Friday, February 1, 2013

Latest ALEC Scourge Hits New Mexico

[A MeanMesa Note:  Blogger is not able to correctly format parts of this post.  Our apologies.]

N.M. GOPCons Screaming Back to "Tax the Poor"  

 Just think of "High Desert Visigoths" 

The Sacking of Rome (image source)


All across the country -- especially in those unfortunate states currently stuck with typically ruthless straight Republican governments -- the latest "tax the middle class and hand the goods over to the top earners" scam is being trotted out as if it were something new. It isn't new.

It's old.

Very old.

For MeanMesa visitors "old enough to remember" George W. Bush's wild borrow and spend antics, this latest scam is only slightly newer -- but not any less stinky. This latest scheme promises to stink just as much as the unregulated mayhem of the banksters' paradise which roared, unabated, right up the the explosion of the Great Republican Recession of 2008.

Here's a sample article from the Alamogordo Daily News. This pair of likeable fellows are the ALEC front men who are dutifully proposing this latest regressive tax legislation in the Round House. They enjoy the same dilemma which characterizes state legislators of their ilk. Unable to actually operate a state government -- for example, sustain a local economy which will provide adequate revenue to run the state -- these two have predictably reverted to the road weary lament of the sickeningly familiar oligarch refrain.

"Broaden the tax base." You know, to include more poor people.
"Cut tax rates for high earners and businesses so they will create jobs."
"Eliminate state revenues from income taxes
so 'job creators' will move here."

NM State Representative Tom Taylor (R)
NM State Senator William Sharer (R)

N.M. legislators propose 2% consumption tax, 

elimination of other taxes
Alamogordo Daily News

By Milan Simonich, Texas-New Mexico Newspapers
Posted: 01/31/2013 01:36:53 PM MST

SANTA FE -- Two legislators from Farmington on Thursday outlined their bill for a sweeping overhaul of the state's tax system, but admitted they did not know if they are on exactly the right track.

Sen. William Sharer and Rep. Tom Taylor, both Republicans, said their 207-page bill would eliminate almost all taxes and replace them with a 2 percent across-the-board consumption tax.

Their hope is that this would raise the same amount of revenue for the state, cities and counties, but make New Mexico more attractive to businesses by eliminating the corporate tax, the compensating tax, personal income tax and myriad other taxes.

"Far too many people come into this building seeking exemptions, credits and deductions," Taylor said during a news conference at the state Capitol.

Each time something is exempted or credited, the tax system becomes more complicated and less reliable in terms of what revenue it will generate, he said.
"For a long time, we have talked about a broad-based tax with very low rates. The bill does exactly that," Taylor said, likening it to the original gross receipts tax of the 1960s.

Sharer said 51 new tax bills already had been introduced this year in New Mexico.

"Obviously, our system is an epic failure," he said.

A solution to the madness would seem to be eliminating taxes and therefore all the possibilities for credits and exemptions. Then to make up the revenue that would be lost, the 2 percent consumption tax would be instituted.

But both legislators said there could be problems with their bill that they have not accounted for, even after months of review. Taylor said one difficulty was that exemptions and credits are sprinkled throughout New Mexico law, not just in the tax code. 

Sharer's proposal, Senate Bill 368, faces four committee hearings in the Senate. Sharer said that exceeds the number of hearings allowed by the Senate rules, but he did not seem to mind.

A companion bill that Taylor will carry in the House of Representatives has been scheduled for six committee hearings.

"I'm sure that's a world record," Taylor said.

But, like Sharer, he said multiple reviews of the bill would likely expose any flaws in the concept that many taxes can be erased and replaced by one.
As analysts from the state and other groups dig into the bill, they may find deficiencies that so far had not been flagged, Sharer said.

Not eliminated by their bill, the legislators said, would be severance, gasoline and property taxes.

They have made allowance in the proposal for impoverished people or those living just above the poverty line. Sharer said they could file for rebates and reclaim some of the taxes they paid for living expenses.

The motive for this latest crime is presented as "eliminating the income taxes" on personal and corporate earnings as an incentive for out of state businesses to rush to New Mexico where they can pay even lower wages and offer even fewer, cheaper benefits.

MeanMesa is still waiting to see a list of the businesses and jobs resulting from the stupendously large, over priced, ineffective "give aways" we're already making every year.

Democrats Reportedly Also Interested in Bill -- Really?

This legislation has sometimes been described as having Democratic support in the legislature.  While any evidence supporting this claim is elusive, the treachery would not be below some New Mexico Democrats.  Although these quiet supporters don't get all the ALEC privileges which come with entirely forgetting their oath, there is so much free cash floating around that anti-democracy outfit that this little scheme might still be quite interesting to them.

One exclusively New Mexican advantage these soiled state legislators enjoy is that state voters, as usual, have no idea what they are trying to do in Santa Fe.  Not surprisingly, when most of both the written word and television coverage throughout New Mexico is fundamentally reactionary and "fact free," public interest lagged to a comatose state years ago.

Tax the Poor, Trickle Down and Job Creation

Wait a minute!  These are the same "oldies but goldies" which lubricated media cover for the massive looting of the Bush W. autocracy!  Yet, there they are.  They might seem to be no more than battery operated corpses of the bad old days, but ALEC's owners are obviously insisting that the Zombie Apocalypse won't be over until they say it's over.

We may forget quickly, but we don't forget that quickly.

The fact that identical legislation for this crazy proposal surfaced in every state under Republican control within a period of a week is pretty good evidence that the GOPCon state legislators in all those places were handed Xerox copies still smouldering from the same print run.  MeanMesa has said before that it's unfair to assume that these hill billies and bigots have, somehow, written all this identical ALEC legislation on their own while sitting in a hotel room somewhere.

Here, we are immediately confronting the old "big picture" problem for the ALEC puppets.  Theoretically, each one of these Republican state Representatives and Senators, both here in New Mexico and all the other places this same bill has been introduced, are supposed to be responding to their constituent interests.

This bill, however, only favorably responds to the "constituent interests" of voters rich enough to dodge the regressive tax increases it contains.  The count on that crowd is so far below an election majority anywhere that the ALEC Xerox conspiracy emerges as the most likely explanation.  No one else could reasonably want this thing to become law.

Bribing Job Creators: The Zero Sum Game

If your state eliminates corporate and high earner income tax -- and the state revenues which come from those taxes -- in an effort to woo businesses away from states which won't cut the throats of the poor in the same way, does this mean that there will be more jobs?

Sure, there might be more jobs in your state, but when considered as an impact all across the country, it only means that some "job creators" have simply moved from where ever they used to be to this place because of incentives, a slightly more favorable tax policy and, in New Mexico's case, even lower wages.  We must realize that what's really being offered in these sweet deals is the prospect of relocating the pain of unemployment.

Naturally, the ALEC parasites have been instructed to relocate that pain to blue states at any cost.  We, as tax payers in New Mexico, will, of course, be paying that "any cost" as we throw everything on the table to entice these fickle "job creators" across our border.

We may not be a deliciously red state, but with Martinez in Santa Fe, we are definitely a purple state.

MeanMesa might be more positive about this if the ALEC scheme ever even worked.  It doesn't.  Perhaps even more interesting, it never has.  This is, excusing the expression, the "elephant in the living room."  These ALEC boys in the Round House get to their "competing with other states" pretty quickly when you show them a microphone, but the actual picture is more akin to Lucy holding the football for Linus, year after year.

Republican, in their panic, have generally adopted the "Sherman's March" approach to retaining power.  They can't win elections.  They can't stand with their record. They have no salable platform beyond the drawls of the feral anti-abortionists.  They have geriatric dreams, at this late stage in their dwindling life, of being able to inflict even more economic pain on poor people or on states which won't continue to bribe businesses sympathetic to the ALEC philosophy to stay put.

Amazingly, the GOPCons and their owners still think this is an election winning program.

Additional Reading

This story has received significant media attention.  Here are a few suggested links if you would like to read more.  Take note:  Some of these articles are quite reactionary.

Albuquerque Business First

State Tax Reformers - OnLine WSJ

More Governors Look to Repeal Their Income Taxes - RealClearPolitics 

 Income Tax Could Be Eliminated by Many Republican Controlled States - Huff Post



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