Thursday, July 10, 2008

Massachusetts to end income tax, slash budget?

I got this in my email this afternoon and thought it might be of interest to those of you who appreciate the concept of smaller government.
This November, voters in Massachusetts will have the historic opportunity to
vote themselves a huge raise and strike a ringing blow for liberty that will be
heard across the nation -- by abolishing the state income tax altogether.

Thanks to the hard work of the Committee for Small Government -- led by Carla
Howell and Liberator Online columnist Michael Cloud -- an initiative to
eliminate the state income tax will be on the 2008 ballot.

Eliminating the income tax will chop the state budget from about $28 billion to
$17 billion.

Predictably enough, politicians and the usual special interest groups are
wailing and whining that the sky will fall should that happen.

But that's just nonsense. The tax cut is actually not as radical as it might
sound. Because of the huge growth of government spending in recent years, $17
billion is about the size of.... the state's 1995 budget.

Yes, that's right. Eliminating the income tax will still leave enough money to
fund the state at 1995 levels. And no one remembers Massachusetts in 1995
lacking schools, libraries, roads, police and other government services (and
disservices).
Read more at smallergovernmentact.org.

Silly question. If they can do this, why can't we? New York's budget in 1995 was $69.5 billion. In 2007? $121.6 billion. To paraphrase the folks from Massachusetts ... I'm pretty sure we had roads, police and even schools in 1995. If we were to enact a provision that did away with income tax, would the politicians finally get the nerve to cut spending? Or would they just raise our property taxes to make up their "loss?" Imagine the headline ... "New York raises property taxes 100 percent."