Crossposted at The Rockefeller Republican
Most economists agree that you can’t raise taxes in a recession. To do so only deepens the recession and cuts off any chance of growth which would allow the economy to rebound. This point was made very clear in the many Presidential debates earlier this year, and even President-Elect Obama has backed off of his earlier plans to raise the upper tax brackets immediately upon taking office. Someone needs to explain all this to New York Governor David Paterson, who recently proposed 88 new fees and taxes.
In order to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Gov. Paterson wants to raise or initiate taxes on such varied items as movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages. Clothes under $110 would also lose their tax exemption. Cable and Satellite TV would become subject to sales tax. There would also be an “iPod tax” on the sale of downloaded music and other “digitally delivered entertainment services.”
Anyone with a little economic common sense knows that consumer spending is our economy’s driver, so taxes that penalize the poor as much as the rich for buying casual goods and services is counter productive.
“This is where we are,” Paterson told reporters. “Maybe we should have thought about this when we were depending on what we thought was inexhaustive collections of taxes from Wall Street – and now those taxes have fallen off a cliff.”
Maybe Patterson should look into eliminating some outdated programs or out and out fraud to raise some funds. While a state is not like the federal government in that it cannot operate with a deficit, it doesn’t immediately have to resort to punitive taxes every time the checkbook comes up short. Citizens Against Government Waste is a private, non-partisan and non-profit organization formed in the mid-1980’s, and they rank New York as one of the biggest offenders with wasteful spending.
After a welcome interlude of Obama speaking rationally about the economy it seems like Democrats are back to being Democrats again.