Monday, March 14, 2011

86% Tax Break for Corps. 31% Tax Increase for Middle Class.

Facing thirty years of failure to bring prosperity to the average American, Republicans are tripling down on trickle down economics. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is handing out tax breaks to corporations, slashing them by 86%, while increasing income tax for low to middle income workers by as much as 31%.

Snyder's now taxing pensions, he's throwing out the state earned income tax credit for low wage earners, and he's throwing out tax credit for retirees.

As usual, this is going to hit low to middle wage earners the hardest.

Business taxes would be cut by 86 percent
from an estimated $2.1 billion in FY 2011 to
$292.7 million in FY 2013, the first full year of
the proposed tax changes.


Taxes on individuals from the state income tax
would rise by $1.7 billion or nearly 31 percent,
from an estimated $5.75 billion in FY 2011 to
$7.5 billion in FY 2013, the first full year of
the tax changes.

You may not realize that Michigan has a flat income tax...otherwise known as a hyper-regressive tax. One of the most regressive tax systems in America, with some of the poorest individuals in Michigan paying as much as 9.8% of their income to the state and the richest individuals paying 5.4% of their income to the state. The poor are already taxed more than their fair share in this state...Snyder is seeing to it that it stays that way. And just for good measure he's going to increase it. may ask..."But, Muskegon is that possible?"

Because SALES tax is a tax that disproportionately affects the low income earners.

"But...Muskegon Critic...that doesn't count. You don't HAVE TO buy non-food items. And food items aren't taxed!"

Don't forget that things like soap, for example, comes with sales tax. Clothes. Baby diapers. Gasoline. Electricity. Medicine. Cars and transportation. Pots and pans. Property tax. Hair cuts. Clippers that are used to do hair cuts at home. Auto maintenance. Shoes. Water.

These aren't necessarily LUXURY items. Many of these are included among necessities, especially if you want to hold down a job: shelter, clothing, medicine, toiletries.

When sales tax to the state is calculated in...the poor to middle class pay a SIGNIFICANTLY larger percentage of their income to the state already than the richest people in the state.

That's what a flat tax does. It flips the tiered taxation system so that the poor, rather than the rich, pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. That's why the earned income tax credit was so important.

But conservatives like Snyder apparently see low wage earning as something to be beaten out of people. Keep beating them in the face and kicking them in the ribs until they get tired of being poor. Maybe some day they'll get tired of it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dude fined 50k for trying to smuggle 4000 pounds of live Asian carp

These fish must be delicious. They'd have to be now that we know for sure there are real live Asian Carp runners trying to keister their wares across the borders at great financial risk.

Most of the recent Asian carp panic in Michigan and the upper Midwest has been directed at the threat posed by fish escaping the Chicago River into Lake Michigan.

But the recent seizure of a truckload of live fish at the Detroit-Windsor border -- 4,000 pounds of prohibited bighead and grass carp apparently bound for consumer markets in Toronto -- demonstrates how complex the threat can be.

Feng Yang, 52, the owner of a fish import company, pleaded guilty this week in Windsor to violating the federal Fisheries Act, and was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. He was stopped Nov. 4 after crossing the Ambassador Bridge into Canada.

The real kicker is here, though:

Yang paid a $40,000 fine in 2006 for a similar offense.

Apparently Mr. Yang is making a tidy enough profit on the bighead carp running biz to make the fines worth the risk. Either that or he lives for danger.

I tend to imagine smugglers are similar to mice. If you see one in your house, there are a hundred you don't see.