Tuesday, March 27, 2012
No New Taxes! So What
Great news! It looks like Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NYS Budget is going to get passed on time. That's great. Plus No New Taxes. After my initial excitement, I had to take a second to think about this thing from every angle. Here’s what I came up with: Why do people get so excited about No New Taxes? Don’t get me wrong, my opinion of Cuomo is still positive, if you can accept the fact that AC is using NYS to leapfrog to Washington. He has taken every five-year plan to correct the budget, and made it a five-month plan, to capture the hot headlines. Great! No New Taxes! On Time Budget! Let’s take a deeper look.
Has anybody taken pause long enough to notice the astronomical number of people that are being laid off, downsized, or just plain fired, so that Cuomo’s Draconian Budget can be made, and No New Taxes--which is a snazzy, Washington-bound Headline, something that will look good on campaign posters--can be proclaimed. My opinion: If it comes down to paying a few more dollars in taxes so hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers can keep their jobs, their dignity, their way of life, I say sign me up.
Why are people so afraid of taxes? I don’t even know what I pay in taxes every year. “Hey, Brian, your school taxes went up this year, 2.3%.” Whatever, they’re escrowed anyway, didn't even notice. 2.3%? Isn't that like seventy-four extra dollars a year? But what about next year? Who cares? I live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I watched a comedy about cops pretending to be high school kids on a 53-foot movie screen the other night, stuffing my fat face with $20 popcorn. I'll pay some extra taxes, it's fine. If you don't like U.S.A. taxes, move to Brazil for a while, see how you like that. When they take the taxes away, they'll hit you with a "city garbage bill" that used to be covered in your taxes. That's how it goes. It all evens out in the end. Why don't people get that? It's robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Why are people so excited about No New Taxes? Let me hit you with a little economics 101: It’s either taxes or jobs/programs. Why? Because taxes pay for things in this country, roads, bridges, hospitals, yep they do, and if we don’t want to pay higher taxes, people get 86ed, programs go bye bye. When I'm being wheeled into an operating room for open-heart surgery, I don't want to hear about doctor downsizing so I could save $18 a year on taxes. Nope, I want the best MD's tax money can buy. And when I'm the only guy on my block with a job, I'm buying a bigger lock and better security system. And there goes all my tax savings. Now you know who I am? I'm Even Steven.
An aside: We all know that the government misuses tax money, sure they do, and we already pay high taxes. I get that. Hello, McFly, you live in New York, the greatest state in the world, with the greatest city in the world. Don't like it? Go live in Kansas. You'll be back in six months. Just accept that our State Government blows through tax money, accept it and move on, put that away for the purposes of this argument, because you can't prove it or change it. Period.
“But, Brian, it’s not my job on the hopper, so who cares, right?” Nope, wrong, so wrong. Because we’re dead against a few more dollars in annual taxes, your brother, mother, and neighbor just got laid off. And when that happens, it means you’re now on the clock. Believe me, you want your brother, mother, and neighbor to keep their jobs, because if they are gainfully employed, that means the cuts still have to hit them before they hit you. It’s a wall of protection around you, see? To have that protection and peace of mind in my life, I would pay extra taxes in a second. Of course I would. I believe it was the brilliant Elmer Fudd who said, “You’ll never balance a budget on the backs of the unemployed.” He can’t catch a rabbit to save his life, but his views on economics are right on the mark.
If I was running for Governor, Senator, or President, I would preach the following to every voter with ears: I’m going to raise taxes, of course I am, but every, single American will have a job. Guess what? I’d lose in a landside, unless my opponent was some stiff from Massachusetts or some bible thumper who thinks it’s 1955. Then I’d win, of course, who wouldn’t? People love No New Taxes, because we are a soundbite nation. But come on. Remember when Clinton was in office, and the budget was actually balanced. How’d he do it? Jobs, ugh! All those jobs. How annoying. Taxes? He raised them. That’s how you keep people working. Go tell your laid-off neighbor that you’re not worried about his personal ruin, because your taxes stayed the same. But guess what? Your taxes are going to get raised eventually, and that guy’s still going to be out of a job.
As long as it’s not my job, right? Let them lay off my brother, mother, and neighbor. My point: It’s always going to be you eventually, unless you're LeBron James, or George Clooney, or a Kennedy with millions, it's always going to be you eventually. We have to fight for our neighbors now, keep everybody working and making money, because one day the powers that be will be coming for your job, your way of life. Just don’t be mad, Mr. No New Taxes, when there’s nobody left to fight for you.