Democrats to Connecticut: If it moves … tax it!

Here we go … notice the new mantra of the Democrats … “Fairness“.

Wealthy executives, small businesses, middle-class homeowners and college students buying textbooks would all pay higher taxes under a budget proposal by the legislature’s Democratic majority that would increase taxes by more than $3 billion over the next two years.

The state’s richest residents — those earning more than $1 million annually — would see their income tax rates increase by nearly 60 percent under the plan, which was sharply criticized Thursday by Republicans as confiscatory and praised by Democrats as a step toward tax fairness.

Toward tax fairness? In the words of Karen Carpenter, “We’ve only just begun.”

Here’s a partial list of some of the things the Democrats will tax:

  • Couples making more than $250,000 6 percent. 7 percent on incomes over $500,000; rise to 7.5 percent on incomes exceeding $750,000; and top out at 7.95 percent on incomes over a million dollars.
  • Corporate surcharge increase of 30 percent.
  • Applying the sales tax to a variety of items previously exempt including tax preparation services, bicycle helmets and child car seats.

Oh and … another increase in the smoker tax. The cigarette tax would rise by 50 cents a pack on July 1, up to $2.50 a pack (on top of the $1.01 tax the Democrats in DC just whacked you with).

Oh and lest I forget, that property tax credit? From the Courant:

Currently, the maximum $500 credit is available to couples earning $100,000 or less annually. Under the new proposal, only couples earning about $25,000 or less would be eligible for the full credit in the second year of the two-year budget.

Spending. Don Williams told Ray Dunaway this morning that social programs remain intact, including “health care for recent immigrants.” Hmmm. And they are currently negotiating with labor for concessions but the biggest concession is “we won’t be filling vacant state jobs.” I am guessing folks at Bank Of America, The Hartford, et al would welcome that.

I do not want to see anyone lose their jobs so if saving jobs means a pay cut, so be it. If it means just reducing the pay increase while others in the private sector lose pay and jobs, now that’s fairness. Can’t wait to see the rest of the details. It’s a new world order of fairness baby!

Update (Steve): Don’t forget to check out the post from March 31 – When increased taxes are bad – increase government fees – I guess the state is going all in with tax increases and fees.

Automatic pay raises for legislatures

Quick post about automatic pay raises. Back in the late 1990s (I think) Massachusetts residents had a big issue with the legislature voting themselves a pay raise. The result was an amendment to the Commonwealth’s constitution that set up automatic raises based on median household income.

I’m sure some politicians quietly smiled, knowing that they were probably going to get a better deal with higher base pay. When things got bad, they could point the the Constitution and blame the voters.

Now of course, with the economy in a downturn, everyone is screaming about automatic pay raises provided to government leaders who are failing when it comes to efficiently running government.

I understand that many of these leaders work pretty hard – primarily trying to get re-elected – but what is the solution? Maybe they should only get paid on performance?

Maybe, it should be an unpaid position where you work only a few hours a week? How many more government laws and regulations do we really need?

Malkin has more today on the pressure Democrats are getting on pay raises.

GOP Sen. David Vitter is causing Senate Democrats heartburn. Good.

He’s been pushing an amendment to the $410 billion omni-pork bill that would repeal the current law allowing automatic pay raises for Congress.

State Legislature sets sights on Roman Catholic Church – Update

Well, it seems as if President Obama isn’t the only one who wants to reshape our institutions in new and “progressive” ways.  The Judiciary Committee of the CT General Assembly will hold a public hearing on March 11 at noon in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford concerning Raised S.B. number 1098.

Update: The hearing scheduled for March 11 concerning this bill has been canceled.

This bill would require Roman Catholic parishes to elect Boards of Directors from its lay community who will govern financial and budgetary matters, long-term capital improvement and outreach to the community among other responsibilities. The archbishop or bishop can send ex officio (non-voting) members and the pastor must report to the Board with respect to administrative or financial matters. In other words, the pastor works for the Board.

Of course, there is the obligatory – this act shall not affect the clergy’s power in matters exclusively to religious tenets or practices. Nice. I guess the Legislature believes that sticking financial bureaucracies between the clergy and its parishioners does not affect the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church.

Also of particular interest is the final section that gives the Attorney General the authority to investigate a parish if “Any person having reason to believe that monetary contributions” are being misappropriated and not being used for the purposes given.  I suppose the Attorney General will be able to read the minds of the parishioners to know why they were giving their hard earned income thereby knowing if the funds are being misappropriated relative to the purposes given. (But that’s probably why we have all of those multi-colored donation envelopes).

I suppose this is all part of the “change” that Obama voters were looking for and the Legislature is just following suit. After all Socialism abhors Religion, so let’s try to tear that apart shall we?

Update (by Steve): Morrissey over at Hot Air picked up on this topic this morning, as did Jack Fowler over at The Corner. More than 75 percent of Americans associate themselves as Christians, and Roman Catholics make up more than 20 percent of the population.

These groups are quite vocal. I have a hunch we’ll be hearing more about this subject not only in Connecticut, but nationwide during the next few days.

Update (by Jim): The hearing is set for Wednesday at the LOB at noon and Parishes across the state are sending bus loads of people to the hearing. Representative Lawlor told us yesterday that he’s not sponsoring the bill … he just wants to give it a hearing. Well it looks like that’s just what he will get … from a lot of folks.

Presumably this bill just sprung up from some concerned Catholics … and presumably this bill just suddenly got a hearing. I would presume that this bill has some backing in the legislature … or it would not be there. Don’t buy into the “it’s an orphan bill” bit. It’s got a Daddy.