me. Strictly 6th-grade thinking, Don. (“I KNOW you are, but what am I??”)

    Does that really pass for intelligent conversation on this blog???

    If so, I should pass this keyboard over to my eight-year old and let her have at it.

  30. None of the numbers (if they are indeed accurate) and case studies presented in the previous posts demonstrates any causal relationship between taxes and anything else. Absent genuine research (ideally, longitudinal, and with controls for the numerous other factors, and peer-reviewed), they are interesting, but prove nothing. I learned that in high school. You probably did too.

    I know the difference between correlation and causation. I think the only evidence you will accept at this point would be a massive survey of those who have left. And even then, maybe the survey respondents would be dismissed as ‘irrational’ and provided incorrect reasons for leaving.

    Corporations in Connecticut are responsible for a lower percentage of the total state and local revenue than corporations in all but one other state in the nation, according to the state’s Office of Legislative Research (at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0290.htm).

    So then let’s get rid of the personal income tax. You’ll be happy because corporations will pay a larger percentage of the taxes. We’ll be happy because taxes are lower. It’s win-win.

  31. But there’s the problem with your “economic realities,” gmr. In the real world of real human beings, all other things are NEVER equal. And here’s a news flash: People do not act rationally. Thus, none of your “rules” apply to actual events in Connecticut or anywhere else.

    Really. The Law of Supply and Demand doesn’t exist in the real world? Then why have laws against counterfitting money?

  32. None of the numbers (if they are indeed accurate) and case studies presented in the previous posts demonstrates any causal relationship between taxes and anything else. Absent genuine research (ideally, longitudinal, and with controls for the numerous other factors, and peer-reviewed), they are interesting, but prove nothing. I learned that in high school. You probably did too.

    You seriously think there is no relationship between taxes and anything else? That the tax rates have no impact on job creation, wealth creation, economic output, hours worked, etc? Pick up a basic economics textbook.

    If there were no relationship, then why couldn’t we just raise the income tax to 100%?

  33. But there’s the problem with your “economic realities,” gmr. In the real world of real human beings, all other things are NEVER equal. And here’s a news flash: People do not act rationally. Thus, none of your “rules” apply to actual events in Connecticut or anywhere else.

    Most people act rationally most of the time, even if you don’t think they are. How can you walk around thinking that everyone else is irrational? What’s life like for you?

    As far as the all other things being equal, I was pointing out that when the supply of something goes up, that fact will cause the price to go down. There might be countervailing factors on the demand side that push the price back up. Like there wasn’t much crude oil being produced in 1840, but the price was cheap. Today there is probably a million times the supply, but the price is more expensive. Obviously, the reason for this is that demand for oil has increased. So both supply and demand do influence price, of course, but you aren’t going to find a single reputable economist (despite the fact that no one is irrational in your world) on either the left or right who is going to deny that increases in supply lower the price and increases in demand raise the price.

  34. If so, I should pass this keyboard over to my eight-year old and let her have at it.

    At this point, I’d really rather talk to your eight year old. Put her/him on line.

  35. Corporations in Connecticut are responsible for a lower percentage of the total state and local revenue than corporations in all but one other state in the nation, according to the state’s Office of Legislative Research (at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0290.htm).

    I looked at this report briefly. Some things that I noted almost instantly:

    1) Looking at solely tax receipts for 2008 is a lousy methodology. You might have heard that there were some economic problems near the end of 2008, so 2008 wasn’t a typical year. Particularly for financial services companies, which are overrepresented in Connecticut. For this type of analysis, you really need two and probably three years before jumping to conclusions.

    2) Connecticut has the 13th highest corporate tax rate according to the report. So the problem isn’t that the rates aren’t high, it’s that profits are low.

    3) Focusing only on the percentage means that if corporations pay more here than elsewhere, but individuals really pay a lot more than individuals elsewhere, then the percentages paid by corporations will be lower.

    4) By taking their data and cross-referencing it with current US population statistics (using the Excel vlookup function: one of the most useful in Excel, by the way), I calculated the corporate taxes paid per person. #1 is Alaska, which collects $1,150 in corporate taxes for every person in the state. #2 is NJ, at only $361, then California at $322 and then NY with $309. Things start to drop off fairly rapidly after that. Connecticut is #12, with $210 per person. The median states were $143 and $141 per capita.

    Other nearby states: Mass: $233. RI: $144. VT: $121. NH: $241. Maine: $141

  36. “People do not act rationally.’ “All things are never equal.” Given these beliefs on your part, what good is research, since people will not base their actions upon it, nor would such circumstances ever be repeatable, since “things are never equal.” When people lose a common-sense debate, they either earnestly seek more and more data, or utilize the data they have to sow confusion. As the saying goes, there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  37. Also, I sent this to iBlog on the side, but he hasn’t mentioned it. It is a research paper on the effects of various taxes on GDP growth in a variety of countries, and finds that corporate taxes have a net negative effect on GDP growth. So it appears that when someone produces the research you request, you simply ignore it. Now there’s a debate strategy!

    Here it is:
    http://www.olis.oecd.org/olis/2008doc.nsf/LinkTo/NT00003502/$FILE/JT03248896.PDF

  38. “People do not act rationally.’ “All things are never equal.” Given these beliefs on your part, what good is research, since people will not base their actions upon it, nor would such circumstances ever be repeatable, since “things are never equal.” When people lose a common-sense debate, they either earnestly seek more and more data, or utilize the data they have to sow confusion. As the saying goes, there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    Vincent,

    I may have been unclear. What I meant is that people act “humanly,” which is a mix of the rational, the emotional, the irrational, the intuitive, the habitual, the influenced. For example, if I strongly believe that government is too large and taxes are too high, I may make the claim that higher taxes drive out jobs because it bolsters my beliefs about government and taxes and because it can sway others by playing upon the public’s economic insecurity. I may be so enthusiastic (“emotional”) in my beliefs that I simply ignore evidence (“irrationally”) to the contrary and try to deflect direct questions such as, “Where is your evidence for your belief about taxes and jobs?”

    A good goal, I think, is to try to stay as rational as possible in debate. Follow your instincts, respect your emotions, but know that if you are trying to convince someone else, then you must deal in the currency of data, research, and provable facts.

  39. None of the numbers (if they are indeed accurate) and case studies presented in the previous posts demonstrates any causal relationship between taxes and anything else. Absent genuine research (ideally, longitudinal, and with controls for the numerous other factors, and peer-reviewed), they are interesting, but prove nothing. I learned that in high school. You probably did too.

    Corporations in Connecticut are responsible for a lower percentage of the total state and local revenue than corporations in all but one other state in the nation, according to the state’s Office of Legislative Research (at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0290.htm).

    iBlog, bluntly, you argue like a third-grader (or a reporter for the New York Times). First of all, you say such as, “there is no causal relationship between taxes and anything else,” which is akin to tearing the roof off your house and refusing to acknowledge a link between a thunderstorm and why you’re getting wet in your living room. When you fail to take yourself seriously, it’s hard for us to do so.

    Second, your link and comment (about “adults,” no less?!?), by itself, actually shows no causal relationship to tax rates and corporate residency. Tax revenue is a product of a tax rate and a tax base. If taxes are too high, tax revenue will plummet because the tax base will get up and leave. Thus, corporate tax revenue can be low for at least one of two reasons: first, because the rate is too low (which is so absurd that it makes no sense to even consider discussing it here), or second, which is more in tune with reality, because it is too expensive to maintain a corporation here. That’s what’s going on in Connecticut: Pratt & Whitney is not closing factories and sending jobs to Georgia or Singapore because the corporate tax rate is too low. I hope that even you can see this.

    Third, comparing corporate tax revenue to total tax revenue says absolutely nothing about whether corporate tax rates are too low. The value of one element may have a low percentage of a whole for two reasons: because the value itself is snall, or because the balance of the whole is large. Thus, corporate tax revenue may be low as a percentage of total tax revenue because it, itself, is low, or because the rest of our tax revenue — income, sales, etc. — is so high.

    Your arguments are full of red herrings because you seem to struggle with basic things like taxes, fractions, percents or common sense. Perhaps you should ask your eight-year-old to explain these simple but important topics to you.

  40. >> Come in, ground control. Come in, ground control.

    >> This is ground control. Over.

    >> This is Major Tom. Over.

    >> Major Tom! We thought we had lost you! It’s been over 20 years! Over.

    >> Copy that. I told you it might be a long, long time ’til I touched down. Over.

    >> 10-4, Major. Over.

    >> I have a report on earth-class planet CTLP X69. Over.

    >> Yes! Please! Over.

    >> Hominid life forms making repeating noises in semi-regular patterns. Much gibberish. Nothing comprehensible. No intelligible responses to overtures. Must conclude no signs of intelligent life. Over.

    >> Damn it, Major. Too bad. Over.

    >> There’s nothing I can do. Request instructions. Over.

    >> Major: take your protein pills, put your helmet on, and get yourself outta there. For good. Over.

    >> Copy and Roger that. Over aaaaaand out!

  41. At this point, iblog should be happy to change the subject. So…

    Stanley Greenberg, the husband of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and a notable pollster, presented respondents at the Netroots Nation
    conference with a list of policy priorities, and asked, according to a report in the Washington Examiner, “’Please indicate which two you think progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most.’ The winner was passing comprehensive health care reform, with 60 percent, and number two was passing ‘green energy policies that address environmental concerns,’ with 22 percent. Tied for eighth place, named by just eight percent of respondents, was ‘working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.’”

    A veteran of a few Netroot Nation conferences, chief political correspondent of the Washington Examiner Byron York thinks that war has pretty much dropped of the usually militantly anti-war netroot radar screen.

    And Greenberg’s poll seems to confirm York’s suspicion:

    “Then Greenberg asked which one of those issues ‘do you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently?’ The winner was health care reform, with 23 percent, and second place was ‘working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections,’ with 16 percent. In 11th place — at the very bottom of the list — was working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.’ Just one percent of Netroots Nations attendees listed that as their most important personal priority.”

    What a difference a president makes. During the Bush administration, the anti-war crowd was burbling with indignation.

    But, be of good cheer, netrooters: Cindy Sheehan is still waving the netroot anti-war banner, this time in toney Martha’s Vinyard, a step up from Crawford, Texas.

    The problem is – Sheehan appears to have fallen off the radar screens of most major news outlets, along with former President George Bush.

  42. What a difference a president makes. During the Bush administration, the anti-war crowd was burbling with indignation.

    Was there a poll from last year? Is anyone arguing that there’s a lot of anti-war activity going on?

    Anti-war activism dropped sharply about six months after the war started. And there was never a critical mass of opposition to involvement in Afghanistan. But you and ACR seem obsessed with this particular strawman argument.

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