Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ken Cuccinelli's Economic Voodoo for Virginia

Proving yet again that he apparently drinks gallons and gallons of Kool-Aid - or perhaps is as insane as I think he is - Ken Cuccinelli has unveiled his proposal on how he would energize Virginia's economy and, not surprisingly, its more of the same warmed over Republican Party voodoo economics.  Cuccinelli's magic catalyst?  Slash taxes for both individuals and corporations. Yes, as noted, it is the same old mantra. Slash taxes and supposedly the economy will take off.  Never mind the evidence of the last decade or more which shows it doesn't work.  Oh, and in the process the infrastructure crumbles.   The Washington Post trashes Cuccinelli in a main editorial  Here are excerpts:

LIKE MITT ROMNEY, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II wants to cut taxes — by a lot. Like Mr. Romney, Mr. Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, promises this would not reduce government revenues by a dime, since he would also eliminate significant tax loopholes and deductions. And like Mr. Romney, Mr. Cuccinelli adamantly refuses to identify these loopholes and deductions.

Why would Mr. Cuccinelli expect Virginians to fall for this?

Mr. Cuccinelli unveiled his plan at a yogurt shop, claiming it would help such businesses grow faster by cutting their taxes. More likely, it would starve the state of the resources it needs to fund public schools, state colleges and universities, public safety, mental health programs and state parks. 

Somehow, he would slash $1.4 billion in taxes — about 8 percent of the state’s annual tax collections — but hold revenue steady. It’s economics reduced to magic.

Already, Virginia’s tax code is highly regressive. The personal income tax, which accounts for about two-thirds of state revenue, is a flat 5.75 percent for everyone making more than $17,000 a year. For the sake of fairness, the wealthiest Virginians should be asked to do more. By cutting personal income taxes, Mr. Cuccinelli would ask them to do less.

His proposal assumes that Virginians are overtaxed and in need of relief. In fact, Virginia is one of the wealthiest and most frugal states in the country. Its median income ranks eighth nationally, but state outlays on a range of functions are average or below average. On public and higher education, for instance, Virginia’s per capita spending ranks 38th nationally. On health care, its per capita spending ranks 40th.

Unsurprisingly, leaders of some of the state’s largest jurisdictions saw Mr. Cuccinelli’s blueprint as a recipe for higher property taxes, which are imposed at the local level. How else would localities compensate for the loss in state revenue that directly supports public schools? 
The greed driven "godly Christians" who back Cuccinelli will, of course love Cuccinelli's proposal.  They never cease to look for ways to undermine the social safety net and to kick the poor and unfortunate to the curb.  All the while, naturally, patting themselves on their backs for the godliness and piety.

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