All Posts Tagged With: "TAXES"

Gas Tax to Pay For Flood Damage?

Legislative Leaders in Iowa are continuing to talk about a special session of the General Assembly, which makes sense. The Governor is doing a good job of expressing the need to prioritize working on the current relief effort AND establishing a solid assessment of the costs before holding a session.

The bad news is, the only option being mentioned by the media (although there are almost certainly others) is an increase in the gasoline tax. That would be a bad idea. Better to raise the sales tax than the gasoline tax. Gas prices are already creating too much of a burden for everyone… a 1% increase in the sales tax with a well planned time-limit to cover flood related needs would be more appropriate. …


Charities and Diversity

So, there’s this state that thinks foundations with $250 million in assets or more should to provide reports on the gender orientation and ethnicity of their boards and staffs, and the boards and staffs of the charities they support.  And to what extent they are actually run by minorities, or support them.

I’ll give you one guess which state I’m talking about.

I’ll wait.

That was fast.  Yes, it is California!  You are so smart!

You’re not from there are you?

Heather R. Higgins, a board member of the Philanthropy Roundtable, wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal on this topic today on this topic.

It’s just a little scary to think about.

Champions of the bill claim that its only goal is to


Finished, and Convinced: The FairTax Makes Sense

You may recall a few months ago I mentioned I had started reading The FairTax Book. It only took about 5 or 6 hours of reading time, but it kept bouncing around in priority, and I just finished a couple of days ago.

It is really tough to explain the whole idea in a few short sentences (making the book a great resource if you want to be able to speak intelligently to the subject). I was cynical of the idea before reading the book, and now I’m convinced it is the right way to both solve our current tax issues and help stimulate our sadly sagging economy.

Forgive me if I make this sound too simple, and I know it really isn’t, but what …


Des Moines Taxpayers Win

Thankfully, the voters of Polk County in Iowa have managed to do better than the legislators in the Iowa General Assembly. While the state is busy raising as many of our taxes as they could get away with, the voters, the people that gave them the power (at least in Polk County) rejected the attempt by local officials to borrow $132 million (and raise our property taxes) to renovate and expand the county courthouse.

Thankfully, we won’t be borrowing more money while we’re trying to pay new taxes and deal with the challenges we have with the economy.

Our previous local attempt to raise taxes (Project Destiny) was no more successful. We have some smart voters here in Central Iowa. It’s too bad …


POTUS Election 2008, Taxation and Wealth Redistribution

I’ve been subscribing to Fortune magazine for about 15 years now, and in the last couple of years I’ve given serious thought to letting my subscription go for something more substantive and/or right-leaning, as I’ve watched the editorial staff at Fortune take their publication further and further left.  And then, just when I begin to think it’s a total waste of precious time and money, an issue strikes at the heart of all I hold dear and I think, “At last, someone in the mainstream media gets it”.

This is a serious time for America.  The next POTUS, regardless of who it is, has to make some serious decisions, not just about taxes, Social Security and Medicare, but Iraq, foreign policy in general and, oh …


Now Social Security?

Last week I commented on the unspoken (at least by anyone who wants to be President) state of Medicare.  Now it appears that Social Security is a mess too.  (I know, big surprise!)  In the March 31, 2008 edition of Fortune, Allan Sloan reports that in about 10 years, Social Security will start spending more money than it takes in.  By 2020, the number is – $96 billion.

Here are our options:  1)  Raise the minimum retirement age;  2)  Increase the employer and employee contributions from their respective 7.65% rates;  3)  Reduce current and/or future payouts, or 4)  Get rid of the whole thing and force people to take personal responsibility for their retirement.

Of the options, I like #4.…


Taxation and Social Responsibility

Ah, my first contribution to the Conservative Reader.  I hope my effort is worthy of this site.  I hope I can remember my training from last night.  I hope I don’t come off sounding like a fool, or worse yet, like a pompas ass, but then again, how would anyone know the difference.

In the March 17, 2008 edition of Fortune, Geoff Colvin described a situation that is rearing it’s ugly head and that no one wants to talk about.  The subject was Medicare and in the opinion of many, including Alan Greenspan, this one issue will do more to negatively impact the American economy than the current credit crisis, than the war in Iraq, than $100 a barrel oil, than the trade …


Iowa Budget Is Trouble

iowa-state-map.jpgI am fortunate enough to live in District 60 of the Iowa House of Representatives, represented by Libby Jacobs, whom I have tremendous respect for. And who is a Conservative Republican.

Libby provides a Legislative Update (as do some other representatives) in the Des Moines Register’s “West Des Moines” section. This week she provided some excellent insights into the Governor’s Budget. Central to her presentation is the State Auditor’s (David Vaudt) Review of the budget recommendations.

According to Vaudt, the governor’s budget “maxes out” Iowa’s charge cards by draining the funds used for the past several years to balance the budget. These funds include the Senior Living Trust Fund, various tobacco-related funds, and the Property Tax Credit Fund. He noted that it is ironic that


Making Capitalism Work for the Poor

I’ve had little time or space thus far for this topic, not because it lacks importance, but because I can only write so much.  Today I’d like to seriously look at something that many people are reacting to with cynicism, humor, and contempt because of the person at the center of the topic, and as a result are missing what I think is a critical opportunity and a valuable idea.

Bill Gates (yes, you know Bill… I have referenced his company in slightly disparaging terms in the past, but only slightly) made the front page of the Wall Street Journal today, not because of some new innovation in the Windows Operating System, or a major security hole in Internet Explorer, or even as part of …


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