Sunday, May 06, 2007

Akron Issue 17 – May 8, 2006.

As Pho has noted, I’m agin’ it.

Part of good, solid, limited government principle is that the money belongs to the people, and in most cases, they can manage it better than the government.

This especially applies to politicians who believe that they are entitled to first dibs on your wallet, because you are not paying enough:

“This hogwash that we are ‘overtaxed’ needs to stop.” Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, February 10, 2005 State of the City Presentation.

So, Mr. Mayor wants to increase your city taxes by 15%. What do you get for the added drain on your wallet and the local economy? Not very much.

Keep in mind that tax money is fungible. That’s a fancy word that means that one tax dollar looks like every other tax dollar. That means that the promised $2.5 million on additional cops is money that doesn’t have to come out of the pre-increase budget. Consequently, the increase allows the city to spend away on the expected 2%.

So, out of the $18 million coming out of your pocket, 2.5 is spend on new police. That’s less than 14%. $9 million – that’s half of the planned take from your wallet – is for “job creation and retention”.

For the uninitiated, I’ll translate. “Job creation and retention” = “Mayor’s slush fund for corporate welfare”. Alternately, “Cash for politically connected businesses”. A more literal translation from the ancient tongue would be “a tax on stupid people and those who can’t vote against me”.

And now for the advertising:

Ed Kalail, homeowner, is on one of the direct mailers talking about police patrols and increased safety. Sorry, Ed, that’s less that 14%.

Glen Stephens, business owner, notes that North Canton lost 800 jobs in the Hoover mess. $9 million annually devoted to corporate welfare may not help. In fact, the extra income tax provides an incentive for some businesses to move out of Akron, since that would provide a tax break for at least some employees. (Until those municipalities wise up and raise taxes to be ‘competitive’).

The key to economic growth is more and better capital per worker. For Akron, $9 million in “job creation” funds paid to the politically connected doesn’t change the equation. And as it emboldens greedy mayors all over the area, a loss of economic competitiveness will only result.

Roy Ray, former Republican mayor, stands up for the Howard Baker / Nelson Rockefeller (Just like the Democrats, only cheaper!) wing of the party. Thank goodness he’s out of politics.

Let’s get to the bottom line. Taxes are a necessary evil. They pay for all kinds of important things – cops, firemen, judges, etc. They are not needed to pay for the Mayor to vacation in Israel or Germany on “trade” missions.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the list of endorsers, you immediately realize that almost all of them are tax dependent. Endorse my tax increase, I’ll endorse yours seems to be the prevailing motto.

As an aside, I’ll note that the only pro-tax signs I’ve seen are on city or school property. Doesn’t that represent a conflict of interest? Why should the employees of the citizens be allowed to advertise on public property? One suspects that if someone put up an anti-tax sign it would be removed immediately. Why should the bureaucrats be allowed to advertise in an election? After all, a significant portion of the citizenry may well be opposed to having their pockets picked for corporate welfare payments.

Just another sign of various bureaucracies working in concert to pick your pocket.

Vote NO on issue 17.