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Ear to the Ground

New Jersey: Ding the Poor or Tax the Rich?

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Posted on Jun 20, 2010
American Excellence
AP / Mike Derer

People like Danielle Staub, center, one of the stars of Bravo’s TV series “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” would be among those affected by the state’s proposed tax on incomes above $1 million.

Cut services for poorer senior citizens and the disabled or tax the rich? That’s the question that will be debated in the New Jersey Legislature on Monday as the state maneuvers to balance a budget deficit of close to $11 billion.

The tax, which was overwhelmingly opposed by Republicans last year, would re-impose a 10.75 percent levy on income over $1 million and affect a grand total of 16,000 people—many of whom are financial professionals working on Wall Street. —JCL

Reuters:

New Jersey politicians are due to battle on Monday over whether to slap a tax on millionaires or cut services for low-income senior citizens and the disabled.

The clash in the state legislature is part of a wider battle over how to erase a $10.7 billion budget deficit and is emblematic of the decisions facing states across America whose budget deficits have soared during the recession.

Democrats want to re-impose a one-year tax on millionaires that has been vetoed by Republican Governor Chris Christie. The 10.75 percent tax on income above $1 million would hit 16,000 people, some of them likely to work as financial professionals just across the Hudson River in New York.

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By Rachel, June 29, 2010 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tax the rich already! Otherwise the majority of Americans must start a revolution.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 21, 2010 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

kerryrose:
“The tax situation for Mobile is not a gift or accident.  It was won through millions of dollars of lobbying and leverage, and given by politicians with a hand in the pot.”

Is that Mobil’s fault? Wouldn’t you lobby the feds for free goodies if you could?

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By rico, suave, June 21, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

kerryrose:

Road and bridge work is, officially, paid out of the highway trust fund which gets its revenue from the road fuels taxes collected by the government. So, the “who pays for roads, etc” is strictly related to who buys gas and diesel. I’m pretty sure rich people buy gas for their Hummers and BMWs and Mercedes, etc. So road and bridge costs don’t really fall on the poor any more than anyone else. Arguably less, in fact.

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By driving bear, June 21, 2010 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

To CWB

you said

Driving Bear, where are the rich going to move to?  Iowa?

No ! Try Charlotte North Carolina

Charlotte is becoming one of the USA biggest financial centers after wall street and is growing bigger every year

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By Peetawonkus, June 21, 2010 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Tax the rich at Eisenhower tax rates. And if that fails, let’s start eating them. They’re delicious with a nice Chianti and some fava beans.

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By kerryrose, June 21, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

suave

The tax situation for Mobile is not a gift or accident.  It was won through millions of dollars of lobbying and leverage, and given by politicians with a hand in the pot.  You’re right, only in the US.

Which is why the poor and middle class have to pay for the roads and bridges.  Which is why we have a deteriorating infrastructure.

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By rico, suave, June 21, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

kerryrose:

“The point is that paying $0 US tax dollars equal corporate welfare.  Just think of all the lovely roads and bridges we could build with that money, and why shouldn’t we?”

But Exxon paid huge amounts of tax, so they are hardly on welfare. If the US treasury didn’t get its cut, it’s not Exxon’s fault. Those old bridges and pot-holed streets are not Exxon’s fault.

I’m not apathetic about (economic) inequity, even though it is a permanent feature of the human condition. I meant that I have no strong feelings about Exxon’s tax situation.

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By kerryrose, June 21, 2010 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Hey suave,

The point is that paying $0 US tax dollars equal corporate welfare.  Just think of all the lovely roads and bridges we could build with that money, and why shouldn’t we?  Mobile is a US corporation (if such a thing exists), and apparently (since the recent Supreme Court ruling) a US citizen.

I am a US citizen, and I pay taxes.

Question is:  Why such an apathetic outlook?  If we didn’t accept inequities with such apathy perhaps we would not be driving down the road to a corporate state.

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By rico, suave, June 21, 2010 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

ITW:

They won’t move, they’ll just “off-shore” their income. Sort of like companies outsourcing jobs in response to high wage demands and tax rates. The result will be the same as driving bear predicts.

The economics here are pretty basic.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 21, 2010 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

purplewolf:

Who are the “small people”? You mean the lower half of the wealth/income spectrum? Like the carpenters who build those big houses in the country, or work in boat yards making yachts?

And how are the “small people” being socked? With taxes? What taxes? Income taxes- no. Capital gains taxes- no. Social security taxes, the darling tax of the progressive movement, the untouchable third rail of politics- why yes. And coming to your paycheck soon- mandatory health insurance premiums- why yes.

How exactly are the small people being socked by the rich people? How exactly would the lot of poor people improve if Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffet’s entire fortunes were confiscated by the feds?

If rich people are so despicable to you, why do you envy their stuff? Why do you care how much meaningless, soul-destroying stuff they collect?

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By rico, suave, June 21, 2010 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

kerryrose:

“Mobile oil makes 53 billion dollars of profit a year, and pays $0 taxes,...”

Au contraire. Exxon-Mobil made $49 billion last year, and paid no US taxes. They paid %$15 billion in taxes to foreign governments. That’s about a 30% tax rate. Had they been required to pay US taxes, the bill would have been higher. They also sent billions of dollars in gasoline excise taxes to the feds. Of course, the consumers actually paid that; Exxon merely acted as tax collector.

You make it sound like ExxonMobil cheated on their taxes. They did not. The good old US government tax code is to blame. Why shouldn’t Exxon, or anyone use tax loopholes to their advantage? Wouldn’t you?

And, no, I’m not a shill for big oil. I don’t care one way or the other.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 20, 2010 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Where are they going to go? New York? Connecticut?  Pennsylvania’s too far from NYC.  NJ is still better than NY or CT, by far.

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By purplewolf, June 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

First it is not a tax increase, it is the re-imposing of the former tax that was cut for the rich during the Bush debacle. All of those tax cuts for the rich DID not make the jobs as the Bushites claim, well, not in this country anyway. And by re-instating those cuts to the former levels is not a tax increase, it is the re-establishment of the former level that was paid by those people before the Bush favoritism of tax cuts for the rich took effect and when the rich paid more taxes, their states were not in the debt they are today.

Of course cut the services for the elderly and the disabled, they are old and sick and no longer of any use to us, so why spend money on them that we can use for the rich. We have seen this done all over the country, let’s sock it to the small people, after all we can’t cut into the rich peoples obscene wealth, they may want to buy another house in another country and another yacht and some trinket of expensive jewelry that might be worn once and forgotten, but heaven forbid we re-instate their temporary tax cuts and keep the services and safety officers for the middle to lower income people.

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By CWB, June 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Driving Bear, where are the rich going to move to?  Iowa?  They can
only make that kind of money on Wall Street so where are they going to move to? 
New York?  Connecticut?  Besides, do we want to live in a third world country or a
country where the more fortunate help out the less fortunate?  For those who
claim to be Christians, which would Jesus want?  Enough of the greed and
selfishness.  Tax the very rich more like we did 60 years ago and had a much broader middle class!

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By kerryrose, June 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Well, how terrible if all the rich leave!  Well, we’ll definitely have to hit the poor.  We know they are not going anywhere.

New Jersey is so lucky to have guys like you to watch out for the rich people.  Heck, we have a country of poor people looking out for the rich.  Wow, how did that ever happen? 

Mobile oil makes 53 billion dollars of profit a year, and pays $0 taxes, and I heard that corporations are people.

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By AJ Krueger, June 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, thought I was logging in the first time…

Tax the rich? Outrageous! Cut back on those fools who got old or became disabled! Are you kidding? This is America! To paraphrase the dialogue in an old Oliver Stone film, “...Poor always bein’ fucked over by the rich - always have, always will!”

Kind of makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?

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By driving bear, June 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

this tax on the rich is a bad idea because the “rich” have stated that if it passes many of them will move out of the state and NJ will be left with less money

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