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September 24, 2003

Seattle's 'Latte' Tax -- No Longer Perfect

From an editorial in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch, "If the best marketing minds in the world had been asked to design the perfect tax hike, they could not have produced a better one . . . It was a small, avoidable levy that was to have been applied to an expensive luxury, for a good cause -- 'the children' -- in a liberal enclave. And it flopped bigtime." Precious!

September 17, 2003

Seattle Voters "Scald" the Latte Tax

By a margin of 2-1,Seattle voters yesterday turned back an initiative to tax expresso-based drinks. According to today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the tax would have added 10 cents to each such drink with the taxes earmarked for "preschool programs and continuing education for teachers." Two people interviewed by the paper sound like they may be ready to take up residence in Arlington County, though. One said he left the voting booth without casting a vote, saying it was too hard to decide. While he said he could afford the tax, he thought it was "the wrong solution, but the right problem to tackle." Another man said the "rediculous" initiative is yet another example of Seattle becoming the "People's Republic of Seattle." As if to prove their sense of humor, the headline writer for today's Seattle Times said the latte tax was "creamed."

A Real Taxpayer's Friend

There are certainly many ways to describe Milton Friedman, e.g., winner of a Nobel prize in economics in 1976. A survey of conservative bloggers ranked him 15th among "The Greatest Figures of the 20th Century. An interview with the economist posted on Right Wing News, however, revealed what a friend he is to taxpayers. In response to a question about the wisdom of the Bush tax cuts, Friedman answered, "I am (in) favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is spending. The question is how do you hold down government spending . . . The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The only way to do that is to cut taxes." That pretty much parallels what he wrote in the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal on Sunday, January 19, 2003, when he wrote, "I have long said, 'I never met a tax cut I didn't like' -- though I would go on to say that I like some better than others . . . I believe that government is too large and intrusive, that we do not get our money's worth for the roughly 40% of our income that is spent by government -- federal, state, and local -- supposedly on our behalf . . . how can we ever cut government down to size? I believe there is one and only one way: the way parents control spendthrift children, cutting their allowance. For government, that means cutting taxes."

September 10, 2003

Out-Migration from Arlington County: Taxes and More Affordable Housing as Causes

In the July issue of our newsletter, The ACTA Watchdog (available on the website under 'links'), we cited taxation as a cause of the out-migration of higher income taxpayers out of Arlington County to be replaced by the in-migration of lower income taxpayers. Using IRS county-to-county migration data, we attributed the imbalance to taxes. Now, Jim Bacon, publisher of Bacon's Rebellion, has taken another step in the analysis of the IRS data. In his lead column for the September 8 issue of Bacon's Rebellion, he adds another cause for the migration, concluding that taxpayers are also able to acquire more housing as they migrate to exurbia, or as he shows people migrating south along I-95. We encourage you to read Jim's thoughtful analysis, which should give the County Board something serious to think about -- having raised property taxes on the average residence by 62% over the past four years, and also for those pushing to restrict the amount of lot coverage for Arlington property owners.

September 08, 2003

"Not a Single Tax Does Not Exist in Government's Fantasy"

While the burden which the tax man puts on Americans is heavy, it's even heavier in Germany. That probably explains why an anti-tax song rose to the top of the charts there. Thanks to Americans for Tax Reform, Americans can enjoy the lyrics of this top of the chart song. For example, "With the help of the sales and beverage tax I make beer more expensive, but that is still not enough; it does not satisfy my needs!" Enjoy the other great lyrics by clicking on the hot link above.