City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Steven Malanga
There Goes the Neighborhood « Back to Story

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NJ and NY are both Socialist lost causes - they're great if your a Government Employee parasite, or a crony capitalist sucking off the government teat, but not so great if you're a regular upper middle-class taxpayer. However,there is a very simple individual cure for the situation, and here it is: MOVE TO FLORIDA!!
The focus on taxation is bass-ackward. Appropriate tax rates are those which garner the revenue to meet your spending plans. The problem you are referring to is spending.

If we have a taxation problem, it's because tax architecture promotes rent-seeking and gets the government willy nilly into the capital allocation business. Cuomo's proposals are just incremental adjustments and do not repair that problem. Scummy politicians like to do favors for people by wangling them tax preferences. It's their raison d'etre.

If we wish to address spending, we will do the following:

1. End collective bargaining for public employees. They can join benevolent societies which have labor lawyers on retainer and offer credit union services and the like, but that's it.

2. Phase out defined-benefit pension plans and instead have defined contributions plans which are financed by a flat assessment on employee compensation with no 'employers contribution'.

3. Finance insurance pools with a flat assessment on employee and legatee income (with a minimum and maximum contribution) through competitive bidding. You have the contract specifying services, you have the adjudicatory corps and procedures delineated therein, and you have the premium kitty. They bid for this by naming the schedule of deductibles they insist on to provide theses services. Medical costs charged to the pool are thus contained.

4. Commit to achieving the following state of affairs: stated and total compensation for public employees (pre-assessments) will not exceed the mean of the private economy; compensation will not fall below the 30th percentile nor exceed the 95th percentile; the standard retirement age will be 66 and on an escalator; only uniformed police, soldiers, fire fighters, and hands-on construction workers will have the opportunity to earn early retirement credits.

5. Commit to holding a civil service examination within 60 days of any vacancy and limit hires to the top three among those interested.

6. Set up a corps of hearing examiners to hear complaints re one of six or seven impermissible reasons for employee discipline or discharge. However, these aside, allow termination at will of public employees. Three signatures from an employees chain of command should suffice, and as long as there is no evidence of impermissible retaliation, there should be no indemnity to the employee and no proceedings against those discharging.
Christie is a Republican pretending to be a conservative.

Another tax in NJ never discussed is the "self-employment tax" and it's $500 minimum. I own four companies, only one of which is profitable. The other three, which I've not really had the time to focus upon, cost me $1,500 a year just for the "privilege" of creating them. If I had that $1,500 I could plow it into my profitable company and hopefully, be further along to helping reduce NJ's 9% unemployment rate.

Perhaps the Governor should spend more time focused on the State's punitive tax code and less time on punishing his political enemies.
"Cuomo seems to be positioning himself for 2016 as a moderate Democratic alternative to presidential candidates who might lean much further left." WHAT A MODERATE? In New York, which was once the Empire State now the Vampire State He is the leading blood sucker!
Just a quibble with the third paragraph, where it states that Cuomo's plan "would also raise the amount of income excluded from New York’s estate tax to $5.25 million, almost matching the federal exclusion."
Estate's are subject to (compressed) income taxes as well as the estate tax. It's actually the gross value of the assets in the estate that are subject to the estate tax.
Please compare NY to Conn.
That comparison would be useful a well.
The contest between these two states for bragging rights --- "We're number 49!!!!" -- is pathetic.

But California is always in the hunt -- always challenging in this three-way race to the bottom.

Little noticed is that the California state legislature -- in a state which supposedly now has budget surplus (if you believe Jerry Brown ET AL -- which you shouldn't) -- is in a desperate race to impose major new taxes in the state this spring while the Democrats still have the needed 2/3 majority to impose such taxes without a vote of the people.

To quote one article on the subject:
EXCERPT: "Mr. Steinberg (Dem legislative leader) is pushing for a carbon tax. State Sen. Noreen Evans wants an oil severance tax. Additionally, Democrats are considering ballot measures that would neuter Prop. 13's property tax limits by lowering the voter threshold for approving parcel taxes and uncapping commercial property levies."

Bottom line (so to speak): It's the goal in California to get BOTH East Coast states OFF the bottom line -- putting CA firmly where it justly belongs in the ranking.
Lake Worth fails to grasp that -- when comparing incomes in different states, one has to consider the cost of living when determining one's wellbeing in a state.

For instance, According to recent U.S. census figures, the 2009 median household income in California is significantly higher than Texas.

CA -- $58,931

TX -- $48,259 -- 18.1% less than CA

But, ADJUSTED FOR THE COST OF LIVING, the Texas median household income is significantly higher than California.

TX -- $53,009

CA -- $44,456 -- 16.1% less than TX
Steve I think Worth is a woman although either way I have no idea why she posts comments on this site. Since she seems to take offense at every article and has no comprehension of anything she reads.
Mr. Worth, Can I call you Lake?
NYC public schools are not very good. If you google the graduation rate (is that a valid statistic?) you would find an article that expresses joy at NYC's 65% graduation rate and, at the same time, another lamenting Atlanta's 67% graduation rate. Unfortunately, spending money does not equate to educational success. Remember the 60 Minutes story on the Kansas City Public Schools? Spending an additional billion dollars with no educational improvement.
How brain dead does Malanga think people are ???

New York City has invested hundreds of billions of tax dollars over the last four decades. That's tax dollars. That's community action. And the result has been a big reduction to crime, improvement to schools that is measurable with far more high school graduates, upgraded infrastructure, and broad expansion to social services.

Compared to the low-tax 1960s and 1970s, New York City is a new and much better place to live.

If Malanga is writing for the 1% of the 1% of the 1% then maybe he thinks that they have gated DMZ compounds and don't give a damn about the rest of us. There's a few rich psychopaths, sure. Meanwhile, for tax cutting:

"But other Republican governors who might run against him have been cutting taxes aggressively; indeed, last year, 16 of the 18 states that trimmed their taxes were led by Republicans...."

And 9 of those states are among the 10 least liveable, least productive, lowest income states in the country. Low tax rates yield low social investment and low competitiveness. Plus, of course, they turned down Medicaid expansion -- a stanic rejection of faith, hope and charity in service of low tax rates. Sickos.

A few can believe that they are "Eagles" and everybody else are "ducks." That's their borrowing from Jordan Belfort. Check out how often versions of that get used in GOP Land.

New York City's advantages still outwiegh the tax climate...see