Friday, September 11, 2009

NH House Committee income tax hearing-- err, "meeting" loses cover

UNH Professor Ross Gittell addresses the NH House Ways & Means Subcommittee by request, regarding HB642, the current income tax bill, 9/10/2009.

What I found particularly galling was the good professor's open hubris regarding a paternalistic state-directed economy. One of his claimed "benefits" -- "I see this as a positive" -- to his preferred sales tax (which is first broached at 24:30) would be the intentional non-market-driven shrinking of the retail sector, thus forcing people out of those jobs (first offered at about 25:30, again at 28:00, and again at 41:30~42:35, but clearly contradicted at 19:45). "For their own good," of course. Not that the legislature hasn't been more than happy to impose a similar employment purge on the payday loan industry not that long ago. Certainly, by his own stated criteria, this is expressly his goal: tax what you want to (what you believe you have the authority to) discourage (17:30, 28:45); in this case, by definition, retail commerce...

Also, if the current sales tax rate disparity is acceptable to surrounding states, if we cut that disparity in half as the professor recommends, why wouldn't that encourage those states to increase their revenues by subsequently increasing their rates in response, to maintain that acceptable-to-them disparity? What's the down side for them? Why wouldn't we be doing them a favor by voluntarily closing the gap, thus encouraging their consumers to spend their FRNs at home? Why wouldn't this course spark a tax rate "arms race" in the wrong direction? Isn't NH's lack of a sales tax a significant reason why those other states aren't higher now?

The presumption throughout, no surprise, is that the state needn't cut spending. It will have more revenue at the expense of our wallets. The only question is how. Why is the state's position always, "if we can collect it, we should have it to spend?"

In a backroom conversation before the gavel fell, it's clear Chairwoman Almy was not particularly pleased that word got out about her quiet little session. "I'm sure one of these cameras is the Free Staters. Probably the first." ... "And I'm not going to be bullied." (I suppose we should leave the bullying to the professionals, then...?) WMUR's reporter assured her it wasn't he who was responsible. She acknowledged, and blamed the Portsmouth Herald for the leak. The "media circus" (Hey, Mom! I was mentioned in Subcommittee! Unless I'm still not considered the med-- HEY...!) she references around the 4:50 mark she apparently considers sparked by a Herald article that doesn't seem to be online at this point, but she also makes a crack in the meeting that the Union Leader owes her an apology.

Well, the video's finally converted, so I gotta get this posted. Some background can be had here. "After action reports" here and here.

1 comment:

  1. The slippery slope that comes with "letting officials collect income taxes" does not come without consequences. First off Just to let you all know I reside in the state of New Jersey. Yes it is true we see much for our 10% state tax levyed on our necks and backs while we enjoy luxuries that include: 50 police per 1 square mile of town not to mention 150 county police on top of the numerous state police. Each police officer in my town of rutherford average pay is 80 thousand per year and detectives can expect 150-200 thousand per year plus full benefits. We boast the highest in everything government you can shake a stick at insurance cost to drive a car average 12hundred/yr average house is 500,000 with a lot of 85'x120' that have 12,000/yr taxes. on top of 7% sales tax on everything except clothes. My rent is 1,100+heat and electric. probably the same cost of a person in NH mortgage except its your house and you have about 1 acre. If I didnt have state tax I could buy my self and my wife clothes every season like I do to my children Like normal people do. This is the nightmare you face if you let them take over. Not to mention it costs 12 dollars to drive through our toxic state each way. Those tolls were originally meant to pay for the highway.(note once they tax you, you can never repeal it.) They will always have an excuse to increase it due to repairs, maintenance,Union's begging for work. Salary increases that employees demand. The grandaddy of them all Oh we can't find where 23 million dollars went oops... Yeah we know when sloppy bookkeeping is used as an excuse to embezzle funds. I also may point out that New Jersey flouridates its water per municipality the costs are staggering 1 million dollars annually to buy this byproduct of aluminum manufacturing not to mention the special chemical engineers and replacement storage tanks that need replacing because its highly corrosive,and toxic to life in general. I dont know if NH participates in this harmful practice that increases cancer in all studies, not to mention loss of IQ. Be assured that with the usual federal plan to get rid of the useless eaters program. This type of eugenic program cannot exsist when it requires money stolen from the people, to kill the people. Thank you and god, I have found this site and rediscovered where liberty may have its last foot hold on the face of the earth.
    William & Alicia Hampl and family.