Greatest Hits- High Cigarette Taxes Fail to Meet Expected Revenue Targets: Anyone Surprised?

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High Cigarette Taxes Fail to Meet Expected Revenue Targets: Anyone Surprised?  It seems that taxing something causes people to avoid the tax?  Say it isn’t so!

Apparently, raising taxes on tobacco products is falling out of favor with state governments…

According to Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs for the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, tobacco has not been the revenue boon states that have increased cigarette taxes had hoped.

“The lack of interest in raising tobacco taxes this year can be attributed to the fact that tobacco taxes have indisputably proven to be a dubious and declining source of revenue,” Gleason told TheDC. “From 2003-2007, 16 of 59 tobacco tax hikes fell short of revenue projections.”

Here in Washington D.C., for example, the city’s 2009 $0.50 tax hike resulted in a severe drop in expected revenue. In 2010, the District of Columbia’s chief financial officer Natwar Gandhi reported to the mayor that the projected government intake was over $15 million below what they had initially estimated.

Gleason pointed out that for revenue, cigarette taxes are proving to be a loser.

“New Jersey raised its cigarette tax by 17.5 cents in 2007, yielding $52 million less than Garden State lawmakers anticipated and $22 million less than was generated prior to that tax hike,” Gleason told TheDC. “Over the past decade it has become clear that tobacco taxes are an unreliable source of revenue and one in which no budget should depend on.”

Ok then, many states failed to make their projections, but some actually made less under the new rates?  Who could have seen that coming?

It’s actually sad that this even has to be a story.  It should be filed under, “duh!” Anytime you tax an activity, it either decreases, moves somewhere else, or moves underground.  Let’s take a look at some other examples…

When Maryland passed a higher tax rate for millionaires, they suddenly found themselves with 1/3 less millionaires! 

The source is found here.

Here’s a two-minute drill in soak-the-rich economics:

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Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

So, not only did they not meet their projected other people’s money “revenue,”  they actually lost money on the tax!

And that seems to happen anywhere that there are high taxes…

You mean, people move to places where they can KEEP THEIR OWN MONEY?  Astounding!

And the evidence that we discovered in our new study for the American Legislative Exchange Council, “Rich States, Poor States,” published in March, shows that Americans are more sensitive to high taxes than ever before. The tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities.

Lower taxes mean MORE JOBS???  What a COMPELTELY NEW AND ORIGINAL idea!

Updating some research from Richard Vedder of Ohio University, we found that from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people every day including Sundays and holidays moved from the nine highest income-tax states such as California, New Jersey, New York and Ohio and relocated mostly to the nine tax-haven states with no income tax, including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas. We also found that over these same years the no-income tax states created 89% more jobs and had 32% faster personal income growth than their high-tax counterparts.

You mean free markets and low taxes CREATE MORE JOBS?  You mean PEOPLE EARN MORE?  Who would have thought of that?

Did the greater prosperity in low-tax states happen by chance? Is it coincidence that the two highest tax-rate states in the nation, California and New York, have the biggest fiscal holes to repair? No. Dozens of academic studies — old and new — have found clear and irrefutable statistical evidence that high state and local taxes repel jobs and businesses.

If a regressive were reading this, they might say it isn’t true, in spite of all the evidence.  They’d probably go into some class warfare argument against capitalism, and then propose legislation that would make all states suck equally, so people and jobs wouldn’t leave.

Of course, they could always follow the great statist tradition of building walls to keep people from escaping.

While I don’t support smoking-it’s a dirty habit that I kicked a few years back, taxing it usually causes people to avoid the tax. 

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Baltimore Riots And Radical Islam – A Remarkable Resemblance

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I have watched the proceedings in Baltimore, Maryland with some interest, but I have been silent about what I have thought about what has transpired.  Suffice it to say, I think they speak poorly about the state of affairs in America. Take away all the whitewash and we are a country that is seriously divided. This division is due, in large part, to a President who has built his legacy on dividing we the people. Years from now, when Obama and his administration is written about in the history books, the only way it will be favorable is if the liberal left is still engaged in writing their own version of history, instead of the truth. But, I digress. I wish not to talk about Obama’s legacy, but something else that struck me as remarkable about the riots in Baltimore.

One of the topics I have written about extensively on Political Realities is Islam. Specifically, the radical version that uses violence to further the ideology that refuses to coexist with any other. I have caught more than my fair share of flak over my refusal to call Islam anything other than what it is; an ideology that thrives on the aforementioned violence and terror. It is ingrained in its teachings, no matter what its supporters would like us to believe. I will never believe otherwise.

There is one thing that has always stuck out to me about radical Islam. The people who are followers of this nonsense have a strange way of showing their displeasure with those who would dare to disagree with them. They seem to believe that it is perfectly acceptable to blow disbelievers to kingdom come and back. That belief lets me know that Islam is not the religion of peace its supporters like to declare it is. If that isn’t enough idiocy for you, think on this. Some followers of Islam believe it is perfectly logical to blow themselves up, as long as they can take a few infidels with them. One of their favorite methods of operation is the suicide bomb. Does that make a lot of sense or what? That’s like saying I hate you because you believe a different way than I do, so I’ll just blow both of us up to prove my point. Where’s the logic or common sense in that? Both are sadly lacking in a religion that encourages parents to allow their children to become suicide bombers.

Now, before you think I’ve gone off the deep end and forgotten all about the riots in Baltimore, let’s look at what has transpired in the last few weeks. I’m not even going to discuss Freddie Gray and what happened to him. That still has to be sorted out by further investigation and possible court proceedings. Instead, I want to highlight what the protesters have done with their actions. Because of their dislike of what happened to Freddie Gray and the perception that the police was at fault, well before the investigation was close to being finished, the protesters have burned their own neighborhoods. They have torched houses and cars. They have looted merchandise from stores, which is just a fancy word for stealing, and have burned the stores. These are businesses that were providing valuable goods and services to the community. The thanks they received was fire and brimstone from the heat of the hate that was on display.

Tell me again where the logic is in these actions. How does it even come close to being common sense to burn down your own neighborhood because you are upset over the death of someone you didn’t even know? We have a saying around here that describes this lunacy to a tee. These people are cutting off their nose to spite their face. Tell me how that is different from many of the actions taken by those who subscribe to Islam. Try to deny the remarkable resemblance between the Baltimore riots and radical Islam.

Come to think of it, the resemblance exists between more than just the Baltimore riots and radical Islam. Remember what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was shot and killed after attacking Darren Wilson? The riots in Baltimore were just and extension of that. In fact, many of the actions of the radical left bear a striking resemblance to Islam. Those who are in positions of prominence on the left, ie. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the list goes on and on, are openly advocating for many of the actions taken by the foot soldiers who have recently burned Ferguson and Baltimore. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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“Stripped Away Of Opportunity?” What Hopelessness Is Not

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Today Obama commented on the Baltimore riots and those who have been “stripped away of opportunity…where there are no fathers” to offer “guidance,” where “manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community, and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a whole lot of folks….” The president intimates that burning buildings, cars, and looting businesses is the result of hopelessness. I assure you, this is not hopelessness.

Drug addictions strip away opportunity, but a future is there if you want it. Robbing neighbors, burning cars, and destroying businesses strips away opportunity for the community as a whole, but a future lies ahead if there is a will to grab it.

Are you a young person fighting a terminal illness? If not, you are not without opportunity. You don’t have the right to be hopeless.

Having an absent father is heartbreaking when the father made the choice to leave. A one-parent home makes it harder, but not opportunity-less; just ask Dr. Ben Carson, Bill Clinton, Samuel L. Jackson, Gene Simmons, Louie Armstrong, Jackie Robinson — or the boy or girl down the street from a one-parent home, who WILL move ahead and make his/her opportunities.

Ask any among those whose “opportunity” has been “stripped away,” if he/she will trade his current opportunity-deprived situation with a person suffering from terminal cancer — a cancer that has nothing to do with lifestyle. Take your pick of any devastating disease. It happens to you. You, a person from wealth, or a blue-collar home, or the poorest among us, and yet you have never had an addiction, or lived an unhealthy lifestyle outside of the occasional double cheeseburger, with bacon, and a side of cheese fries. You made a choice not to hang with a dangerous crowd. You innately know the difference between right and wrong, because, you know, all of us do know the difference.

Your choice: live a productive and lawful life, or die soon of cancer. How fast will you find “opportunity?” In the blink of an eye? Probably.

You picked your friends carefully, and got yourself into a working environment at the first opportunity. You appreciated your minimum wage, and took pride in the job you did. You went to school, graduated, and either went on to higher education or entered the work force — and you liked it, yet the cancer found you, and you know that without a miracle, your life will end at an early age. This is opportunity stripped away, not what’s happening in Baltimore.

Tulsa Sunset 002
Enjoy this beautiful Tulsa sky, photo taken from my doorway at 8:17 p.m. last night.

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Did Your State Raise Its Minimum Wage Today?

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Hat/Tip to WeaselZippers.

Well, way to go lefties! Now the price of eggs and milk and, well just about EVERY FREAKIN’ THING at the grocery store is going to go up in price! Not to mention the cost of a Big Mac, or Whopper or etc…

At the stroke of midnight today, 19 states increased their minimum wage. Residents of three more and the nation’s capital can expect hikes later on this year.

A year ago, the White House and Democratic lawmakers embarked on a campaign to make the minimum wage a defining issue in the 2014 elections. And although that didn’t pan out exactly as planned at the federal level, nearly half the states took action on the issue.

In his State of the Union address last January, President Obama urged members of Congress to pass bills from Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.

“Say yes,” Obama said. “Give America a raise.”

Federal legislation was met with resistance. though. Republicans argued raising the minimum wage would cause an increase in prices for consumers and low-wage workers likely would face layoffs as companies grappled with the higher costs associated with hiked wages.

Some of those concerns were validated last month by a University of California, San Diego, study. For three years, researchers followed low-income workers residing in states that saw wage hikes and those that did not. The study found that minimum wage hikes had negative impacts on employment, income and income growth.[…]

“Minimum wage supporters have good intentions, but those good intentions cannot repeal the law of unintended consequences,” James Sherk, an expert in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. He added:

Minimum-wage increases reduce the total earnings of low-wage workers — the higher pay for some workers gets completely offset by the nonexistent pay of those no longer employed.

In its study, UCSD researchers found that after minimum-wage increases, the national employment-to-population ratio decreased by 0.7 percent points between December 2006 and December 2012.

In addition, the study found that minimum-wage increases hindered low-skilled workers’ ability to rise to lower-middle -lass earnings.

Read the full story here.

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Voting Machines in Maryland and Illinois May be Rigged for Democrats

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Hat/Tip to Melanie Batley at Newsmax.

WARNING! Make sure that when you vote, your vote goes to the candidate YOU choose, NOT a candidate the MACHINE chooses.

A number of voting machines in Maryland and Illinois are electronically switching Republican votes to the Democrats, raising suspicions that fraud could be at the root of the alleged malfunction.

According to Watchdog.org, election officials in both states have characterized the problem as a “calibration issue,” but a software developer and expert on touch screens used by U.S. intelligence agencies told Newsmax that the explanation was bogus.

“It’s a software issue, and it’s incredibly suspicious that a bug like that could slip through accidentally. It defies belief,” said Tony Heller.

He said that any expert trained in the technology could figure out within minutes whether the problem with the software was accidental and deliberate.

“This is being used by the public for voting. Public trust is essential,” he said. “It’s completely unacceptable that an official waved it off as a calibration issue. It’s something that can be easily verified and should be.”

It is easy for the powers to be to call this a “calibration” issue, but for these folks, it is something entirely more important.

Maryland voters in multiple locations who were placing early ballots for the midterm elections found that when they pressed the touch screen in favor of Republican candidates, their votes appeared in the Democratic columns.

At least four voters in three different locations in Maryland experienced the problem.

“When I first selected my candidate on the electronic machine, it would not put the ‘x’ on the candidate I chose — a Republican — but it would put the ‘x’ on the Democrat candidate above it,” said a voter from Frederick. “This happened multiple times with multiple selections. Every time my choice flipped from Republican to Democrat.”

Queen Anne County Sheriff Gary Hofmann said he encountered the problem as well.

“This is happening here as well. It occurred on two candidates on my machine. I am glad I checked. Many voters have reported this here as well,” Hofmann told Watchdog.

Maryland voters beware, and according to officials, it’s a “calibration” error involving one machine.

So why then, is it happening in Illinois, as well?

A Maryland election director, Joe Torre, described the problem as a “calibration issue” involving a single machine.

But the same problem has also occurred in Chicago, Illinois where early voting began last week, according to Watchdog.

“I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast a vote for my opponent,” said GOP state House candidate Jim Moynihan. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

An Illinois elections official, Jim Scalzitti, also described the problem as a “calibration error,” according to Watchdog.

Election officials in both states were notified of the problem, and those who reported having difficulties were ultimately able to cast the vote they intended. However, concerns remain about whether votes are being miscast in favor of the Democrats.

Read the full story here.

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First Nurse to Contract Ebola Jokes With Colleagues Before Going Into Isolation

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First American to Contract Ebola, Nurse Nina Pham with her beloved King Charles Spaniel, Bentley

Hat/Tip to WeaselZippers and The Daily Mail.

UPDATE:

At press time Nina Pham’s condition has been downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘fair’.

 

  • According to the American Hospital Association’s scale used to describe a patient’s health, a ‘fair condition’ is listed as worse than a ‘good condition’  
  • Miss Pham, 26, contracted Ebola at Texas Presbyterian in Dallas after volunteering to treat U.S. ‘patient zero’ Thomas Eric Duncan
  • She was transported to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland on Thursday night
  • Head of the facility said Nina was a ‘trooper’ in her fight against the virus and resting comfortably but extremely fatigued 
  • Dr Fauci denied that Miss Pham was deteriorating adding that she is sitting up, talking with staff and eating

Read the full story here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Via NY Post:

Nina Pham, the 26-year-old nurse who became the first person to be infected with Ebola in the United States, smiled and joked with her colleagues Thursday, an emotional video shows.

Pham was recorded by her treating physician at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, who thanks her for taking care of the first Ebola ­patient on US soil, Thomas Eric Duncan.

“I love you guys,” an emotional Pham says as she wipes away tears.

“We love you, Nina,” the doctor says.

After the video was made, Pham was transferred from Texas to a National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington, DC.

The 56-second YouTube video shows another health care worker in attendance, wearing a full mask and other protective gear.

“Come to Maryland, everybody,” Pham jokes as the team tells her to get better.

Pham was closely involved in the care of Duncan, a Liberian who flew to Dallas via Brussels and Washington. He died of Ebola on Oct. 8 at the Dallas hospital.

According to Texas Health Presbyterian, Pham asked that the video be posted.

 

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Related stories:

Breaking News – UPDATED: 80 Penn State Students Being Monitored for Ebola Symptoms
Federal Government’s Actions To Protect America From Ebola Is Worse Than Pathetic
How Many Americans Must Die Of Ebola Before Obama Bans Travel From Ebola-Stricken Countries?
Ebola: Patient Number Two – Health Care Worker in Hospital
Private Enterprise Trumps Big Government Again: Firestone Contains Outbreak of Ebola
2nd Ebola Patient Gets Blood Transfusion From Ebola Survivor
World Health Organization: 10,000 Cases a Week of Ebola by December 1st
BREAKING: CDC Allowed Second Nurse With Ebola To Board Flight AFTER She Called To Report She Had A Fever…
Liberals Lie About CDC And Ebola Vaccine
BREAKING NEWS: Dallas Commissioners to Declare STATE OF EMERGENCY
BREAKING NEWS: Parents Receive Letters from Belton ISD about Students who Flew on Frontier Flight
What Idiot Thought it Was a Good Idea to Expose The President to Ebola?
Priorities Mixed Up: Our American President Believes His “Larger Role” is to Keep Africans Safer…
African Countries Close Borders To Stop Ebola: USA, Eh, Not So Much…

 

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Furniture Store Kicks Uniformed Cop Out for Carrying His Gun

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Hates the 2nd Amendment

Hat/Tip to The Daily Caller.

By now we’ve all heard of those idiotic restaurants and stores and associated other businesses that think they’re providing a ‘safe haven’ to their customers by putting signs in their storefront windows saying that this is a ‘gun free zone.’

Okay, so the crack head that is hoping to score a couple hundred bucks to get his next fix walks up to, in this case an IKEA Furniture, store with the intent of robbing it. Then all of a sudden he sees that this store is a ‘gun free zone’ so he turns around and walks down the block to find a store that will allow him to carry his gun in with him.

Yeah, liberal minds actually think that way.

A furniture store in Takoma Park, Maryland that calls itself a “Weapons Free Environment” took its policy a bit too far on Independence Day.

That’s when a loss prevention officer at IKEA approached Alan Goldberg, who carried a visible, holstered firearm into the store, telling him he would have to leave the premises or place the weapon in his vehicle, according to NBC Washington.

This puzzled Mr. Goldberg. He was baffled at why the IKEA rent-a-cop would even ask him to obey the ‘gun free zone’ rule in the store.

You see, Mr. Goldberg was in his uniform as…

…wait for it,

…wait,

THAT TOWN’S CHIEF OF POLICE!!

*smh*

The request caught Goldberg off guard: he is Takoma Park’s chief of police, and he was in uniform during his visit.

The man was there between shifts to shop with his daughter, who is going away to college.

Goldberg was at the IKEA — a popular furniture store founded in Sweden — to shop with his college-bound daughter after having spent the morning working a July Fourth parade. He was also scheduled to work a fireworks display scheduled for later in the evening.

But none of that mattered to the store’s loss prevention officer, who approached Goldberg to inform him of IKEA’s zero-tolerance gun policy.

Chief Goldberg explains how stupid IKEA’s “policy” is.

“He says we have a no firearms policy, and you’re either going to have to leave or you can lock your gun in the car,” Goldberg told NBC Washington.

The 35-year law enforcement veteran said he has never been asked to part with his service weapon before.

“It isn’t the most prudent thing to do to walk around the store in uniform with an empty holster,” Goldberg told the station. “And I am not going to lock my gun in a commercial parking lot, with people watching me put it in there. That’s just ludicrous.”

And it seems that IKEA just lost at least ONE customer over this.

Goldberg parked his shopping cart and left the store, but not before asking to view IKEA’s written policy. Management did not provide it at the time but released a statement to NBC Washington on Monday.

IKEA is attempting to do some lame damage control on this one.

“We regret that there was a misunderstanding of our weapon policy in our College Park Store,” IKEA said in a statement. “Our weapon policy does not apply to law enforcement officers. We are taking steps to ensure that this is clear for all our co-workers.”

Read the full story here.

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Will Bill de Blasio Drive the Rich From NYC?

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If the rumblings coming from the Big Apple are correct, Bill de Blasio, the communist mayor, will successfully drive the rich, and their money, from the city.  Wyblog has more…

Gentlemen start your moving vans, wealthy NYers perpare to flee de Blasio’s commie utopia

Rich liberals don’t like it when they’re asked to pay their “fair share.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s eat-the-rich policies aren’t sitting to well with the city’s wealthy residents. According to Michael Goodman, a number of them are getting ready to flee the Big Apple for greener pastures, like Florida, where they won’t be treated like criminals.

Of course, leftists are taking their usual approach, claiming that it is not, or will not happen, but in 2009, I covered what happened in Maryland, when their democrats decided to punish success…

“Let’s go get those evil rich folks that are pooping on the little guy!”  The class envy folks love saying things like that.  When they get into power, as they are now, they attempt just that.  Now, I could go into a long, drawn out description of why that is a terrible idea, but they won’t listen anyway.  Instead, I’ll give an example, and laugh at their fail.  The source is found here.

Here’s a two-minute drill in soak-the-rich economics:

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

Way to go Maryland!  Yet another example of higher taxes yielding smaller returns!   How many jobs went out with them, I wonder?

Then, I covered it again, when even more damage was documented…

Three years later, the damage is even more pronounced…

A new report says wealthy Maryland residents may be moving out due to recent tax hikes – a finding that is sure to escalate the battle over taxing the American rich.

The study, by the anti-tax group Change Maryland, says that a net 31,000 residents left the state between 2007 and 2010, the tenure of a “millionaire’s tax” pushed through by Gov. Martin O’Malley. The tax, which expired in 2010, in imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on incomes of more than $1 million a year.

The Change Maryland study found that the tax cost Maryland $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues. A county-by-county analysis by Change Maryland also found that the state’s wealthiest counties also had some of the largest population outflows.

Ah, higher taxes means less revenue.  When will they ever learn?  Never, actually.  It’s more about appealing to class warfare advocates, and punishing success, than collecting revenue.  If any of them still think reciepts will grow with higher taxes is either stupid, or intentionally stupid.

But fear not, liberals, I’m sure that someone else will be blamed.  It’s the Marxist way!

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Cop to Student: ‘You just lost your free speech rights!’

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A troubling part of our current age is the fact that too many law enforcement officials have absolutely no regard for the United States Constitution. Here is another example of that disregard, when an officer told a student that he no longer had “free speech rights.”

The arrests were made at night on the streets of Towson, Maryland. A University of Maryland-Baltimore County student who witnessed the arrests decided to record them using his cell phone. The student, 21-year-old Sergio Gutierrez, was soon approached by officers who objected — wrongly — to his actions.

Gutierrez repeatedly told the officers that he knew he had the right to film them, but the cops were prepared to use any excuse to shut him down. First they told him that he was hampering their investigation, even though he was standing well enough away while the arrests were being made.

Still, the student maintained that he was in the right.

“I am allowed to film,” said Gutierrez.

The cops told him that he was diverting their attention and that he had to leave. When Gutierrez persisted, they told him that he would be arrested if he did not stop recording.

“I thought I had freedom of speech here,” he said.

The cop’s answer? “You don’t. You just lost it. Walk away and keep your mouth shut.”

Police shoved Gutierrez, told him to “shut your fucking mouth,” and eventually forced him to leave the area.

My father was a cop for a while. I know that most are decent people that want to do their jobs well. However, cops like this one give the rest a bad name.  How are people going to trust an officer if the mistreat the public?  There are already otherwise innocent people that consider cops a potential threat to them-this one just added more to that number.

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Fascist Friday: Eleven Year old Earns Suspension for Talking About Gun

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That’s right, all a child needed to do was to mention a gun, and he earned a ten day suspension.  Here is the story, from WMAL…

OWINGS, MD — The father of a middle schooler in Calvert County, Md. says his 11-year-old son was suspended for 10 days for merely talking about guns on the bus ride home.

Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown says his son, a sixth grader at Northern Middle School in Owings, was talking with friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre when the bus driver hauled him back to school to be questioned by the principal, Darrel Prioleau.

“The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days,” Henkelman said in an interview with WMAL.com.

So what did the boy say?  According to his father, he neither threatened nor bullied anyone.

“He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That’s the context of what he said,” Henkelman said. “He wanted to be the hero.”

The boy was questioned by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy, who also wanted to search the family home without a warrant, Henkelman said. “He started asking me questions about if I have firearms, and [the deputy said] he’s going to have to search my house.  Search my house?  I just wanted to know what happened.”

No search was performed, and the deputy left Henkelman’s home after the father answered questions in a four-page questionnaire issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

So, the kid mentioned guns in the context of protecting others, and he gets suspended?  And, how is it that law enforcement can demand to search a home without probable cause or a warrant?   This is a prime example of knee-jerk reactionary nonsense.  Emotional thinking leads to stupid decisions, and this is a prime example.

H/T: Protein Wisdom

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Great Moments in Civil Discourse: Gays Insult, Make Death Threats Against a 14 Year-old Sarah Crank

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In the name of tolerance and diversity, large numbers of regressives threatened the life of a 14 year-old girl named Sarah Crank.  Her crime? Not agreeing with regressive attempts to destroy marriage.  Here is her testimony…

Here is a video highlighting the situation…

Here is some additional coverage from Life Site News.

After audio of her uncharacteristically mature testimony was posted on YouTube, the story went viral on homosexual activist websites—and death threats quickly followed.

TFP Student Action, a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to traditional morality, recorded several of the most offensive threats in a press release. A commenter on the YouTube video wrote, “If I ever see this girl, I will kill her. That’s a promise.”

Other YouTube comments ranged from, “Her parents should be exterminated,” to, “Kill this child and his [sic] parent, for my 11 birthday would be a wonderful gift, thanks.”

A comment posted on LGBTNation.com said, ““And now everyone knows her name, so hopefully she will feel what its like to be harassed and bullied…” 

Since TFP issued its press release, the comments have not moderated. Supporters of same-sex “marriage” continue to wish violence, sexual assault, or censorship upon the girl. (Warning, profanity):

  • I hope you get raped by your married parents.—madisonen;

  • Stupid bi**h – I hope you die on your Bday!!!!!—geminiboi007;

  • A dumb way for a dumb bi**h to do dumb things. Stop talking nonsense that your Christian, Anti-Gay parents are force-feeding you through a thin straw, and learn to accept other people. Now shut up bi**h, before I smack you.—123adbnvcs;

The original video of Sarah’s testimony, death threats included, has been scrubbed from YouTube.

You’ve seen what was said and done.  Herre’s what we can surmise…

1.  They gay rights crowd says they hate bullying.
2.  The gay rights crowd says they want tolerance.

3.  the gay rights crowd  threatens to kill people that disagree with them.

If you are seeiung the obvious disconnect there, you are not alone. As I’ve pointed out before, regressives always scream about tolerance, and decry bullying, yet they are the most intolerant people on earth, and eagerly and enthusiastically bully anyone who dares to take a point of view that opposes their own.

I also find it interesting how they single out Christians for their wrath.  In Muslim countries, homosexuals are tortured, jailed, and even put to death.  Muslims call for Shariah law here in the US, that would kill gays, yet, I see no protests or death threats against that religion.  I wonder why?


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Woman Dies From Botched Late-term Abortion, MSM Neglects Significant Coverage

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If someone threatens am abortion clinic, it’s news, and part of the overall “war on women.”  If a woman DIES from an botched later-term abortion procedure, it’s a non-story.  Stacey McCain has been following  such a story.  Apparently, a woman died after a procedure performed by Dr. LeRoy Carhart, at a rather infamous clinic in Germantown, Maryland.  Stacey has the rest…

Jeff Quinton reports that the Washington Post has now broken the mainstream media embargo of this story. The Post‘s Dan Morse reports:

The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Montgomery County Police Department are investigating the death of a woman who died at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital on Thursday — days after she was believed to have started an abortion procedure at a controversial clinic in Germantown. . . .
In this case, the 29-year-old woman, who has not been identified, died Thursday after being taken to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, according to local and state officials.
The circumstances that led to her death are unclear. Carhart and clinic officials could not be reached. . . .
“At this point, there is no indication of any criminal activity in this case,” said Capt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department.

Of course, as Stacey points out, it’s just 350 words in the metro section.  However, there is no coverage from any other source, except from the alternative media.  Had this woman been murdered with a gun, there would be coverage.  Had she been killed by a drunk driver (as long as it wasn’t an illegal alien) there would have been coverage.  But, since she was allegedly killed in the commission of the murder of her baby, it’s whisper quiet from the MSM.

What else would we expect?

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The Evil Rich are Still Moving: Tax Induced Exodus from Maryland Continues

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It’s wisdom that when taxes go up, people will go to great lengths to avoid the tax. However, the democrat narrative precludes reality, so they raise taxes anyway.  We first covered that sad reality from Maryland in 2009…

“Let’s go get those evil rich folks that are pooping on the little guy!”  The class envy folks love saying things like that.  When they get into power, as they are now, they attempt just that.  Now, I could go into a long, drawn out description of why that is a terrible idea, but they won’t listen anyway.  Instead, I’ll give an example, and laugh at their fail.  The source is found here.

Here’s a two-minute drill in soak-the-rich economics:

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

Way to go Maryland!  Yet another example of higher taxes yielding smaller returns!   How many jobs went out with them, I wonder?

Three years later, the damage is even more pronounced…

A new report says wealthy Maryland residents may be moving out due to recent tax hikes – a finding that is sure to escalate the battle over taxing the American rich.

The study, by the anti-tax group Change Maryland, says that a net 31,000 residents left the state between 2007 and 2010, the tenure of a “millionaire’s tax” pushed through by Gov. Martin O’Malley. The tax, which expired in 2010, in imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on incomes of more than $1 million a year.

The Change Maryland study found that the tax cost Maryland $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues. A county-by-county analysis by Change Maryland also found that the state’s wealthiest counties also had some of the largest population outflows.

Ah, higher taxes means less revenue.  When will they ever learn?  Never, actually.  It’s more about appealing to class warfare advocates, and punishing success, than collecting revenue.  If any of them still think reciepts will grow with higher taxes is either stupid, or intentionally stupid.

But I doubt that will stop them from trying.

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Brett Kimberlin Update: Kimberlin Claims he was SWATted, Stacey McCain Delves Into “Team” Kimberlin

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The Kimberlin story continues to develop in some interesting ways.  I haven’t the time to keep up with it in real time, but I can relay you to the sources you need to keep up with the unfolding story.  So, here is the latest.

Stacey McCain is covering Kimberlin’s claim that he was SWATted as well…

Lee Stranhan contacted police in Montgomery County, Maryland, who say no such thing ever happened. Now we can probably expect Kimberlin to claim that the cops are part of a right-wing conspiracy against him.

The Blaze has some more on Kimberlin’s claim…

Blogger Lee Stranahan took it a step further, reaching out to the Montgomery County, Md. public information office to see whether they could corroborate Kimberlin’s claim and receiving thefollowing response:

I searched our 911 call database for the above listed address. There was no call listed for 5/31, nor anything similar to what you described. I then searched each of our 6 districts for the entire day of 5/31 for a murder in progress, murder just occurred or murder occurred earlier call with negative results. I then spoke with our director to determine if this type of incident was brought to his attention recently and it was not…for the time being, I don’t see anything similar to what you described.

Still, Kimberlin attorney Kevin Zeese told Stranahan he stood by the reward offer — and seemingly Kimberlin’s claim as well:

This is a law enforcement matter, we are cooperating with the FBI in all these matters. We have offered the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in these four swatting incidents.

If this goes as Patterico and others suggest, perhaps “Team Kimberlin” should consult with OJ Simpson, who did such a great job searching for the “real killer?”

Speaking of Patterico, he has some conflicting commentary from Kimberlin…

Brett Kimberlin to ABC News:

Kimberlin denied he was responsible for the post, even saying that he does not maintain any online presence and said he and his family have been victims of threats themselves and accused the bloggers of constructing a “false narrative” about him.

“I don’t blog, I don’t comment, I don’t tweet on any blogs at all. This is a right-wing attack on me and my organizations and it’s a smear job. It’s a swift boat action against us,” Kimberlin said. “What they’re doing is an obstruction of justice and it’s defamatory. We’re cooperating with the authorities in this matter. They have engaged in a massive smear campaign against us that has resulted in death threats to me and my family and to others associated with us.”

Brett Kimberlin at Aaron Walker’s recent hearing:

I’m the director of several non profits in the area I work with human rights issues and government accountability issues and so it’s part of my job to, to work on the internet because it’s basically a social networking job and so I get Google alerts all the time mentioning my my organizations, my name what work we do and (inaudible).

It would be rather difficult to have a “social networking job,” without actually social networking, wouldn’t it?

Then, going back to Stacey McCain, who has a fantastic post over at his place, laying out some of the “Team Kimberlin” personalities, as well as their possible connections.  I can’t just do an excerpt and do it any justice, so just get over there and read it.  

Bob Belvedere, over at TCOTS, has a great post and update as well.

And, finally, 85 Congressmen are planning to sign a letter to AG Holder, requesting that people that engage in political speech be protected from SWATting…

Earlier, Mandy Nagy of Breitbart.com reported that 70 House Republicans were prepared to sign a letter calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the dangerous “SWATting” of conservative commentators. Now, Kerry Pickett of The Washington Times reports that the number of signatories is 85:

Congresswoman Sandy Adams, Florida Republican, is sending a letter, currently signed by 85 House Republicans, to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to assign Justice Department officials to investigate the recent threat of “SWAT-tings.”
A SWAT-ting happens when a person calls 911 emergency dispatch services under another individual’s name and falsely claims he or she is committing a violent crime. Such an act is committed to cause local law enforcement authorities (like a SWAT team) to surround and enter the residence of an innocent individual, who was impersonated and framed for a violent crime through the 911 call. The false call can be made via the internet, so as to mask the true caller’s identity and location.
“My concern is someone is going to get hurt,” Rep. Adams told me on Friday. “It’s very dangerous for the people living in the home that didn’t call 911, because have no awareness whatsoever that something like that had happened. So they open the door to law enforcement whether it’s with or without guns drawn,” said Congresswoman Adams . . .
Congresswoman Adams is a first term Capitol Hill lawmaker and has a military and law enforcement background. Following her time in the Air Force, she served for seventeen years as a deputy sheriff in the Orange County, Florida.
“We were dispatched from 911 calls where there were shots fired and holding of a hostage. Those were the things that you went to and you’re going to want to know that,” she said.
The SWAT-ting issue caught the Florida Congresswoman’s attention when she heard that CNN contributor and Red State blogger Erick Erickson was a victim of swat in late May. Another blogger who was SWAT-ted, Patrick Frey, a Los Angeles assistant district attorney, went through the terrifying experience in July of 2011. . . .

This is a good development, but I can’t imagine that Holder will lift a finger to defend free speech, no more than he’ll prosecute voter intimidation, prevent voter fraud, or tell the truth in front of Congress.

So, that is all for now.  I will follow this story as close as I can, given the time that I have.

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Breeding Tea Party Success

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This old man has been waiting for positive news about what the Tea Parties have been doing for quite some time. After the Tea Parties demonstrated their enormous power in the 2010 elections, it seems that news of their continued activities dried up. Fellow bloggers have told me not to worry; that the Tea parties were busy working at the local and state level. Still I was not satisfied. It is hard on those of us who live outside of the US when there is no news. We don’t have face to face dealings with Americans every day and we don’t see the local news stories that might carry information on local Tea Party activities. So, I was delighted when I read  Doug Mainwaring‘s article this morning at American Thinker.

What is especially exciting to  me is that Doug is reporting on the successful in roads being made by the Tea Parties in the deeply blue state of Maryland. Please read Doug’s article. I think you will be as impressed as I am of the many in roads Maryland’s Tea Parties are making on so many fronts. The level of organization they have achieved is incredible. If what they are doing in Maryland is indicative of what is happening in other states, there really is hope for America.  Taking control of the Republican party at the city, county and state level is the key. It will take several election cycles to get there; but once achieved, conservatives will have much more success on the national level.

I have a favor to ask of you, dear readers. If you have news of Tea Party successes in your community or state, share it here today in the comment section and from time to time, blog about what is going on with the Tea Parties in your part of the country. One thing I learned during my years in the business world is that when things are not going well and people have low morale, a good manager will look for some project or projects, however small, where there is a high likelihood of success. He/she does this because they  know that nothing breeds success like success. But, if news of that success doesn’t get out, it won’t breed. When the Tea Parties achieve something on the national level, like the recent defeat of RINO, Richard Luger, in Indiana,  it does make the news and that is good. Local achievements, however, don’t make the news. So, if you want the to breed the local successes in you area, blog about once in a while. Your readers in other communities and other states who are Tea Party activist will get encouraged and motivated to emulate that success.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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High Cigarette Taxes Fail to Meet Expected Revenue Targets: Anyone Surprised?

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Apparently, raising taxes on tobacco products is falling out of favor with state governments…

According to Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs for the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, tobacco has not been the revenue boon states that have increased cigarette taxes had hoped.

“The lack of interest in raising tobacco taxes this year can be attributed to the fact that tobacco taxes have indisputably proven to be a dubious and declining source of revenue,” Gleason told TheDC. “From 2003-2007, 16 of 59 tobacco tax hikes fell short of revenue projections.”

Here in Washington D.C., for example, the city’s 2009 $0.50 tax hike resulted in a severe drop in expected revenue. In 2010, the District of Columbia’s chief financial officer Natwar Gandhi reported to the mayor that the projected government intake was over $15 million below what they had initially estimated.

Gleason pointed out that for revenue, cigarette taxes are proving to be a loser.

“New Jersey raised its cigarette tax by 17.5 cents in 2007, yielding $52 million less than Garden State lawmakers anticipated and $22 million less than was generated prior to that tax hike,” Gleason told TheDC. “Over the past decade it has become clear that tobacco taxes are an unreliable source of revenue and one in which no budget should depend on.”

Ok then, many states failed to make their projections, but some actually made less under the new rates?  Who could have seen that coming?

It’s actually sad that this even has to be a story.  It should be filed under, “duh!” Anytime you tax an activity, it either decreases, moves somewhere else, or moves underground.  Let’s take a look at some other examples…

When Maryland passed a higher tax rate for millionaires, they suddenly found themselves with 1/3 less millionaires! 

The source is found here.

Here’s a two-minute drill in soak-the-rich economics:

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

So, not only did they not meet their projected other people’s money “revenue,”  they actually lost money on the tax!

And that seems to happen anywhere that there are high taxes…

You mean, people move to places where they can KEEP THEIR OWN MONEY?  Astounding!

And the evidence that we discovered in our new study for the American Legislative Exchange Council, “Rich States, Poor States,” published in March, shows that Americans are more sensitive to high taxes than ever before. The tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities.

Lower taxes mean MORE JOBS???  What a COMPELTELY NEW AND ORIGINAL idea!

Updating some research from Richard Vedder of Ohio University, we found that from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people every day including Sundays and holidays moved from the nine highest income-tax states such as California, New Jersey, New York and Ohio and relocated mostly to the nine tax-haven states with no income tax, including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas. We also found that over these same years the no-income tax states created 89% more jobs and had 32% faster personal income growth than their high-tax counterparts.

You mean free markets and low taxes CREATE MORE JOBS?  You mean PEOPLE EARN MORE?  Who would have thought of that?

Did the greater prosperity in low-tax states happen by chance? Is it coincidence that the two highest tax-rate states in the nation, California and New York, have the biggest fiscal holes to repair? No. Dozens of academic studies — old and new — have found clear and irrefutable statistical evidence that high state and local taxes repel jobs and businesses.

If a regressive were reading this, they might say it isn’t true, in spite of all the evidence.  They’d probably go into some class warfare argument against capitalism, and then propose legislation that would make all states suck equally, so people and jobs wouldn’t leave.

Of course, they could always follow the great statist tradition of building walls to keep people in.

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