In living memory, Connecticut was the Gold Standard for how
a state could be run for all the people from poor to middle class to wealthy. Starting in 1991 with the advent of state
income tax, and increased business taxation, Connecticut started a barely
noticeable decline that hasaccelerated dramatically
in recent years.
Doctor Herbert Barry, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, is always looking for a better way. Joining thinkers like Joseph Stiglitz and James Galbraith, here is a recent submission by Doctor Barry into the marketplace of ideas, from the Pittsburgh post-Gazette:
Friday, March 27, 2015
March 19 article described a proposal by Gov. Tom Wolf to increase
revenues for the Pennsylvania government to support early education (“Wolf:
Billions in Revenue From Proposed Sales Tax”).
With the 2015 Legislative Session open, Connecticut faces a structural fiscal deficit of nearly $175 million, under-performing tax receipts, crumbling infrastructure, and declining aid to municipalities.
The remedy is just as Henry George prescribed. CSE has been on the ground working to supply the research and analysis to motivate Legislative action.
Pennsylvania even after decades of heavy lifting by the taxpayers is still
lurching from crisis to crisis, with the root cause based in fiscal
uncertainty. Philadelphia and its nearly
insolvent school district still has not discovered a true “fit for purpose”
revenue source that will provided - at the very least - revenue stability. Poor, working and middle-class people pay a
larger share of their incomes on tax than in nearly any other American
city. Turning to those who can least
afford to pay ought to be the last choice, but ironically in Philadelphia it’s
nearly always the first choice.
Wage and Sales Taxes: a Curse on Low Income Citizens and Their Communities
"The middling and superior ranks of people, if they understood their own interest, ought always to oppose all taxes upon the necessaries of life, as well as all direct taxes upon the wages of labour." Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume 2, p.289
As many public policy makers know, we've always considered government taxes in a descending order from destructive, to not so good, better and then best.