Terhar, Obama, Hitler and Facebook: To Democrats, “Get a Life!”

Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terhar is correct when she “regrets not using better judgment” when she compared President Barack Obama’s gun control proposals to Adolf Hitler with a posting on Facebook.1  By doing so, she lowered herself to the level of millions who reveal things on a national scale which are better kept private.

But to demand that the Board turn over records of her text messages by 5PM today (January 31, 2013) or the Ohio Democratic Party will sue?2  Strange, in a country where citizens frequently cast aspersions on the Church, accept the burning of the American flag and other disreputable acts as examples of free speech, the Democrats are calling on Governor Kasich to ask her to resign?1

Apparently, the First Amendment doesn’t apply when discussing the “Lord and savior.”The nerve of Ms. Terhar.  She should have more respect for a fellow Hawaii native.4  It’s not as though:  1) a million or more innocent people are being killed in our country every year [and “legally”]  2) the influence of churches is being assailed  3) the education system and boys/girls youth organizations are being controlled to conform to state doctrine or 4) the separation of powers is being distorted with inappropriate executive orders and other actions.5,6

Uh, oh, now I might be accused of blasphemy.


1
– Jessica Brown and Paul E. Kostyu, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/24/2013
2 – Paul E. Kostyu, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/29/2013
3 – “In the pre-recorded program that was broadcast Sunday night on BET, Foxx urges the audience to ‘first of all, give an honor to God — and our Lord and savior, Barack Obama!’  The audience responds with cheers as Foxx shouts the president’s name again and urges them to ‘stand up.’”  (CBSNews.com reporting on Jamie Foxx at the Soul Train Music Awards in Las Vegas, [AP contributed to the article], 11/27/2012)
4 – “I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and have resided in California, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, England and moved to Ohio in 1989.” (from www.debeterhar.com)
5 – see the history of “Gleichschaltung” (“making the same” “bringing into line”) as it pertained to Germany in the 1930’s and the relentless change the nation was subjected to, including the creation of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs which “assailed the influence of the churches” and “an all-embracing recreational organization called Kraft durch Freude (“Strength through Joy”) was set up. In Nazi Germany, even hobbies were regimented; all private clubs (whether they be for chess, football, or woodworking) were brought under the control of KdF and, in turn, the Nazi Party. The Kraft durch Freude organization provided vacation trips (skiing, swimming, concerts, ocean cruises, and so forth) — from Wikipedia
6 – “’It may, I believe, be accepted,’ wrote (George S.) Messersmith (U.S. consul general in Berlin 1930-34), ‘that whether the Hitler regime lasts for a few months or for a longer period, it is only a phase in the development towards more stable political conditions and that this government will be followed by one which will show greater elements of stability than any which Germany has had for some years. The people are politically tired.’” [emphasis added]
The author of the article added later, “It reflected the nature of the Nazi regime. From its very inception, it excluded and mercilessly persecuted demographic groups (while) at the same time providing those it viewed as belonging to the Volksgemeinschaft, the ‘community of the (German) people,’ with attractive ideological and material incentives.” [emphasis added]
“Toward the end of March 1933, French Ambassador François-Poncet wrote that, in many respects, ‘the Nazis demonstrate a certain double tendency. Some are destructive, grasping, power-hungry and willing to satisfy the needs of the revolutionary zealots of the SA,’ referring to the paramilitary group known as the ‘brownshirts.’ But others, the ambassador added, want to present themselves as having moderation, reason and spirit of political reconciliation and are keen to win over the high-minded members of the population.” [emphasis added] —   Christoph Strupp, ‘Only a Phase’: How Diplomats Misjudged Hitler’s Rise, Spiegel Online International, 1/30/2013

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Milwaukee County Sheriff Speaks Common Sense

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. released a 30-second commercial where he offered encouragement and solidarity to local citizens in the light of last year’s budget cuts which caused 48 deputies to be laid off.1

His key comments were, “I need you in the game.  With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.”  He adds, “You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. … Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.”

Of course, Sheriff Clarke has his detractors.  Roy Felber, president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sherriffs Association said, “That doesn’t sound too smart.  People have the right to defend themselves, but they don’t have the right to take the law into their own hands.”  The AP article indicated he said it sounded like a call to vigilantism.  [If he had listened, the Sheriff didn’t suggest anyone take the law into his own hands, just to buy some time until the professionals arrive.]

Incidentally, “vigilante” is defined as “a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly: a self-appointed doer of justice.”Is someone acting in self-defense, while waiting for the police to arrive, a “vigilante?”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s office released a satirical comment: “Apparently Sheriff David Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie.”1  [Juvenile humor indicates the lack of a case against you, Sheriff Clarke!]

The AP article also said that Clarke believes self-defense isn’t for everyone, but he wants citizens to know what their options are.  He added, “I’m not telling you to `Hey, pick up a gun and blast away.’ … People need to know what they are doing if they chose that method — to defend themselves.”1

Jeni Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, brought up the George Zimmerman case and added, “I feel like this is such an irresponsible thing for our chief public safety officer of a county to do.  I think he owes this community an apology. And if he really believes that he’s not capable of providing for our public safety he should get a different job.”

Two responses to this:  1)  if I’m ever threatened by an armed assailant, the last thing I’ll be saying is “let’s be non-violent about this so I won’t be hurt”  2) if she thinks the Sheriff’s comment indicates a lack of confidence in his ability, then how does she feel about doctors who make suggestions on preventing disease and steps to treat symptoms if affected?

Enough of my thoughts.  We’ve heard of numerous accounts of individuals who protected themselves while waiting for authorities to arrive and secure the safety of the victims.  And it’s not just adults who are threatened.  There’s the story of the 12-year old girl in Bryan County, Oklahomaand the 14-year old boy in Phoenix who protected himself and his three younger siblings.Both had happy endings because they subscribed to Sheriff Clarke type of self-defense.

Perhaps Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. is making sense.

1 – Associated Press article, 1/27/2013, posted on www.foxnews.com  Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/26/wis-sheriff-urges-residents-to-get-gun-training/#ixzz2JJK2eIja
2www.merriam-webster.com
3 – “…a young 12-year old girl in Bryan County, Oklahoma was able to protect her life when an intruder kicked in her back door and entered her house. Frantically, she called her mother who advised her to grab their household gun, hide in the closet, and call 911. The intruder made his way through the house, and as he was opening the door of the closet, the young girl shot him through the closet door. The intruder left the house and the girl was found unharmed. The police arrived and took the man into custody.”  (Celia Bigelow, www.townhall.com, 10/20/2012)
4 – “A 14-year-old boy shot and almost killed an intruder who broke into his house and pulled a gun on him while he was babysitting his younger siblings on Friday.  The teenager and his three siblings, aged 8, 10 and 12, were alone at their Phoenix, Arizona, home when a woman the children didn’t recognise rang the doorbell at around 4.30pm.  Having been taught not to open the door to strangers, the kids, who have not been named, didn’t answer but after they heard a loud bang on the door, the boy rushed his siblings upstairs and grabbed a handgun from his parent’s bedroom.  As he got to the top of the stairs, he saw a man breaking in through the front door holding a rifle, which he proceeded to point at the boy. The teenager shot the 37-year-old intruder, then the four children ran to a neighbour’s home where they called police and their father.  The man, who didn’t get a shot off, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center where he underwent surgery.  He remains in critical condition but is expected to survive and be booked into jail within the week, at which point his name will be released.  Police Officer James Holmes said the intruder would face aggravated assault and burglary charges.  The woman who rang the home’s doorbell got away, police said.” (from www.dailymail.co.uk, 6/23/2012) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163785/Phoenix-boy-14-shoots-intruder-pulled-gun-babysitting-siblings.html

Obama Plays Cat and Mouse With Congress And His NLRB Appointments

USA Today  and  ABC News  Try  Spins  to  Make  President  Appear  as  the  Victim

At least 59 million1 people were not surprised last week when “the United States Court of Appeals brought the president back to Earth and reminded him that the Constitution’s Appointments Clause and the U.S. Senate are very much part of reality by voiding three of Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.”2

Background

This latest attempt by Obama to bypass Congress occurred last January when he made three appointments to the NLRB, replacing members whose terms had expired, and also named Richard Cordrey to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ”while the Senate was away on its Christmas holiday.”Well, sort of a holiday.  A USA Today article stated the Republicans who were involved in the lawsuit “said the chamber stayed in a ‘pro forma’ session during the time in question denying Obama the right to make recess appointments… In these ‘pro forma’ sessions, a senator would gavel an empty chamber to order every few days and then recess again.”4,5,6

The ABC News blog carried this quote: “Congressional dysfunction and congressional obstructionism,” was the way Washington College of Law Professor Stephen Vladeck described the actions of the Republican Senators.  He went on to say, “I think the point is that Congress should not be actively trying to thwart the president’s appointment power.”7

Wow, makes the Republicans look like spoiled sports.  But, not so fast!  Let’s take a big picture look at this on-going battle in our nation’s capital.  The members of the NLRB had terms with expiration dates, so their departures were known well in advance.  The President knew he would be in for more good fights during the approval process of any of his nominees.  The inherent philosophical differences between the Chief Executive and the Republicans had been aggravated by several NLRB decisions in 2011.8,9

The  President’s  Rationale  and  Republicans  Countermove

So, Obama figured he could get around one of his main inconveniences in life (Congress) and announced his nominees on December 15, 2011 or just before Congress was scheduled to leave for the holidays.  On January 4, 2012, the President declared he had the authority to act because he claimed Congress was in recess, when in fact, it had decided to trump the President’s move by declaring itself to be in “pro-forma” session.

Nevertheless, Obama said his nominees were now on the Board with, “But when Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them.”10  This is a very interesting statement in view of the fact that even eight days later, Congress had still “not received financial or tax data, biographic information, records of campaign contributions, or information about potential civil or criminal judgments or conflicts of interest,”10 which are essential to the approval process.

Now  What?

The three judge Court of Appeals panel (all appointed by Republican presidents) had declared that Congress was officially in session when the President made his appointments.  It also held that the recess appointment procedure may be used only if the vacancies occurred while Senate is in its annual recess between sessions.  The Administration plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.  If it is not able to have the Appeals panel’s decision overturned, then all decisions by the NLRB since the January, 2012 appointments would be invalid for lack of a quorum.  In addition, the NLRB could not act until this issue is resolved as it would only have one duly appointed and confirmed member.

In the mean time, we can relax and replay statements from both sides.  White House spokesperson Dan Pfeiffer wrote last January, “Republican Senators insisted on using a gimmick called ‘pro forma’ sessions, which are sessions during which no Senate business is conducted and instead one or two Senators simply gavel in and out of session in a matter of seconds. But gimmicks do not override the President’s constitutional authority to make appointments to keep the government running.”7

However, the court disagreed and cited a 1976 case on campaign finance law: “Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers. The checks and balances that the Constitution places on each branch of government serve as ‘self-executing safeguard[s] against the encroachment or aggrandizement of one branch at the expense of the other.’”  And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) noted that the court’s ruling, “will go a long way toward restoring the constitutional separation of powers.”7

Stay tuned for the next exciting round!

1 – Approximate number of voters supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, www.politico.com, 11/29/2012
2 – Lloyd Green, www.FoxNews.com, 1/25/2013
3 – Rick Ungar, www.forbes.com, 1/25/2013
4 – David Jackson, USA Today article printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/26/2013
5 –  From www.archives.gov>charters, Article II Section 2, second paragraph of the U.S. Constitution declares that the President shall appoint specific and “all other Officers of the United States” with the approval of Congress.  The next paragraph also states, “The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.”
6 – This legal matter started when an NLRB decision went against a family owned business in Washington state.  It argued that the NLRB’s decision was invalid as it did not have a quorum when the decision was made.  This was based on the charge that the Senate was not in recess when the President made his appointments to the Board. (same source as footnote #3)
7 – Sarah Parnass, www.abcnews.go.com, 1/25/2013
8 – The Machinists union had filed an unfair labor complaint against Boeing when it moved part of its 787 Dreamliner production to South Carolina, a “right-to-work” state.  When Boeing eventually agreed to a contract with the union members in Washington state, which included guaranteeing the production of the new 737MAX there, the union considered “it to have resolved our issues with Boeing,” according to the union’s spokeswoman Connie Kelliher.  The NLRB followed by dismissing its complaint against Boeing. (Amy Bingham, www.abcnews.go.com, 12/9/2011)
9 – And there was the issue of “fast-track union elections” which the NLRB pushed through in Obama-like fashion in December, 2011 but was overturned six months later. “On Monday, May 14, 2012, a federal judge ruled in favor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s request that the quickie elections rules be invalidated. Although a number of issues were raised in the case concerning the NLRB’s rule making power, the court ruled only on the question of whether a quorum was present when the Board adopted the rules.”
“The quorum issue is more complex that would appear on its face. The Board sometimes acts through ‘electronic’ proceedings. One Board member, Brian Hayes, the Board’s sole Republican, did not take part in the December 16, 2011 NLRB electronic vote to adopt the final rule. Hayes only had a matter of hours to vote on the rule since it was posted for final action on the day it was adopted. The court ruled that since Hayes did not affirmatively take a position on the proposed rules, nor indicate that he was abstaining, there was no indication that he participated in the decision. Without his participation, the Board lacked the required quorum.” (Barry M. Willoughby, www.delawareemploymentlawblog.com, 5/18/2012)
10www.realclearmarkets.com, 1/12/2012

“Military Opportunities” Mean Death Equality for Women

“Officials:  Combat  roles  opened to  Women,”  so read the headline in yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer.  The sub-headline went on to say “Up to 230,000 jobs previously had been off-limits to women.”  The article described how out-going Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was lifting a military ban which “will allow women into hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando units, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.”1

Now there’s real cause for joy!  Marketing fluff has now overtaken our military, too.  Then again, the pro-death left might actually believe this is an “equality” worth striving for.  Yes, daughters, the camouflage ceiling has been lifted.  You, too, have the state-given right to seek advancement leading to increased opportunity for death, I mean, glory on the battlefield!…

Then, it becomes more discouraging.  The article lists the reservations about this policy change.  I expected to read about those defending the crucial idea that “equality” in the eyes of God (did I just commit a politically incorrect offense mentioning His name?) does not mean “identical.”  Instead, I read that the objectors are only concerned about “”Does it increase the combat effectiveness of the military?”2  and “it’s likely the Army will establish a set of physical requirements for infantry soldiers… The standards will be gender neutral.”

Here is the Brave New World of Redefined Equality where the sexes must be indistinguishable from each other and chivalry is deemed discriminatory.  Good thing we weren’t in charge of designing the universe, although a few self-appointed experts are trying to correct what they believe were His mistakes.

1 – Tom Vanden Brook and Jim Michaels, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/24/2013
2 – Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), an Iraqi war veteran, Ibid. 

In Memory of Modern Day “Holy Innocents” *

January 22, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous “Roe v. Wade” decision.  This monstrously flawed decision to officially recognize the non-existent right to murder has legalized the killing of 55,800,000 U.S. babies in the four decades since.  Meanwhile, similar disregard for the dignity of human life has claimed the lives of 1.28 billion worldwide since 1980.

The United States death toll has equaled the number of lives lost during World War II.The Land of Opportunity can now be compared to some notable 20th century’s madmen as follows: Mao Zedong (45 million murders)3,  Josef Stalin (15+ million)4, Adolf Hitler (5.7 million)5.

The abortion numbers cannot describe the totality of this human tragedy.  Here we are in the midst of a deep recession, both economic and social.  Imagine the talents and ability to love that have been destroyed over these forty years.  (Yes, all human life is precious.  I am attempting to appeal to those cold-hearted individuals who view life as a mere commodity.)

And this on-going tragedy is not only about those who have lost their lives by a “procedure.”  The often forgotten victims are the mothers.Abortion cannot be equated to a trip to the dentist to have one’s teeth cleaned.  It violates the supernatural built-in control system we have (otherwise known as our conscience).  We may be able to rationalize and mislead our brain, but not the truth which dwells deep within us.

On this somber anniversary, may we strive to return the rule of law to protect ALL human life, from conception to natural death.  May we bring healing to every woman and man who has been wounded by an abortion.  And, to the memory of our departed little ones, we ask God for forgiveness and for the strength to face the dangers inherent with bringing moral decency to His world.

*– “Holy Innocents” refers to the children King Herod had executed when he realized that the Three Wise Men were not going to return with the information he had requested regarding the exact location of the newborn King.  Matthew 2:12 “And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”  Matthew 2:16 “When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious.  He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.” (from The New Catholic Answer Bible, Fireside Catholic Publishing, Wichita, Kansas, 2005)  The Catholic Church remembers these martyrs every December 28.
2www.numberofabortions.com
3 – Arifa Akbar, www.independent.co.uk, 9/17/2010
4 – “[Robert] Conquest states that while exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty, the various terror campaigns launched by the Soviet government claimed no fewer than 15 million lives. Others maintain that their earlier higher victim total estimates are correct.” The earlier estimates mentioned in the same article went as a high as 60 million.  Differences are partially attributed to “This categorization is controversial however, as historians differ as to whether the famine was a deliberate part of the campaign of repression against kulaks and others or simply an unintended consequence of the struggle over forced collectivization.” (from Wikipedia)
5www.necrometrics.com, total represents Jews only and the number was taken from the Nuremberg indictment and accepted by Britannica
6 – Despite Planned Parenthood’s claims and quoted studies to the contrary, there is much evidence for concern.  Afterabortion.org reported on 2/23/2011, “In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor… Since many post-abortive women use repression as a coping mechanism, there may be a long period of denial before a woman seeks psychiatric care.” From Nlrc.org, “Wanda Franz, Ph.D., in a March 1989 congressional hearing on the impact of abortion. ‘They report horrible nightmares of children calling them from trash cans, of body parts, and blood,’ Franz told the Congressional panel.  ‘When they are reminded of the abortion,’ Franz testified, ‘the women re-experienced it with terrible psychological pain … They feel worthless and victimized because they failed at the most natural of human activities — the role of being a mother.’”  Outreach programs are being formed to deal with the emotional trauma stemming from an abortion.

2012 Election: Surprising Impact of Marital Status

For reasons still unclear to me, I decided to look at the demographics of the rubble left behind by the events of last November 6.  The following chart caught my attention:

Electorate (Marital Status): Barack Obama Mitt Romney

Unmarried Women                           67%               31%
Unmarried Men                                 56%               40%
Married Women                                46%               53%
Married Men                                      38%               60%

Of all of the demographic data, this one1 captured an atypical category and it surprised me at first.  Then, I had this sudden mental image of a former Georgetown student, now attorney, who was pushing for the federal government to provide free contraceptives (and abortifacient drugs).  But, I thought, that conclusion was too simplistic.  After all, many married people voted for the President, including an astonishing number of my (supposedly) fellow Catholics according to the statistics.  The reason had to go deeper than that.

Of course!  Obama is an ideological descendant of the Clinton years which believed in a distorted version of “it takes a village to raise a child.”  The original meaning referred to the benefits of close-community societies.  The President is attempting to implement the second generation Clinton version which achieves “marriage equality” by legitimizing same-sex so-called marriage.   With moral relativism in the White House, it’s “Spring Break” year ’round.

But this is a serious matter.  This is not the first time people have tried to rid themselves of hindrances like the Ten Commandments (or “Natural Law” for the non-believers in the reading audience).  No time to recount the number of societies which fell apart because in their “enlightenment” they forgot that the family unit headed by a husband and wife is the basic building block of civilization.  (I had promised myself to limit this article to 500 words max.)  The ignorance of history which has precipitated most human-caused disasters is at work once again.

A ray of hope appeared earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal.  The author pointed out that a liberal columnist wrote in December, “Children who live with their biological parents perform better in school, have lower rates of suicide…”And, a conservative had written in 2010, “Compared to children raised in an intact family, children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically bused;… and drop out of high school.”3

Ms. Schachter exhorted Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move” campaign, which promotes the well-being of American children, to include a “Let’s Marry” message.  This would be a step in the right direction.

However, the cynic in me sees a potential problem.  Would the First Lady risk alienating many of her husband’s supporters who are thrilled that the White House now stands for the philosophies of the movie “Animal House?”

(P.S.:  With this sentence, this article contains 497 words according to “Word’s” count.)

1 – Jack Watkins, www.addictinginfo.org, 11/8/2012
2 – Abby W. Schachter, Wall Street Journal, 1/15/2013, quoting Clarence Page of the Washington Post
3 – Ibid., quoting Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation

Louisiana State Sales Tax Proposal Hurts Lower Incomes and GOP’s Image

Most states are facing budget deficits which demand immediate solutions.  Governor  Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has proposed a major change which would eliminate the state income tax and raise the state’s sales tax by up to three percent. One news source reported, “The governor’s office has not yet confirmed or denied an article in The Monroe News-Star that reports eliminating the state income tax could require increasing the state sales tax from 4 percent to 7 percent.”

The Tax Policy Center reported that “Louisiana’s current 8.86 percent average combined state and local sales tax rate (4 percent state rate and 4.86 percent average local rate) is already the third highest in the nation. Jindal’s plan would boost it to the highest level in the country by far.”3

The key point is while the exact amount of the increase in sales tax in not yet known, analysts agree that it would be significant.

Those  In  Favor

The governor promoted his plan in the following way, “’The bottom line is that for too long, Louisiana’s workers and small businesses have suffered from having a state tax structure that is too complex and that holds back economic prosperity,’ Jindal said in a statement released by his office. ‘It’s time to change that so people can keep more of their own money and foster an environment where businesses want to invest and create good-paying jobs.’ Jindal said the plan would be revenue-neutral and that the goal would be to keep sales taxes ‘as low and flat as possible.’”2

Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs for the advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform said in an email, “No income tax states outperform high income tax states in economic growth, job growth, population growth and even revenue growth.  Gov. Jindal’s proposal would greatly improve his state’s business tax climate.”4

Those Opposed

The flaw with “flat tax” initiatives is that they do not impact all economic groups equally.  As the Tax Policy Center stated,” the proposal would dramatically shift more of the burden of Louisiana’s taxes onto lower-income individuals. Since low-income households devote a higher share of their income to consumption, they end up paying higher effective tax rates than higher-income households which tend to spend less and save more. This concern is particularly stark in Louisiana, which was recently ranked as the sixth most unequal state in the country by one measure of inequality.”

In other words, lower income groups spend a much higher percent of their take-home pay (gross income minus taxes) on basic living expenses than do higher income groups.  A sales tax is a “flat tax” which hits poorer individuals harder because they have little or no opportunity to scale back spending on non-essential items because they can buy much fewer in the first place.  Simply stated, they’re stuck paying more just to live on an income that is already tight.

Exposing  the  Inequality  of  the  Tax  Proposal

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy confirms the flat tax inequality exists even when it is combined with the elimination of the state income tax.  It found that “The poorest 20 percent of taxpayers, those with an average income of $12,000, would see an average tax increase of $395, or 3.4 percent of their income, if no low income tax relief mechanism is offered.  The middle 20 percent, those with an average income of $43,000, would see an average tax increase of $534, or 1.2 percent of their income.  The largest beneficiaries of the tax proposal would be the top 1 percent—a group with an average income of well over $1 million. Louisianans in the top 1 percent would see an average tax cut of $25,423, or 2.3 percent of their income under the plan described above.”5   (All of their statements came from a graph which showed the net effect of higher sales tax and elimination of the state income tax.)

CONCLUSION:  Thumbs  Down

While the governor’s proposal may end up being revenue neutral as he predicted, it is still unfair.  Its premise is that with the state government collecting the same total revenue but from different sources, it will encourage more business development within Louisiana.  Based on other states’ experience, that should happen, but its benefit to the state is not guaranteed.

However, what is guaranteed is that the lower income groups will end up paying more just to live at their current (and in many cases, inadequate) level.  They will be expected to accept that burden with the possibility that more jobs will be available (but at what incomes?).  It’s promoting the classic “trickle-down effect” which we have seen fail so graphically with the recent bank bail-outs.  The little guy pays for someone in a better economic state to become fatter.

Proposals like Gov. Jindal’s will hinder the battle against the Democrats and their push for intrinsic evils because it strengthens their charge that the Republican Party doesn’t care about the average tax payer.  That “Jindal is not the only Republican lawmaker looking to shift more taxes onto his low-income constituents”5 makes it worse.

ALTERNATIVE

The “bottom-up” approach would be to raise the state’s sales tax modestly, but eliminate the income tax for some lower income brackets or spread the cuts over a wider range of incomes.  The income tax eliminations or decreases would be based on the same “revenue neutral” philosophy.

By ensuring that the little guy has more disposable income, spending would increase and saving might also.  Either or both eventuality would lead to increased business investment with at least the same certainty as the “trickle-down” would.  Even if it didn’t happen, the lower income groups would still be better off, which is a good way to improve public morale. Historically, this has been shown to be an effective means of stimulating the economy, which means votes.  It also increases the state’s revenue which is what started this debate in the first place.

1 – Dennis Cauchon, USA Today as reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/15/2013
2Jeff Adelson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on January 10, 2013 at 1:19 PM, updated January 10, 2013 at 7:32 PM
3 – Keven Zieber, Media Matters for America blog, 1/14/2013
4 – Michael Bastasch, www.dailycaller.com, 1/15/2013
5 – Pat Garofalo, www.thinkprogress.org, 1/15/2013