Friday, June 4, 2010

My own version of the Tea Party movement

Here it is, plain and simple.

Increase the sales tax to 8 percent and include clothing.

All of you ‘regressive tax’ naysayers need to keep reading before you start e-mailing me.

I can’t believe I walk into the King of Prussia Mall, that is after I walk past all the Mercedes Benz,’ Hummers and Porches, and watch what must be literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year walk out the door without a single tax dollar being collected.

Are you kidding me?

Where is the common sense, here, folks? And yes I meant to drop the reference to Thomas Paine’s eloquently written masterpiece.

Look folks, adding two cents on the dollar is not going to keep even the poorest of people from eating, so you can drop the ‘regressive tax’ argument right into the harbor.

I ordered an external hard drive for one of my sons a couple of weeks ago from Best Buy. It cost $79.99. When the bill came it was $79.99. Really? An eight percent tax would have brought the total to $86.39. How many millions of dollars would the state collect each year based on an 8 percent tax on electronics alone?

We the people have been sitting around the harbor for far too long, taking what’s been dished out as if we didn’t have any other option.

We do.

This is still our country, and we need to act like it.

Call it a tea party, call it a property party, call it whatever you like, (That’s where I need the help I was asking for earlier, you have to have a catchy name for your movement.) but we need to get our collective acts together and throw all the taxing bodies into the local harbor and not let them back onto dry land until they figure out that we’re actually in charge.


Anonymous said...

I agree with what you have written here, except with the provision that property tax would be eliminated at the same time

The sybil said...

You are right about taxing clothing. They don't need to increase the sales tax, even at 6% it would bring in a lot more tax dollars. As for electronics, just a couple of weeks ago we paid tax on a computer at another store, plus tax on service to an old one, so can't figure how Best Buy gets away with not collecting!

Don't want to hijack your party movement, but why aren't we angry that the Legislature won't tax all the profiteers who are in PA drilling for shale gas? Millions of potential dollars have already slipped away. One drilling company has had their first explosion this week, who will pay for future disasters?

Time to Go said...


I would have to agree with you on principal but raising taxes for our legislature to waste away like the rest of the money we send to Harrisburg is nothing more than a joke. Have you read the grand jury report, if they are half right, and I believe they are, we need to overhaul our out of control legislature. Only problem is they have to help and we have too many pigs at the public trough already. They go to Harrisburg to fill their pockets and make a generous living doing very little for the rank and file. That blather by one of the self serving senators in today's TH bears this out. They already are part time employees, half of the time they are out campaigning, glad-handing, or giving away wham money to keep in office.

It is a sad state of affairs, Harrisburg is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Look Folks - A few dollars added to almost anything that we use on a daily basis or "I can't do without it article" should be taxed. I purchase a sandwich at the local grocery and it is taxed. - So, let's try to get out from under this debt here in PA and Feds.too. We should know by now they, the Feds., should insist on all states having certain Federal Taxes,that is shared with the state, and in that way we would be even-steven. No more waste of gas to go to Delaware, that is after PA gets out of the Liquor Business.

Anonymous said...

This is the knee-jerk, short-sighted, all-for-me approach that I'm well used to seeing from you, Stan, as well as the Tea Party movement.

You see Hummers, Benzes and Porsches in the KoP parking lot, and your immediate thought is that since some people drive those expensive cars, and there are clothing stores in the mall, then everyone should be able to afford an 8% tax on clothing (instead of thinking, perhaps, that we should add an 8% tax on Hummers, Benzes and Porsches). All of your economic arguments boil down "adding 2 cents here or there isn't going to kill anyone," as if that's the only amount ever being spent. You argue from the position that $6.40 isn't a big burden on anyone who's already spending $79.99, as if that's their budget for the entire year. The reality is (as I have pointed out to you repeatedly in the past) that your 8% tax reduces the buying power of everyone by a considerable amount over the course of a year. You once proposed adding sales tax to food - over the course of a year, that equals two extra weeks' worth of groceries that everyone would be paying for and not getting.

So, let's say we add your regressive tax (no quotes, that's actually what it is). Let's say we start charging 8% on necessities. Is that any skin off the back of the people driving Porsches? Not really. Is it any skin off the back of the person that took the bus to Target in order to purchase clothing for their children? Yeah, actually, it is. And that's the whole reason they're called "necessities," Stan. These are things that people need to survive. You're literally talking about an 8% increase in the cost of living, in addition to the 2%-4% is already raises every year, and then you have the sheer callousness to bark at teachers for asking for a 1.5%-2% increase? I have to wonder, Stan - do you have any regard for your fellow man at all, or do you care only for how much of your paycheck you get to keep? Do you even understand what the economic impact of raising the cost of living 10% would be?

I used to be a Conservative. And then I grew up and realized that my prosperity doesn't end at my doorstep. Dropping everyone's economic power by 10% hurts us far, far more than the tax revenue would help.

That's my view of the Tea Party. "All for me!" you scream. "To Hell with my fellow man! I am not my brother's keeper!" This isn't a Christian nation, this is Nod, and you're not Job, Stan. You're the Pharisee.

Anonymous said...

Please take your Palin glasses off! You're not thinking about nutrition when you talk about poor people being able to pay a tax on food. The children are suffering without the proper vitamins, etc., but I guess you are in with the Reaganites thinking that ketchup is a vegetable. This really shows where you and the rest of the tea party people are coming from. They weren't protesting the ten million a month costs for the illegal oil wars, but let a minority get into the White House, and they want to take it back. TEA PARTY = CLUELESS!

Anonymous said...

Great idea Stan. Clearly the problem is we're not taxing enough, as opposed to spending way too much on nonsense.

You're no Republican or conservative.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with "Time to Go". That person is dead on, we have the most extensive and exhaustive legislature in the country. How about writing a story how the tea party can pare down this bunch political hacks. They can't even pass legisllation to keep kids from texting while driving. What a joke they are. I say let's do more with less, keep them out of Harrsiburg, and I will sleep better at night. Let's go Stan, put your money where your mouth is and do a story on the waste in Harrisburg and what can be done about it.

Stan said...

OK, did comhradh and anonymous (June7, 2010 6:10 p.m.) understand that I want to do away with the property tax? The idea is to exchange one tax that unfairly targets property owners for another tax that everyone will have to pay. Of course, the argument is that everyone pays property taxes, even if they rent, right? And, Time To Go, you're right about the legislature. It would have to be worded so the property tax goes away completely. And comhradh, I know you don't like the idea, but your argument is flawed. No the tax isn't going to hurt the porsche driving crowd, but you do realize they actually purchase a lot more than the scooter driving crowd, don't you? And, I've never "barked at a teacher for asking for a 1.5%-2% increase." Please, if you're going to attempt to take me to task, get your facts straight. I have however, barked at teachers for asking for 6 percent increases and a decrease in the amount of health care they pay. And finally, comhradh, it's not an "all for me" approach. It's an approach that is fair for everyone. How about, instead of bashing what I have to say, you come up with an alternative?

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem paying property taxes for the property that I bought. Everyone pays it one way or another whether they own or rent. The only exception is that property owners usually have enough deductions, including this tax, to apply it to reduce their federal income tax, unlike renters, so you are wrong, as usual. So, don't whine about getting bashed, go after the politicians wasting money, like two printing operations in Harrisburg and your own buddy, Castor, for wasting time whining about everything. He won't even try to cooperate for the good of the County.

Anonymous said...

OK, did comhradh and anonymous (June7, 2010 6:10 p.m.) understand that I want to do away with the property tax?

Yes, Stan, I did understand that. You want to do away with one tax that "unfairly targets property owners" and replace it with one that unfairly targets the poor.

You want those who are least able to bear the burden to take your share of it. You want people who spend more to contribute less, and those who have less contribute more.

No the tax isn't going to hurt the porsche driving crowd, but you do realize they actually purchase a lot more than the scooter driving crowd, don't you?

We're talking about necessities, here, not Porsches or Hummers. If your argument for a blanket sales tax is that they're purchasing more discretionary items, then why aren't you suggesting an increase in the existing sales tax?

it's not an "all for me" approach. It's an approach that is fair for everyone. How about, instead of bashing what I have to say, you come up with an alternative?

It's not fair for everyone. It is in no way fair to ask people living at the poverty line to pay more simply because you don't like paying taxes. Here's an alternative, Stan: how about you sell your property so you won't have to pay property taxes anymore? That way, you can benefit from the tax dollars of other people without having to pay as much into the system, which is exactly what you're proposing.

Sugarcoat it all you want to square your conscience, Stan, but your taxation arguments all boil down to you benefiting at the expense of everyone else, especially those who can least afford it. I have not once, in the six years I've been reading your opinions, witnessed you propose a tax plan that did not directly and negatively impact people at or below the middle class. Every single time you have spoken about taxes, you advocate shifting your burden onto the poor. How is that not an "all for me" approach?

I've never "barked at a teacher for asking for a 1.5%-2% increase." Please, if you're going to attempt to take me to task, get your facts straight. I have however, barked at teachers for asking for 6 percent increases and a decrease in the amount of health care they pay.

Do you even understand the figures you cite? That 6% was over four years (or rather, 8.75% over five years). That's less than a 2% increase per year. The cost of healthcare is rising at an increased rate, so a decrease in the amount they pay for it would actually be to get them back to the level it was at. So yes, you (now by your own admission) barked at teachers asking for a 1.5%-2% increase. You told them to shut up and accept a pay cut with good humor, and then have the gall to complain that you're paying too much in taxes. Here's an idea, Stan. How about you quit complaining and offer to pay more property taxes? These are hard times, after all, and you apparently have enough money to walk in to the King of Prussia Mall, so you won't mind paying more. It's only fair, right?

Anonymous said...

Stan is living in "never never tax the tea party land". The Feds allow you to itemize property tax deductions on your primary home and second vacation home. So, I do and get my income tax rate reduced. Poor people can't do that.

By the way, Stan, I don't have children, so I shouldn't pay school taxes, right?

Montco PA Dem said...

What Stan really doesn't get is that he actually made a very good argument for a tax...just not the tax he wants. When he rattles off all the signs of prosperity that he walks past at the King of Prussia Mall -- the fancy cars, the racks of top-fashion clothes, etc. -- he is on the right track. The people that own these things and buy these things CAN afford to pay a little extra to make the state solvent again.

And that is why PA needs a truly progressive income tax. Actually the US needs this too, but it's fine to start here in the state, first. Slide that top bracket up just a bit, and you will fix this state's money problems in a no time at all.

Of course, it will never happen until we stop electing folks who are bought and paid for by the very people and corporations such a tax would target.

Stan said...

Between Montco PA Dem and comhradh you would think we were living in a socialist nation.... We tax, that's what we do in this country, so you're telling me, and by that I mean both of you, that the only people that should be taxed, and taxed hard, are the people who have made something of themselves? Let's take care of every need of everyone who doesn't want to do it for themselves, is that your collective position? Now there's some inspiration. Seriously, you two are living in the wrong country. This is a nation built on capitalism and we've done pretty well so far. Welfare to work was one of the best things Clinton ever did. And conhradh, just another correction to your last post. Methacton teachers are asking for nearly 6 percent per year for four years, for teachers still going through the steps, not 6 percent for the whole four years. I like debating with people, but not with people who simply don't pay attention.

Montco PA Dem said...

Actually, Stan, the country I'm using as a tax model is...the US of A. Circa the 1950s; you know, when supposedly America was at its peak as a world power?

I don't think you'd argue that taxes were keeping any person or corporation from being all they could be then, would you?

And that, oddly enough, was when the tax code was at its progressive best. All I'm saying is, let's go back to that. On a state and a national basis. If it was good enough for Ike & Mamie, it should certainly be good enough for us.

Anonymous said...

Between Montco PA Dem and comhradh you would think we were living in a socialist nation... We tax, that's what we do in this country, so you're telling me, and by that I mean both of you, that the only people that should be taxed, and taxed hard, are the people who have made something of themselves? Let's take care of every need of everyone who doesn't want to do it for themselves, is that your collective position?

You know, sometimes Republicans say some quoteable things. One that springs to mind is "there you go again." If taxing people according to their income is your definition of socialism, then someone needs to tell Ronald Reagan that he lost the Cold War, because Europe is a veritalbe Marxist dreamland.

People who have benefitted from a system that allows some to float to the top shouldn't mind giving more back so that the system can take care of the rest that are left to float to the bottom.

Again, Stan, if you want to view this in a straight dollars-and-cents manner and ignore the basic humanity of caring for one's neighbor, wouldn't it be better to have a well-fed and healthy workforce? Even your Soylent fiscal policy should be able to come to grips with that.

And conhradh, just another correction to your last post. Methacton teachers are asking for nearly 6 percent per year for four years, for teachers still going through the steps, not 6 percent for the whole four years. I like debating with people, but not with people who simply don't pay attention.

It's Còmhradh, Mr. Editor, and I was referring to the North Penn contract, which you also were referring to in the editorial I was referencing. Although, for the record, Methacton teachers are asking for 8% over 4 years (that's 2% per year, if you're paying attention). I am, of course, getting these figures from an article printed in the Times Herald, the local paper. Perhaps you're familiar with it?

Anonymous said...

*quotable, *veritable, *benefited.

Three spelling errors in that last reply is why I don't tend to attack people on their spelling.

Anonymous said...

Less regulations and taxes for the rich... Jindal seems to be two-faced with outrage over the oil spill, attacking the White House, but trying to weaken regulations before. Sounds like a tea party/repub to me.

Jindal's outrage is understandable and even admirable in the sense that he's not afraid to sound like an environmentalist. But the media's panegyrics have ignored Jindal's own weak response to the oil spill and his outsized role in promoting the kind of regulatory cutbacks and dangerous offshore drilling policies that are now wrecking Louisiana's economy.

In February, 2006, while serving as a member of the GOP-controlled US House of Representatives, Jindal introduced the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act. Passed by the House a few months later, the bill would have opened up the entire US coast to offshore oil drilling. States could override the law and ban rigs in their territorial waters, yet the law would let them share lease royalties with the federal government--a strong incentive to drill. Adjacent states would have little say in the matter (clearly a problem, given that BP's spill has marred several states' coastlines). On the risks of deepwater drilling, the text of Jindal's bill is comically pollyannaish:

(4) it is not reasonably foreseeable that . . . development and production of an oil discovery located more than 50 miles seaward of the coastline will adversely affect resources near the coastline;

(BP's Deepwater Horizon rig is located 50 miles from the coast, and of course would have devastated the Gulf even if it was further out to sea).

Stan said...

To the anonymous that keeps asking why I'm not posting his/her entry; I will not post any of them as long as you continue to use derogatory language. Take out the name calling and state your position and I'll post just about anything. I don't attack individuals on my blog and I won't allow people to attack me. It's really that simple.

Anonymous said...

GOP lawmaker with BP stock has role in spill probe

By DENNIS CONRAD (AP) – 17 hours ago

WASHINGTON — A multimillionaire House Republican who owns thousands of shares of BP stock has no plans to recuse himself from a congressional investigation related to the Gulf oil spill or from votes on Capitol Hill that could affect his investments in the oil company.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has avoided directly criticizing BP for the spill itself. At the same time, he has watched his BP stock tank in value.

Worth more than $251,000 just a few years ago, Sensenbrenner's 3,604 shares of BP PLC stock had plunged in value to just $118,000 by the end of trading Thursday. That's roughly half their value the day before the April 20 oil spill. Sensenbrenner has said his net worth is about $10 million.

The No. 2 Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a former chairman, Sensenbrenner has kept a low profile on the issue, but now he's coming out swinging: He has written a letter to President Barack Obama questioning BP's actions and the adequacy of the White House response — but refrains from directly criticizing BP for the spill.

Anonymous said...

OK, all of you who dismiss the notion of ridding us of the property tax have overlooked one aspect---do you know of anyone, retired and struggling with expenses and getting annually hammered with this tax, most years bringing on increases not affordable? Well, I do and the tax write-off in not applicable to a retired person/couple. Let's wake up here and take care of those who have been responsible citizens throughout all their working years and relieve them of this burden. A sales tax would include everyone--renters, illegal immigrants, bums etc who cry that they cannot afford to "get by" yet how many of them DO NOT have 10-foot wide TV's, the most advanced cell phones, etc etc etc. Can we please stop making excuses for these people and make them pay something? I am tired of carrying these people through the system and one of the biggest drains on it is my brother-in-law so please do not respond telling me that I do not understand their side of it

Jeffrey Fennelly said...

right on Stan...America is finally waking up

A Little Common Sense Please,

The only real solution to the constant up & down cycles of the economy is to eliminate the core cause. That would be the progressive tax system now in place taxing the earning power of Americans.

It is counterproductive in a capitalistic market economy. If we switched over to a consumption tax system the earning power of Americans would immediately rise 30% or more, companies and Americans investing in the stock market would have all of their assets to confidently invest in the future with and the government would still be generating more than enough consumption tax revenue to provide services to the American people.

As we know there is enough blame to go around with the current economic mess but now is the perfect time to contact our state representatives and tell them that the American people are fed up with constant wasteful spending and that includes “forced taxpayer bailouts” through acts of Congress for their spit-swapping buddies on “Free Fall Wall Street”. All government agencies need to “justified for their existence”. If the agency does not perform a direct beneficial needed service to the American people then it needs to be abolished.

With the term abolished in mind all of those on capital hill that voted for and continue to vote for “forced taxpayer bailouts” need to be abolished also. The next election cycle is right around the corner, please remember their names. The cry that the sky would fall if we did not pass the bailout has fallen on deaf ears as Wall Street grabbed your billions and locked the doors….

When children get caught stealing from the cookie jar you do not discipline them by
handing them more cookies!

America needs candidates and representatives of any party that will always put the common sense needs of Americans first and foremost.

Americans are being forced to learn to live within their means and will do so and come out better for it. They expect their government to do the same.

Jeff Fennelly

Anonymous said...

Posted: June 14th, 2010 09:14 AM ET

(CNN) - One of the daughters of former President George W. Bush isn't following the Republican Party line when it comes to the issue of the health care legislation that cleared Congress last spring without any GOP support.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Barbara Bush said she's "glad" Democrats passed the massive spending measure and President Barack Obama signed it into law.

"Why do, basically, people with money have good health care and why do people who live on lower salaries not have good health care?" the 28-year old said. "Health should be a right for everyone."

Asked specifically what she though about the president's health care initiative, Bush replied with a smile, "That is a good question - obviously the health care reform bill was highly debated by a lot of people and I guess I'm glad the bill was passed."

Anonymous said...

Posted on Mon, Jun. 14, 2010

Advocates say poor need available free cell phones
By Alfred Lubrano
Inquirer Staff Writer
Should the poor have cell phones?
They're paid for, in part, by charges on phone bills that the federal government allows carriers to levy. It's a little-known collaboration between the federal government and phone carriers, devised by the Reagan administration 26 years ago.
"Oh, that's the 'Obama-phone,' " said Susan Lord, a leader of the conservative tea party movement in South Jersey. "It's just another way to redistribute the wealth. The poor get helped, and the cost is passed on to working people, who get depressed."
Because they don't require contracts and deposits, the cell phones - especially prepaid ones that allow customers to buy minutes when needed - are often cheaper than land lines, which is important for poor people whose credit is too battered to allow them more traditional phone service, she said.
The federal Lifeline program, begun in 1984, requires phone companies to discount the bills of poor people up to $10 a month.
The Federal Communications Commission established a subsidy for carriers so they could recover those costs. Money for that subsidy comes from all phone customers, who pay a charge of up to $2 per monthly bill.
Under the administration of former President George W. Bush, TracFone and other wireless carriers were allowed to participate in what had been a wired-only program, industry experts say. TracFone changed the equation two years ago by offering discounted service and free cell phones.

Ha-Ha, your Tea Party people are smearing Obama again, over a Reaganite subsidy.

Anonymous said...

Palin wanted to give Obama advice. Obama doesn't need advice from this tea party hanger-on. He got BP to put up $20 billion for payments. So where is your headline on that?

Anonymous said...

Well, well, some tea party guys don't agree with some of the out in right field GOP:

Posted on Wed, Jun. 16, 2010

A furor as Iowa Republican says Obama favors blacks

By Charles Babington

Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Democrats on Tuesday denounced an Iowa Republican congressman who said President Obama favors blacks over whites, and a GOP candidate from Colorado canceled a fund-raiser the Iowan was to keynote.

Rep. Steve King, who has made incendiary remarks about immigration, Abu Ghraib, and other issues, criticized Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who also is black, in an interview Monday on G. Gordon Liddy's nationally syndicated radio talk show.

"I'm offended by Eric Holder and the president also, their posture," King said. "It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race."

King continued: "The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race on the side that favors the black person in the case of Professor Gates and Officer Crowley."

He was alluding to an incident last year in which Obama commented disapprovingly on a white police officer's arrest of a black professor from Harvard University.

As news of King's remarks spread, GOP House candidate Cory Gardner of Colorado canceled a $100-per-plate fund-raiser where King was to speak. King's appearance was also canceled at a Colorado tea party gathering.

"His comments do not represent the tea party," said Owen Loftus, a spokesman for Republican Ken Buck, candidate for Senate in Colorado.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Delaware has cornered the market on wise-cracking. Biden, although he still does not get it, has been doing some great joking around for 20 years - but that is OK?? Well, we now have the new Republican Candidate that has the same sense of humor - but that is not OK?? Oh, the Media is the Judge?? I'm sure with all the new Tea Party supporters, we Republicans will come out with an entirely NEW Party, that will be stronger and much wiser. You know Names and Color issues are out of there now, so let's look at how they all think and how they would handle many situations- the Voters will have the last say.

Anonymous said...

The "Limit" needs to be passed because the bills are due now. Start from August 2nd and start cutting down everything in the budget. Those salary increases that were given right before January 2011 - take them back. Look at how much we spend on foreign countries. Now, take a look at what has been happening the last three years here in our country - who should come first? No I'm not selfish, I paid my taxes and all my children are doing the same - we deserve better care for the bucks.

Anonymous said...

I checked the photo last evening and low and behold the hold out of our House Rep. is one of the Tea Party Group that has been saying "NA!".... You know there is a point that "Smiley" in the Senate and "Nancy" (also is another Smiley) need to take a look at why they oppose all or practically all of the bills presented. Compromise? "Na!" Why does our President not agree with the "House" version and let the time limit be 2012. The Democrats were great when they had both the House and Senate - Spending was unlimited, it was a great playground, but they need to look at how they and the President spent the money. No, it was not because of the Bush handling the war, it was because the need was there. Just like the former President Clinton, the Cold War was over and an increase in taxes were a part of his "Balance" system. So, this President is accountable for decrease in Defense Spending because?? Our men are coming home? I hope it is true, but we can not let the "Defense" spending fall behind as it did during the "Clinton" administration - it is time to update so we will have proper equipment to defend us. This would bring in jobs - but in the long run, well worth it. Cut salaries and unnecessary employees in Washington. Keep the trips by air-sea-land of our President and all his men at a minimum and lastly stop spending on things that make us look good, but we can not afford or need.