Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Why do so many think new revenue is answer?
Brenda Blagg makes it clear in her May 9 column, "Bag grocery tax, governor says," that she does not support increasing the sales tax imposed upon groceries. She is absolutely correct. Consumption taxes such as the sales tax should not be imposed on necessities like groceries as a matter sound tax policy for a number of good reasons, not the least of which is the regressive nature of this tax. That the sales tax is generally considered to be a "hidden" tax is yet another.
Unfortunately, she weakens her argument when she unnecessarily connects the sales tax increase to Gov. Hutchinson's proposed tax cut for people with taxable incomes above $75,000 and says flatly that "the state can't afford those cuts unless it makes up revenue somewhere else." Really? I don't immediately assume it's time to find a second job every time my budget gets tight or I consider buying that new car I've had my eye on, and I doubt most Arkansans do either. My first thought is always to look at my spending. Do I really need to eat out weekly or is a couple of times a month smarter? Do I really need cable TV with every premium channel on the planet or would I be better off picking up a book or newspaper now and then or even just taking an occasional evening walk with the lovely Mrs. W. instead of parking in front of the boobtube every night?
One has to wonder why is it that so many people and politicians, particularly those who adhere to the tenets of the liberal left, seem to always default to the "more revenue" mantra? Surely they don't think that way for their own spending and household budgets, so why do they think that way when it comes to public spending and budgeting?
How nice it would be every now and then to hear one of them suggest a spending reduction just might be more appropriate, even if they don't really mean it.
BentonvilleEditorial on 05/16/2018
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