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November 17, 2017 - 4:46pm

In latest spat with governor, Collins calls Cuomo a pathological liar

posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, taxes, news, notify.

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(Photo: Chris Collins during a meeting today at the Job Development Center in Batavia.)

Rep. Chris Collins thinks he has the proof he needs to label Gov. Andrew Cuomo now and forevermore a pathological liar.

Following a meeting with county employment officials at the Job Development Center in Batavia, Collins took questions for reporters and in response to comments by Cuomo that the recently passed House tax reform bill will cost New Yorkers money, Collins immediately launched into a prolonged attack on Cuomo for claiming he had spoken with Collins about the bill.

"He attributed a quote to me that said that I said the reason I voted for the tax act was that I was pressured by Republican leadership," Collins said. "As I said, and it’s in The New York Times today, 'liar, liar pants on fire.' In seven years, I’ve never spoken to the governor. I certainly did not speak to him on this. Aand the outrageousness of him even fabricating a quote will tell you, if he will lie about something like that, he will not hesitate to lie about our tax plan."

The Batavian reached out to the governor's office for a response and received this statement:

The Governor's point was the Republican congress members he spoke to said they were under pressure from their political leadership‎ to vote yes‎. Collins and the rest of the New York Congress members who voted for their donors and against their own constituents can try to deflect from this irresponsible vote, but it's the Governor who stood up for New York taxpayers and always will.

Contrary to Cuomo's assertions about the reforms, the changes in the tax code will save most of his constitutes money Collins promised.

"I have said I will stake my career, my election next year, on the fact that 95 percent of the folks in GLOW and Erie County will pay less in taxes," Collins said. "If you do, then vote for me, and if you don’t, then don’t vote for me."

He challenged Cuomo to make the same pledge.

"If under our plan you pay more, then the governor was right and you should re-elect him, but next year when 95 percent of my constituents pay less, I would expect them to vote against our governor because he’s lying to them," Collins said.

Why isn't every single taxpayer in the NY-27 saving money? Collins explained it this way: If you're a married couple with no kids, with $80,000 in current state and local taxes, making $300,000 a year, living in a $1.5 million home, then, he said, you might pay $1,000 more in taxes.

Collins said most of his constituents will be quite happy when they get their first paycheck after Jan. 15 if the House bill passes the Senate -- and the Senate has its own ideas about how to change the tax code -- and they see their withholding has gone down.

"(The governor) is lying and he’s deliberately lying," Collins said. "He lied again and he exposed himself by talking about this and then attributing a quote to me. That’s beyond outrageous. I think he’s lost it.

"Now, from this day forward I can remind people, he is a pathological liar," Collins added.

Dave Meyer
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Here’s a fact.
This trickle down economics bull$hit has NEVER worked. EVER.
Just take a look at the most recent application of this idiocy in the state of Kansas. It has ruined the economy in that state.
Ya know what works? Everyone pays their fair share. If you’re fortunate to be successful, good for you but expect to pay your fair share.
This current tax plan is a JOKE.
Just remember, Collins voted to take away your deductions for state and local taxes. He voted to remove the deductions for teachers who purchase classroom supplies at the same time he voted for a deduction for corporate jets.

Who’s lying Chris?

John Roach
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At issue here is the Governor claimed he talked with 4 Congressman. They say he lied, that he did not talk with them. All things considered, I believe Collins that Andy lied.

As for the tax cut, we'll see what happens. But based on the outrageous taxes in New York and the continued population drain, Cuomo is not who we should go to for tax advice.

Brian Graz
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The pot calling the kettle black.

Scott Chismar
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Dave Meyer, you are 100% correct! Great post!

Brian Graz
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Reagan Budget Director Stockman Thrashes GOP Tax Bill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Du7LRq4c4

tom hunt
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Chris Collins is going to contribute to the economic decline of NYS. Business is already fleeing and now the average Joe will be leaving for part unknown for lower personal income tax and property tax states.

John Roach
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By the way Dave, what is a "fair share"? Right now almost 49% of people do not pay any federal income tax. Is that fair? What percent of people's hard earned income is fair for the Federal Government to take?

C. M. Barons
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Collins (et al) make these grandiose (irrelevant) comments knowing full-well (one hopes) that the statutory tax rate is not an accurate representation of what taxes are actually paid. I'm sure that as a businessman, Collins is familiar with terms such as deductions, off-shore exclusions, in lieu of and deferrals. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) did a study of 258 corporations. During an 8 year period the group paid a combined rate of 21.2% in federal taxes. "Eighteen of the corporations, including General Electric, International Paper, Priceline.com and PG&E, paid no federal income tax at all over the eight-year period. A fifth of the corporations (48) paid an effective tax rate of less than 10 percent over that period." The article goes on to note, "Of those corporations in our sample with significant offshore profits, more than half paid higher corporate tax rates to foreign governments where they operate than they paid in the United States on their U.S. profits." https://itep.org/the-35-percent-corporate-tax-myth/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0b_QBR...

C. M. Barons
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...And from The Federalist: "$870 for Direct Subsidies and Grants to Companies. The Cato Institute estimates that the U.S. federal government spends $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. That’s an average of $870 for each one of America’s 115 million families."

C. M. Barons
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...And one might never know how much Trump paid in taxes, because the schlep STILL hasn't made his tax records public. That's one heck of a lengthy audit!

Brian Graz
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The elimination of Federal deductions for state taxes is long overdue... in fact it should never have been allowed. That in essence made the Federal government subsidize the out-of-control spending/taxing by certain states who were working the scam... like NY, CA, CT, IL... that kinda says it all. The absolute worst, highest taxed states in the nation, all run by progressive, liberal, Democrats were working the scam by taxing their rich high to bring more revenue to the State and then rich folks used the loophole to recapture their money via the Federal exemption for State taxes paid. NO MORE... BRAVO!

So now the rich people in those states will pay more Federal tax and will scream and holler for their State governments to reduce taxes to compensate. This would require NYS to reduce it's excessive spending on welfare, and diBlasio's Sanctuary City.

So, the rich people in those states pay more Federal tax and force their State governments to reduce taxes to compensate. [In fact I'd say this will impact Congressman Collins... but he obviously can afford it.] If the NYS legislature lowers taxes for the rich and not the middle/low earners, it will exacerbate the exodus from the "land of taxes", and further reduce the base which NYcan't afford. Brilliant.

Anyone who doubts Trump's ability to hire exceptional money management gurus is deceiving themselves.

Dave Meyer
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In response to John's question to me above, NO John, it's obviously not fair that 49% (if that number is correct) don't pay any federal income tax.
Which of course speaks to the complete hypocrisy of this tax bill. It is absolutely a giveaway for the rich. It is in NO WAY an overhaul of the tax system. It's complete republican bull$hit. Completely one sided...rammed through using the reconciliation process. They don't have the balls to go thru regular order because they know it would not pass.

If Congress REALLY wanted to reform the tax code they would eliminate all the ridiculous deductions and set rates that would require ALL taxpayers, individuals AND corporations to pay 'their fair share'. But no one apparently has the stomach for that.
The debt to GDP ratio is already over 100%
What congress SHOULD be doing is the aforementioned REAL tax reform along with rates that would pay down the national debt to zero in 4 years.
I won't hold my breath until that happens.

Bill Clinton was able to raise taxes and pay down the debt and have a SURPLUS.
Imagine that!

Rich Richmond
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Dave, you said,"Bill Clinton was able to raise taxes and pay down the debt and have a SURPLUS.Imagine that!" If there was a surplus, then taxes were obviously much too high and confiscatory. If it were up to me, it would be a flat tax for everybody regardless of income: one dollar or a million. By everybody, I mean everybody, would pay taxes, including non-profits.

Tim Miller
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ahhh - the old "49% don't pay income taxes" gambit, designed to set off those who are unwilling to do any research and those prone to knee-jerk reactions to numbers that don't mean anything...

https://money.howstuffworks.com/only-53-percent-pay-income-tax.htm (article was about a different tax year than the "49%" quote references, but the reasons are the same)

Keep in mind, anybody who works pays into Social Security and Medicare. They pay 7.65% of their income, and their employer pays 7.65%. So before anybody thinks about receiving a paycheck, over 15% of that gross pay is paid in tax.

But what about those who don't pay *income* taxes? A vast majority of them DON'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO HAVE TO PAY. Folks on SocSec won't pay taxes on that money outside of specific circumstances. Sure, there are some who have special tax breaks. Some are legitimate - such as those with tremendously high medical costs. Others less so (anybody seen the President's tax returns lately?).

So don't just take a number that *seems* funny at its face value - be a good citizen and inform yourself before going off on a half-baked tirade.

Dave - can you post a link about the tax reform that would "pay down the national debt to zero in 4 years"? Should be interesting reading. (thanks in advance)

Howard B. Owens
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The original idea behind the income tax, as proposed by Republicans of the day, was that those who benefit most from society should contribute to support society. Initially, the only income tax was on only the top five percent of earners.

That little fact came from a column by conservative columnist George F. Will in a column he wrote during the Reagan presidency.

The reason for a progressive tax policy (progressive in the sense of a ladder up and down, not the left-leaning political ideology) is to help smooth out the inevitable wage inequality of a free market system because inequality leads to social unrest. Typically, conservatives value social tranquility and predictability. A system that smooths out (without eliminating) inequality is a more stable society.

Inequality has been on the rise since Reagan (when he was the first president to drop the top marginal tax rate below 50 percent), hence a less stable society today (and anybody who doesn't believe that isn't following the news very closely).

On the other hand, those who say "trickle down" doesn't work missed the Clinton-era, which was successful not because of Clinton's policies so much as Reagan's. Lower taxes meant more free income for investors leading to the creation of venture capital (the modern concept of VC investing was largely unknown before Reagan's tax cuts). The free capital in the hands of investors created the dot-com boom of the Clinton era making him look like a genius at managing the economy. The Internet as we know it today might not exist without Reagan's tax cuts.

The question shouldn't, however, be: are we taxing the rich too much or too little? It should be, where are we at in the economic cycle?

Fiscal policy (taxing and spending) and monetary policy (how the Federal Reserve manages the money supply) should be based on economic cycles. In a recession or depression, you want to spur aggregate demand, so you cut taxes, increase spending, and lower interest rates. In good times, you raise taxes, lower spending and raise rates (or otherwise constrict the money supply). Thus you avoid high inflation and build a surplus for leaner times.

Which brings us to Richard's comment: "If there was a surplus, then taxes were obviously much too high and confiscatory." Don't conservatives usually contend that government should be run like a business? Well, businesses aim for profits and when they're profitable, they bank those profits for an inevitable downtown. If the government did a better job of managing our money, it would bank surpluses and use that money to spark aggregate demand (more spending) during recessions rather than adding to the deficit (or as much to the deficit).

This country's economic discussions (including this thread) are entirely centered around who is winning and who is losing -- us. vs. them, the rich vs. the poor, the ins vs. the outs -- rather than "what's best for all of us?" What's best for all of us is a fiscal and monetary policy that manages the economy toward stability and slow, steady growth.

Howard B. Owens
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Also, for whether the House or Senate GOP tax plans will spur growth as they contend or just make the rich richer as the opposition contend is, to me, an open question.

The economy is good, but there is room to grow. We have a lot of people still out of the workforce who should be in the workforce. At the same time, there is evidence there is already a lot of excess capital in private sector hands that isn't being put to productive use (investment in new ventures), so it's hard to see how a corporate tax cut (which I favor nonetheless) and a reduction of taxes for wealthy individuals (which I generally oppose as long as the top marginal rate is below 50 percent in any level of good times) will really lead to job creation. I'm doubtful, but as long as we are below about five percentage points for workforce participation from where we should be, it can't be dismissed.

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I agree with Richmond, a flat tax.
"Everyone" pays 10%, and no more, on income, profits, dividends, etc. The government does not deserve any more than 10% of the citizens money. To accompany this the government must be reduced to live within it's budget as generated by the flat tax plus any constitutional external taxes [imports, etc]... NO MORE DEFICIT SPENDING. Eliminate ALL foreign military aid [INCLUDING Israel]. Limit maximum profits on essentials such as healthcare [insurance companies should be limited and no longer allowed to reap (rape) BILLIONS of $$ in profits for health insurance].

Howard said "If the government did a better job of managing our money, it would bank surpluses and use that money to spark aggregate demand (more spending) during recessions rather than adding to the deficit"... and I agree. But we all know that this will NEVER happen. The government has too long been irresponsible, wasteful, reckless, and abusive of it's responsibility as a steward of the people's money. They should not be entrusted with it, and taxation is theft.

Dave Meyer
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Good points Howard. I don't always agree with your views, but in this case we agree.

Tim, I don't have any link to a specific plan but since during the Clinton presidency we went from being in debt as a nation to having a surplus in 4 years it clearly can be done.
http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-budget-and-deficit-under-clinton/

As Howard pointed out, you have to have people in Congress who WANT TO WORK TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD instead of concentrating on winning and losing.
If that could ever happen again and a majority could agree that a fair tax reform could be constructed with a goal to pay down the national debt in (X) years wouldn't that be a great thing?
Sadly with the tribal politics (and I'm as guilty as the next guy) that we have now, I have serious doubts that can happen....unless we can overturn 80% of Congress. With gerrymandering being what it is, I doubt I'll see that in my lifetime.

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Tim, approx. 49% do not pay Federal Income taxes, that is just not fair. Everyone should have to pay if anyone does. If they don't, they are more than willing to the other half have to pay more. Even if has to be 1%, everyone should pay, that's the only way it can ever be really fair. You're example of the SS tax is a good example of everyone having to pay.

John Roach
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Richard, you're right on a Flat Tax. You could easily exempt the first 20k of any income and have single rate the rest at maybe 15% on anything over that. All income, no matter how earned, taxed at the same rate. No deductions or exemptions. All pay, including non-profits. That's fair.

Howard B. Owens
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John wrote "... that is just not fair. Everyone should have to pay if anyone does ..."

Why?

Then you write that a flat tax should exempt the first $20K. That seems to subvert the fairness doctrine articulated in the comment above. Further, why $20K? That seems rather arbitrary.

The same tax on income, profit, capital gains, dividends, leads to cases of the same money being taxed twice. Is that fair?

How politically realistic to think you can take away mortgage tax deductions (though I support that), charitable deductions, capital investment deductions ... look at the fight we're having over SALT?

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Howard, the 20K exemption is just an idea, and would not need to be there, and it is arbitrary. But if it was in there, everyone gets the same excemption.

As for dividends and capital gains, they would only be taxed once, when you get them, but at the same rate as other earned income. Why should they be taxed at a different rate?

As for being politically realistic, a flat rate is not. Neither is a National Sales tax in place of the income tax. Too many want to pay less than the other guy or want some sort of break for themselves.

As for "Why" it's not fair for approx. 49% of the people not to pay Federal Income taxes, the answer is because nobody should not have to pay if any has to. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone had to pay Federal Income tax, we would get real reform.

Howard B. Owens
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John wrote, "because nobody should not have to pay if any has to ... "

Again, why?

You answered why with the same assertion I asked why about in the first place. I question the basic premise of your assertion that it's not fair.

What's fair is a stable, working economy that gives everybody a chance. Taking money from the people who can least afford it seems like neither good fiscal policy nor terribly fair and perpetuates poverty, making it harder for poor people to become unpoor. If you believe in free markets and the Horatio Alger ideal of the American Dream, as I do, why make it harder for people to achieve it? Why is that fair?

So if you're going to agree with me that taking money from people who can't afford it isn't fair (and maybe you don't, but that doesn't seem to be what you're saying), then you're saying rich people shouldn't pay taxes, and, if that happens, then civil society collapses.

Howard B. Owens
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Fairness is an entirely subjective standard. Shouldn't policy be a little more objective than individualistic interpretations of "fairness"?

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Howard, "why"? There is no other way to explain fairness. To me, everyone being treat the same is fair as far as their income being taxed goes. To me, that is not that hard to understand. I see no reason why you should have to pay more or less than me, none.

If you feel the people who can "least afford it", should get a break, that is where an income exclusion could come in. But to me, if one gets the exclusion, everyone does. Everyone is treated the same.

And we have examples now of everyone paying the same. As pointed out before, we all pay the same SS tax rate, FICA rate and sale tax rate.

Rich Richmond
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You're right. John. I see fairness as everyone being treated the same for taxes. We all pay the same for SS, FICA and sales tax. Rich and poor alike should pay the same rate. A flat tax takes away power and influence from Politicians and is not likely to happen anytime soon.

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John - Many (most?) DO pay federal taxes... they pay into SocSec and Medicare. They just don't reach that threshold where the federal income tax comes into play. As evil as many believe our tax code is, the code has some decency built into it. For example, the standard deduction and personal exemptions - the intent of those is to let people earn a very (VERY) basic amount so that they can survive, and not owe INCOME taxes on that very (VERY) basic amount. Remember - they've still paid 7.65% of that minimal amount.

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To me, with reform, there should be no deductions, I can see no reason somebody should get a tax break for buying an electric car when somebody who want to buy a gas run car, gets none

You want solar panels on your house, great. But why should I have to subsidize you with tax breaks?

I see no reason non profits don't have to pay taxes either.

Howard B. Owens
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John, I assume you're equally opposed to the tax subsidies granted to oil, gas, coal and ethanol companies, as well?

And then, what do you do to ensure U.S. companies remain competitive with foreign companies that continue to get subsidies?

Not everybody pays the same into SS. If you earn over a set amount in a year, the rest of your wages are exempt from the tax. Is that fair? But of course, everybody receives the same benefit from SS and Medicare when they become eligible, so shouldn't everybody pay the same amount?

So the person who owns a business that requires more police protection, more fire protection, more military protection (has more to win or lose because of a strong military), more diplomatic resources to do business abroad, more highway use, more bureaucratic support, and because of that bigger, more government-service-demanding business, generates more revenue, and hence a larger salary and profit for him or herself, shouldn't pay more in taxes than the person making $45K a year and feeding a family of four, using very little in government services? That's fair?

Howard B. Owens
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But again, making it about "fairness" (which has no real life meaning) makes taxes an "us vs. them" argument. Its ideology over policy and ideology is a terrible way to run a government.

Howard B. Owens
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John, do you also support eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for veterans, the homeowner exclusion on capital gains when a house is sold, hobby deductions, personal legal fee deductions, health care deductions, charitable deductions, deductions for losses due to theft, retirement savings deductions, and the child tax credit?

You only mentioned a couple of green energy deductions you don't like -- just checking that it's all deductions that should go, no matter how popular?

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Some interesting posts here, not to defend prince andy, but is chris that naïve to not know politicians lie ? We will all find out in April if Chris is telling us the truth of this tax reform. He has stated that 98 % of us will see taxes go down.........time will tell

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Howard, in reply to your 6:17 post.. good point. however, let's say my neighbor owns a million dollar house and earns 10 times the income I do. My house is valued at 100k. My neighbor and I receive the same police/fire protection, same garbage pick up. The same plow clears the road in front of our houses. Neither one of us gets anything more from our government than the other. My neighbor has to pay a lot more in property and school taxes than I do. Is that fair?

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Howard, I favor a flat tax rate for everyone and no deductions/credits for individuals and businesses. I only mentioned a few before as examples. I believe non profits should pay the same taxes everyone else does also

Rich Richmond
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Take all the properties in the City of Batavia that doesn't pay taxes and receive free police and fire services. Do the same for the rest of the County, the same for every County in the State, and the same for all States. What would be the fair market value of these mentioned properties should they be on the tax rolls to pay their fair share?
I'm sure it will be an eye-opener when many of our citizens, friends, and neighbors who own modest homes in good or bad neighborhoods are barely making ends meet. Now, look at the obscene salaries that many of the people at the top of these said non-profits.

John Roach
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A chunk of Main Street in Batavia is tax exempt. Start at the Police Station, then the Post Office, City Hall, the YMCA, then the Library and St. Joe's church. Then there are more churches.
On the other side of the street, you have the new Court House, the old fire station, the Old County Court House, County Building #1, City Church, a few other churches, the 400 Towers (owed by the Batavia Housing Authority) and GCASA. That's a lot of tax money that is not collected, but require services.

Now taxing a government building does not make sense, and it's understandable why they are not. But why not the others?

Howard B. Owens
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David, your neighbor chose to live in a million dollar home, etc., knowing there would be a higher price to pay, so seems to me he made his own choice, so it seems fair to me. If he didn't want to pay higher taxes, he could have made a different choice.

And are the services the same: your neighbor probably has an alarm system that summons police and fire more often and more fire units would have to respond to a bigger structure if there was a fire.

John Roach
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Howard, I would argue that "rich, million dollar" neighborhoods probably have fewer police calls because of ability to afford special alarms. And I believe the amount of equipment called out for a fire would be the same. In fact, it more was called out, it might be for a poor area where the buildings are much closer together.

The subject of fairness in property and school taxes, water and fire district taxes, I think is a different subject.

Rich Richmond
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John, the fairness in property, school taxes, etc, is a different subject. Regardless if the property owner lives in an opulent house, modest house, or not so modest house, the funding of schools is dependent on them. That is not fair and perhaps if everyone paid a flat fee-tax, based on their income, people would take more interest how the schools are run.

Howard B. Owens
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I do need to return to the idea that fairness is an ambiguous term. It shouldn't really enter into a policy discussion.

Policy should be about what benefits society.

While we need to safeguard individual liberty, we still must live cooperatively. Government is an institution for cooperatively safeguarding stability and security in order to maximize liberty.

The question of "fairness" pits this individual against that individual in away that breaks the bonds of cooperation.

Taxes should not be a burden, but neither should they be viewed as evil. Taxes are a mechanism for funding societal cohesion to everybody's benefit.

Federal fiscal policy shouldn't be about winners and losers. It should be about balancing stability and growth so the most people benefit from fiscal policy.

Local property taxes should be about providing for the collective benefits of providing community services, such as police and fire, because the only way to provide those services efficiently and effectively is through collective effort.

Discussions of fairness are totally arbitrary and easily veer into self-serving interpretations. Fairness is subjective. Policy, done right, is objective.

John Roach
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I think most people agree on the need of some level of government and know they need taxes to pay for it. They want some level of police protection, they want someplace to put criminals, they want roads and bridges, they want snow removed from those roads. Most agree that some level of a military is necessary.

But, while they know this stuff needs to be paid for, nobody wants to be the one who does it. And when you take peoples money away from them to pay for all this, they want to know it was fair. What's fair to one is not fair to another. And to often if somebody has more than you, you want him/her to pay more than you.

Howard B. Owens
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"What's fair to one is not fair to another. "

Exactly my point.

Fairness is a meaningless question.

The correct question is, "is it good policy?"

Policy can be measured against objective standards and adjusted to meet policy goals.

Rich Richmond
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Who determines, what is good policy and what isn't. Who determines what are standards, let alone objective standards when we have politicians who don't know what bathroom to use?

In the past, the potty policy and standards were fair and accommodating. You looked to your plumbing and acted accordingly.

Howard B. Owens
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We're a representative democracy. We elect people to represent our interests, who share our policy and ideological views, and let them set policy and hire professionals to both help determine policy and carry out policy.

And when we don't like what those elected officials do, we change them.

And if we don't like what they do on this or that issue, and we can't change them, or we think other issues override those concerns, we accept that we're in the minority on this or that issue and move on until such a time there might be a chance to democratically initiate a change.

Rich Richmond
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Our Government is a Republic, not a Representative Democracy.

See Article 4, Section 4 of the US Constitution.

The rule of law governs us and elected officials are bound by an oath to our written Constitution with governing limits.

In a Republic such as ours, a Written Constitution of basic rights protects the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority.

Howard B. Owens
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A Republic is a representative democracy. It's not a direct democracy.

The Constitution provides for the governance of the federal government and the Bill of Rights protects individual rights.

We elect people to represent the interests of their constituents with checks and balances to carry out policy.

Nothing you said contradicts anything I said.

Brian Graz
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A Republic, a representative democracy, a democratic republic, or a constitutional confederacy... does it matter? The country really hasn't followed the founding format for many years. Our two party system of pretender representation has basically returned to a monarchical parliament, where the prime minister(s) is the head of the two ruling parties, and they choose what candidates the voters are deceived into believing they actually pick. Then the voters are further deceived into believing that they are actually being represented. When was the last time you really felt satisfied that our "representatives" executed their oath to support the Constitution?

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