Ga. GOP wants to raise taxes on non-wealthy Georgians

Let’s put this as bluntly as possible:

If they can get away with it, Georgia Republicans intend to significantly raise taxes on lower-income and middle-income Georgians, while at the same time reducing taxes on the wealthy and corporations. They will wriggle and squirm and try to deny that’s their goal, because they understand how unpopular it will be politically. But it’s their goal nonetheless, and they have no legitimate ground on which to claim otherwise.

The so-called “More Take Home Pay Act,” introduced by the House Republican Caucus this week, illustrates that point perfectly. But before we go deeper into that bill, let’s set the background:

1.) Today, middle-income and lower-income Georgians already pay a much higher share of their income in state and local taxes than do Georgians at the upper end of the economic scale. In fact, they pay roughly 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes while those in the top 1 percent pay just 5 percent, according to data released last month by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

GaTaxDist

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

2.) In addition to paying twice as much of their income in state and local taxes, middle-income and lower-income Georgians have been hardest hit by shifts in the economy. Median household income in Georgia has plummeted from $56,680 in 2000 to $47,439 in 2013, a much deeper fall than in most states. That’s an inflation-adjusted loss of more than $9,000, per year, per household, and it has forced a significant decline in living standards and basic economic security.

medianinc

In such a situation, the last thing that politicians should propose is “tax reform” that will pile still more taxes on Georgians struggling to keep their heads above water, while reducing the tax burden on those doing well. In effect, it would be like kicking people when they’re down and then telling them that it’s for their own good.

Which again brings us to the “Take Home More Pay Act,” the GOP’s latest income-redistribution scheme disguised as “tax reform”. With House Speaker David Ralston and House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal standing at his side, state Rep. John Carson of Marietta introduced the bill by noting that “Georgians want tax reform that puts families first.”

Yet his bill does the opposite. Yes, it cuts the state income tax by roughly a third, from 6 percent to 4 percent. According to House Republicans, that will reduce personal income-tax collections by some $2.5 billion a year. However, the bill compensates for that lost revenue by raising the state sales tax by one percentage point, adding a 5-percent sales tax on milk, eggs and all other groceries and adding a 5-percent sales tax on cable, satellite TV, cellphone service and the purchase of digital downloads such as movies, music, e-books and software.

The wealthy will benefit disproportionately from the reduction in the income tax; lower- and middle-income Georgians will be hit hardest by the increases in the sales tax, particularly on groceries. There is simply no dispute that it redistributes income away from those who most need it.

If Georgia Republicans believe that redistribution will produce long-term economic benefits, they should be willing to make that argument. There’s no evidence that they’re right, but it’s at least an honest debate.

Denying the disparate impact and trying to sell it as a tax cut for Georgia families is not.

Reader Comments 0

1171 comments
dialate
dialate

Well, duh. The whole country is trying to figure out how to tax the poor now that the middle class is disappearing. What do you think the ACA (Obamacare) was? "Healthcare for the poor"? Ha! A huge tax increase on the poor, that is what!

Brains2
Brains2

I would be for tax reform but raise the state personal exemption and standard deduction to match the federal. This would greatly help the lower income and help some to mid and upper income. Then do not touch the grocery exemption on sales tax. But raise the state sales tax 1%. Increase the tobacco tax on cigars and chewing tobacco as well as cigarette. The sales tax hits out of staters and those getting illegal and under table money. This is a win win.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@FIGMO2 @Doggone_GA "How do you know Tuna isn't female?"


Because he tells you so, and because he's open enough about his life on here for attentive posters to know he's got a Hispanic wife who attended the University of Oregon.  Pay attention, Figgie.


"It has a tendency to exhibit hysteria, so I'm guessing female."


(laughing)  :D


Oh, so the biggest drama queen on Jay's blog thinks *I* exhibit hysteria?  Sorry, no, sister.  My wife will tell you that *displaying* hysteria to me -- as you've often done here in *your* posts -- will earn you a quick S T F U and a nasty rebuke.  Long story short, Figgie, if you think I display hysteria, it's because I dish out what I get -- and you're quite possibly the most dramatic poster here, IMO.


I've rarely witnessed a hysterical male although I'm sure they exist. Were I ?him? I wouldn't be so eager to exhibit the hysteria ?he? does."


Were I you, I'd make an effort to rein in your own hysteria before you start whining about possibly observing it in others.


Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Captain-Obvious @TBS @Tuna Meowt @fiftythreepercenter "So calling the "meanest woman on the blog" the "meanest woman on the blog" is insulting?"


"Only if not accurate."


"And sadly, it is all-too accurate."


Except that I'm not a woman and I've told both you and TeeDee that on multiple occasions.


What a shame that honesty is a trait that a man like yourself can only hope to have.


td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt You can say anything on an anonymous blog. Your linguistic style is that of a typical progressive woman. If you do not like it then to bad and prove us wrong.    

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt  Your linguistic style is that of a typical progressive woman



LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL


That pearl made me spit out my coffee....No joke

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt "You can say anything on an anonymous blog. Your linguistic style is that of a typical progressive woman."


Oh, how curious.  Now you're a cunning linguist.  Please, elaborate on what a "typical progressive woman's" linguistic style is.  And then please provide at least three unbiased linkees to support your claims.


"If you do not like it then to bad and prove us wrong."


I don't particularly *care* if you call me a chick; it just makes you look even more desperate than you already are.  And I don't need to *prove* anything to you or anyone else.  I am what I am, regardless of what you think.


Once again, if you have an issue with my identity, contact Jay.  Simply looking at my first name ought to be plenty of proof of what I've got betwixt my legs.


Pumpkin.




Penses
Penses

@td1234


What??? Come on. TD...I never for a moment thought TM (or JM or JHM) was anything but a man. Hence my teasing of him below on this matter with the link to the "Pat" video. If he is a woman, then he is also a lesbian (since he has mentioned a wife more than once).

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@fiftythreepercenter @Tuna Meowt "Why on earth would anybody expect a polite reply from you?"


Because they can get one for FREE.


People get the same treatment FROM me that they show me.  Be polite, get treated politely in return.  Be a Richard toward me and receive Richard treatment in return.  It's really quite simple.


"Exactly."


No, many people here with whom I disagree receive polite replies, and that's because they know how to disagree politely themselves.  Clearly, that's a skill you never learned.


"And this "I have no idea what question" equals "dodge surrender and concession"  is a new low in stupidity from the child."


You know what you wrote, and if you can't recall, that's not my problem or my responsibility.  If you hadn't wasted two hours being a Richard about the question I asked you politely twice, then we wouldn't be tussling over this.  Conclusion: try answering polite questions in a polite manner.  It might save you the embarrassment of being called out on your evasiveness later.


"Seriously, what kind of adult takes a position of "i'm not going to tell you what question I want you to answer,"


Seriously, what kind of adult wastes two hours beaching about being asked a polite question and then complains about having to scroll back two hours to find one of THEIR OWN posts?


"but I'm going to throw a childish tantrum if  you don't answer it?"


I'm not the one throwing a tantrum, Pumpkin.  That'd be you.  Shame you can't recall your own posts; it'd save you a lot of embarrassment if you could.


Oh, and I'm not surprised that Catpain Oblivious liked your post.  He seems to think that simply correcting mistaken posters is sufficient to halt the not-inconsiderable quantity of straw men that run around here.  He's got a great idea, but his execution fails because whenever he's told that he's misread or misrepresented someone, he refuses to believe it and simply doubles down on the selfsame dishonest 'solution' he offers.


TBS
TBS

@DownInAlbany


Hillary has her share of baggage but if that issue is what you are banking on to take her down then you are already in desperation mode

gotalife
gotalife

Where is the freaking job plan gop?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt "Wrong sweetie. SNAP is not time limited. It is only means based."


Wrong again, Pumpkin.


Although the Food Stamp Program was reauthorized in the 1996 Farm Bill, the 1996 welfare reform made several changes to the program, including:

  • eliminating eligibility to food stamps of most legal immigrants who had been in the country less than five years;
  • placing a time limit on food stamp receipt of three out of 36 months for Able-bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs), who are not working at least 20 hours a week or participating in a work program;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program#1996_welfare_reform_and_subsequent_amendments


td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt You know what an ABAWD is? They should not be getting Snap at all. 

td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) limits the receipt of SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are not working, participating in, and complying with the requirements of a work program for 20 hours or more each week, or a workfare program.  Individuals are exempt from this provision if they are:

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt "You know what an ABAWD is? They should not be getting Snap at all."


That's not your choice or decision to make.  Please confine your discussion to the program as it exists, not how you'd like it to exist.

td1234
td1234

2 Federal judges now (one appointed by Obama) has now said his executive actions with illegals is Unconstitutional and have blocked the government from implementing the actions. 

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@gotalife @td1234 --  THAT's different!!  As long as it's a republican...........then everything is okay and no one has a problem with it!!  Duh!!  

Soothsayer2
Soothsayer2

Big ol' FAT flakes now. The timing on this looks right for a big one!

Penses
Penses

@Brosephus


Not very PC of you, SS. They are "plus" sized or "Big and Tall" ;-)

straker
straker

sooth - "everywhere we meddle turns into chaos"


Unfortunately, for reasons of politics and profits, this meddling will continue into the foreseeable future.

Paul42
Paul42

Reading through this and listening to the GOP, it seems now Republicans do indeed think government can create jobs (KeystoneXL).


Any idea why government can create jobs now, but during debate on the stimulus package, government couldn't?

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Paul42 

Interesting question.  Maybe some of our conservative friends can recommend a way to fix that job bill, so it works for job creation, like that pipeline bill.

td1234
td1234

@Paul42 Keystone is not a pipeline that is paid for by the government. It is paid for by the private sector. 

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234

Good point.  But the overall point is, it's $$$ that pays for the work to get done.  The dollar, or the worker, does not care from whence it came.  So really, the source is irrelevant.

Paul42
Paul42

@Penses

Shovel-ready means ready now, or, considering the contracting process, ready to lurch through the approval process.  Temporary jobs are just that, temporary.  Two separate things.

The 'any different' question is one for Republicans to answer, as they denied gov't could create jobs, shovel-ready or not.  Democrats never had a problem with the concept that since gov't allocates money, it can allocate them to create jobs (talk to your grandpa about the Works Progress Administration under Roosevelt).  

Democrats are dismissive of the temp jobs for a few reasons.  Just using past Republican standards, as Republicans derided the stim jobs as temp jobs.  They were demanding permanent jobs.  The pipeline will have about 35 permanent jobs.

I think Republicans should keep on about the jobs as justification, 'cause building a pipeline for a foreign corporation whose home country wouldn't let it cross their country to the west, to transport their crude across America, giving the foreign corporation the right to take private land from our citizens, to have the refined product shipped off to China and India, with nothing requiring it to stay here, even with no requirement to ante up into a fund in case they have an environmental disaster, don't seem to be working too well as justifications.

Penses
Penses

@Paul42


I am a social conservative who, aside from some basic common sense principles (like not spending more than you have year after year after year) am amenable to fiscal policy debates (because NO ONE in my opinion really has a handle on macro economics). But I get the sense that you are more of a "in the tank" guy (for liberalism) than you are a reasonable actor. I voted for Bush twice, but I rarely (if ever) defend him. Or politicians in general. Those who seem to defend Obama - a man whose word I wouldn't trust for a minurte - are really not being intellectually honest in my view or worth much of my time.


If you want to "sell" government job creation, then don't do so by "snowing" everyone:


http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/obamas-economic-speech/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-no-such-thing-as-shovel-ready-projects/

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/342001/obamas-job-creating-bridge-project-not-quite-shovel-ready-andrew-stiles

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/02/17/the-five-biggest-failures-from-president-obamas-stimulus-law

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/10/16/a_shovel-unready_president_107606.html


Brosephus
Brosephus

@Paul42

"Any idea why government can create jobs now, but during debate on the stimulus package, government couldn't?"

It's all about which party is offering up the jobs plans.  Republicans know how to create jobs from elected office while Democrats don't.  Didn't you get that memo back in 2009?  Why do you think the "job creators" support the GOP?   LOL!!!!

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@Penses @Paul42 That's easy.  You see, the one or two shovel ready jobs created by Obama cost us billions of dollar each while the keystone pipeline will provide us with millions of good paying long term jobs.  At least that's what I heard on Fox News.

Paul42
Paul42

@Penses

You hear positions on issues or a refutation of inaccurate assertions and assume allegiance to a politician?  Interesting.

One can disagree over how soon a 'shovel-ready' job will be good to go, which is why I cited normal contracting lags.  Did you notice?


Essential point is, if government decides we need to build a bridge or a road, or repair either, then it allocates funds, contractors hire workers, therefore government 'created' the jobs for the roads and bridge work.

You said you adhered to common sense principles.  You get that, correct?

Then there's the matter of a two million-plus government-created jobs in the military.

So, yes, government does create some jobs.  Private industry creates some jobs.  They support each other.  To deny otherwise is partisan silliness.

Main point I was illustrating was what Brosephus answered.  Many modern Republicans change philosophical positions based on the specifics of an issue, particularly when it's based on Republican vs Democratic policies.  Keystone is a fine example.


Penses
Penses

@Paul42 


Actually, Mitch McConnell has said otherwise. In reality I think tax subsidies are an indirect, rather than direct, means of partially funding something. I would say take that issue up with the IRS and the Congress.


Now, can you tell me how the "shovel-ready" jobs Obama spoke of are, in reality, any different from the "temporary jobs" the pipeline bll would create (and the Obama adminsitration has been dismissive of)?