Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Big Government picking winners and losers

As the old song goes - "I don't know why, I don't understand, how you sold me down the river...."

Actually I do know how, and why we were sold down the river. Government can, that's why. If you were a damn good lobbyist, you were safe from the sales tax increase. If not, you got sold down the river. From the Detroit News.

Dating services are covered, but a round of golf is not.

Going skiing will be subject to the state's 6 percent sales tax but not going to see the Detroit Lions.

Consultants' services will be taxed, lawyers' won't be.

Lawyers! Imagine that. The good news is that in a couple of years, I won't be taxed. That said, this isn't right. Period. We all know that the Trial Lawyers lobby is Granholm's best funders. I'm far from anti lawyer, and I'm rather pro-defense attorney after seeing the Mike Nifong fiasco, but this is an example of government picking winners and losers. I agree that legal services should not be taxed. Neither should any of the others hit in this bailout attempt of fiscal mismanagement.

Why skiing and not the Lions or Golf? Pure numbers. There are a lot of golfers and Lions' ticket holders.

Businesses subject to the new tax complained Monday it is arbitrary and unfair. The sales tax on services, which takes effect Dec. 1, was part of a package of bills passed by the Legislature early Monday to resolve a budget impasse and end a brief government shutdown.

"Whoever screamed the loudest was overlooked is what it sounds like to me," said Terry Newman, president of commercial landscaper Superior Scape in Shelby Township.

"Any one service that didn't have a strong lobby was going to get hit with the tax," said Paul Alberts, president of the Romulus-based courier service Reliable Delivery.

Rep. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, chairman of the House tax policy committee, acknowledged lobbying was intense over what services would be subject to the sales tax and what services would not. He did not deny that lobbying played a role in keeping entertainment and tickets to sporting events exempt from the tax.

"I think there was a lot of lobbying against those, and to some extent when this came up people were not too eager to go on that," Bieda said.

What a cluster(self-censored).

Why not go to a part time legislature? Or get some paycuts for the reps? Or cut Dan Mulhern's staff? Or cut that new sweetheart building deal with big donor Joel Ferguson? There's a good start. If I had the power, I could balance this budget in a day. It's real simple folks. Balance for this year first with cuts, then enact long term reforms for the future to prevent future costs.

Now I expect to see some mass resignations for poor mismanagement.


RightMichigan.com said...

Tax-and-spend liberals in the House and Governor's mansion taxing and spending.

Sad but not unexpected. Now it's a matter of affecting change!


keithr said...

These are basic divide-and-conquor tactics. Over and over I hear people say something to the effect of "Don't tax this one thing which will hurt me personally, but all the other taxes are just fine." If you raise taxes on just a few things it is possible to get it pushed through. This time the tax might be shafting someone else, but the next tax to come along might be the one that hurts you.