Democrats did a commendable job finessing their middle class payroll tax increase by calling it a tax cut extension. The president’s New Year’s Day press release ignored the payroll tax hike.¹ Nancy Pelosi talked about a “victory for the middle class.”,² something we might not be feeling so victorious about when we see that first check stub in the New Year. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wasted Congress’s time reading letters from Illinois constituents³ who, like Democratic politicians, don’t seem to understand that keeping tax rates the same is not a tax cut, while raising payroll taxes is definitely a tax increase.
What do Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Dick Durbin have in common other than misrepresenting what they have done to the middle class? They come from two contenders for worst state in America, California and Illinois, the national poster children for the Obama tax plan.
Best bets for worst state in America?
Sure, there are other debt-ridden states and some states are in deeper than Illinois, but when it comes to impressing us with over the top fiscal insanity, California and Illinois can’t be beat. Why? Because they wave their debt in taxpayers’ faces, indulge special interests while residents suffer, and bide their time hoping salvation will descend from Washington. The two states handed Barack Obama nearly one-third of the electoral votes he needed to stay in office. They showcase where our money will be going if the Obama tax plan ever gets past the House. Rest assured that when the federal tax dollars are doled out, they won’t be forgotten.
What do illegal immigrants and public employees have in common?
Illegal immigrants and public employees are barometers of how abusive a state is to its taxpayers. How many state budget crises would be lessened if we kicked out illegal immigrants and gave public employees 401(k)s instead of debt-inducing pensions?
When it comes to entitling illegals and racking up pension debt, it would be hard to top efforts in Illinois and California. Too bad the spending in the Obama tax plan helps states pay for benefits like education for illegals and frees up state money to continue funding failing public pensions.
Illegal immigration stance proves public officials despise taxpayers.
California is so overrun with illegals that we would be better off selling it to Mexico and ridding ourselves of the financial liability of its burgeoning state debt. Illinois is no better, proud to have one of the country’s largest sanctuary cities, Chicago, famous for the Elvira Arrellano standoff with ICE that ended, ironically, in California.
From driver’s licenses to college financial aid to safe havens for illegals, California and Illinois are the states to flock to if you should be living in another country and the states to flee from if you belong here and pay taxes. If only we could set up sanctuary cities for citizens who foot the bill for public services. Fortunately for illegals, the president followed California’s and Illinois’ leads and made the whole country one big sanctuary city, just to prove that laws exist to be gotten around and that Congress is, at best, an inconvenience.
Public money keeps public employees fat and happy.
Illinois keeps us in hysterics talking about the newest get-serious attempt at reforming its public pension system. The next legislative failure is scheduled for early 2013. California’s pension debt may not be quite so newsworthy, perhaps because anything to do with Illinois’ government is a headline grabber, given its record of sending trusted public officials to prison. Nevertheless, California is right up there with Illinois when it comes to keeping government employees happy through retirement no matter the cost or the money to fund it.
The president has a sympathetic ear when it comes to public employees and especially those belonging to unions, so when you hear him talk about raising taxes on the rich so we can spend on education you can figure out what spending on education really means. In Illinois, it meant an income tax increase in 2011 and residents looking forward to spending more on public pensions than on educating their kids.
Why things in Illinois and California will never get better.
Two words: Democratic supermajority. Hegemony in both state legislatures means that spendthrift Democrats have never had it better. With Barack Obama and Harry Reid slavering over the upcoming debt ceiling fight now that they have softened up the GOP on raising taxes, it must feel like the sky is the limit in Springfield and Sacramento, worst state status or not.
Why things in America will never get better, either.
When states are broke, federal handouts bridge the gap. California reaped $34.6 billion in Recovery Act grants, loans, and contracts from February 2009 through September 2012 and has been handed over $26 billion. Illinois was granted $11.9 billion and was given $8.6.4 With California’s 9.8% unemployment and Illinois’ 8.7% jobless rate, tax money in two of our most debt-ridden states is a little more scarce than it used to be.
Federal tax money might not be as scarce as taxpayers would like it to be, but the Obama tax plan has a fix for that. Anyone who thinks the New Year’s charade over keeping income tax rates the same is the end of tinkering with the tax code is a fool. With the Medicaid and Social Security entitlements getting an infusion from middle class paychecks, we can loosen up some money to spend elsewhere, like infrastructure projects that keep states beholden to Uncle Sam. Hang on to your hats, folks. For taxpayers this may be the end, but for the Obama tax plan we are just seeing the beginning. Look to California and Illinois to see where this mess is headed.
Links updated 6-11-2016.