Cigarette Taxes Create More Failure? NY and Chicago Suffer From Liberalism

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It’s common sense, really.  If you tax something highly, human nature dictates that people will go out of their way to avoid the tax.  Liberals, however, seems to have missed that, because they continue to tax and tax.  Then, they are completely shocked and surprised when people do what they have always done.  Hot Air has the latest…

First, my own home stomping grounds of New York, which has been seeking a way to stave off total fiscal collapse by jacking up one of the highest tobacco tax rates in the nation. How’s that working out for ya?

ALBANY – Chronic cigarette-tax evasion continues to cost New York State at least $1.7 billion a year in tax revenue and 6,700 jobs, according to a new report from the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS).

Commissioned by NYACS, the economic study by John Dunham & Associates determined that in 2011, one of every two packs of cigarettes consumed in New York State escapes collection of New York State taxes. “This is further proof that New York, which has the highest cigarette excise tax in the nation, continues to suffer the corrosive economic and fiscal effects of the worst cigarette tax evasion in the nation,” said NYACS President James Calvin in a press release.

Their study finds that nearly half of the packs of smokes purchased in New York were “from other states, Indian reservations, duty-free shops, and military bases.” And that doesn’t take into account the number of smokers who are choosing to do their shopping with black market bootleggers who are increasingly prevalent in sections of the state which are further from the border.

Lol, this has been reported for years.  I think I did my first post on cigarette taxes in NY in 2009.  But, in response to their failure, the liberals keep going and going -reality be damned.

Apparently, Chicago is also seeing the problem…

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But that’s just New York. We’re kind of weird out here anyway, right? So maybe this case is just an outlier. I’m sure things are working out much better in Chicago, where Illinois is quickly moving to catch New York in the smoke tax category. The money surely must be rolling in by now.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County investigators have been raiding stores across the county that have been breaking the law, and ripping off taxpayers of millions of dollars, by selling cigarettes without proper taxes…

About 800 raids take place each month.

“Roughly a quarter of them result in confiscations,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

“In the last fiscal year, it was a loss of $6 million,” she added. “$6 million would make a great deal of difference to our healthcare system, or to our criminal justice system.”

Chicago has at least found a way to make up some of the loss, giving credit where credit is due. To date they have managed to issue more than $1.3M in fines, largely against small retail outlets who sell cigarettes. So they’ve got that going for them I guess. And hey… they’re creating jobs, too.

Lol, when will they ever learn?  If you want something to go away, or go underground, tax it.  In pretty much every state where a cigarette tax has been pushed to the limit, revenues have not met projections, and in some cases, they have dropped in total.

The solution is really simple.  If the government reduces the tax, people will no longer have the incentive to avoid it, and revenues will increase.  But, the liberals will never see that.  It’s reality, and that really doesn’t “compute” to the liberal mind, so the taxes will continue to grow.  More people will be made criminals, and will not only revenues decrease, but the liberals then expend a freakton of resources on enforcing the taxes, to the detriment of other activities in the public interest,

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California Raises Taxes, Lose Revenues…Again!

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They say that they definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.  If that is indeed the case, California’s tax policies make them the official land of fruits and nuts, as they are proving the insanity axiom to be most true.

On March 15th of this year, we took a look at the fact that after yet another failed tax increase…

One of the greatest weaknesses of the statists is that their efforts at creating a fantasy world. more often than not, create the exact opposite of their stated intent.  They try to engineer unicorns that fart rainbows, and they create a stillborn jackalope.  You would think that they would learn from such infamous failures, but they seem to double-down instead.  The latest example of this comes from Califailure.   Knowing, and probably denying, the long history showing that tax increases  cause a decrease in revenues, they have stuck with the highest tax rates in the country.  Breitbart has the predictable results.  

State Controller John Chaing continues to uphold the California Great Seal Motto of “Eureka”, i.e., ‘I have found it’. But what Chaing is finding as Controller is that California’s economy as measured by tax revenues is still tanking. Compared to last year, State tax collections for February shriveled by $1.2 billion or 22%. The deterioration is more than double the shocking $535 million reported decline for last month. The cumulative fiscal year decline is $6.1 billion or down 11% versus this period in 2011.

While California Governor Brown promises strong economic growth is just around the corner, Chaing proves that the best way for Sacramento politicians to hurt the economy and thereby generate lower tax revenue, is to have the highest tax rates in the nation.

California politicians seem delusional in their continued delusion that high taxes have not savaged the State’s economy. Each month’s disappointment is written off as due to some one-time event.

So then, they raised taxes, and lost revenue.  If one did something and it hurt, you’d think that they’d stop, or at least never go back for a repeat hurting.  However, the electorate in California hasn’t shown that very basic level of what the rest of us would call “common sense,” or more simply…Duh!  Since they don’t possess the sense of “duh,”  they chose to double down on stupid, with the same results.  Breitbart has the totally unshocking and completely predictable aftermath…

California State Controller John Chiang has announced that total state revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget. 

Democrats thought they could hammer “the rich” by convincing voters to pass Proposition 30 to create the highest state income tax in the nation. But it now appears that high income earners have already “voted with their feet” by moving themselves and their businesses out of state, resulting in over $1 billion shortfall in corporate and income taxes last month and the beginning of a new financial crisis.   

Passage of Proposition 30 set off euphoria and expectations of higher spending for public employees. The California Teachers’ Association (CTA) trumpeted: “California students and working families won a clear victory today as voters clearly demonstrated their willingness to invest in our public schools and colleges and also rejected a deceptive ballot measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.” 

This one is funny, because the results were instantaneous.  However, the reality remains-you tax something, and you usually end up with less of it to tax.

But don’t worry, it’ll be someone else’s fault, I’m sure.

 H/T:  Doug Ross

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Is it Time to Start Suing the Occupods?

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Imagine that you’re trying to get to work, and you’re an hourly worker.  But, the Occupods have blocked the streets, and you can’t get there on time, or not at all.  The Occupod organizers have planned the protest, and their drones followed their orders.  Can you, then, sue the organizer for depriving you you of opportunity to work?

Imagine that you own a small business, like a shop or a restaurant, and the Occupods have blocked the street.  You lose customers, and therefore income.  Maybe they are targeting you.  Maybe they are just occupying space.  Can you sue the organizers for actively and intentionally preventing people from getting to your business?

Some of the biggest victims of the Occupods have been small businesses, and their workers.  When the Occupods bring their special brand of illness, drugs, human waste, crime, and failure to a town, it’s often the little guys that suffer.  We already know that people have lost their jobs over OWS, and some small businesses are on the brink of failing because customers don’t want to be assailed, groped, or robbed by the Occupods.

So, here is my question:  People are valuable, as well as is their time.  If they are prevented from earning a living due to the Occupods, can the Occupod Commissars be sued for their actions?  After all, these protests are centrally organized, and they are causing financial damage to others.  Why then, cannot workers and businesses seek compensation for these losses?

Of course, the Occupods will claim free speech.  However, free speech does not include blocking public streets, occupying public spaces, and not allowing others to pass.  It does not count for blocking businesses, not matter how large or small.  Of course, the Occupods are Marxists, so they really don’t care if some people are hurt.  Since they don’t value the individual, a few can be damaged, so as long as they get their murderous utopia.

Oh, and by the way, OWS has a few hundred grand in the bank, so it isn’t like they can’t pay out to the people that they have hurt.

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