Friday, January 18, 2013

North Carolina May Drop Income Tax

According to WRAL yesterday, serious plans are afoot to drop our income tax structure and replace it with a sales tax, including retail sectors such as food.

The GOP, which now controls the General Assembly, is pushing to lower the individual and corporate income tax and use a higher state sales tax applied to more things to make up for the lost income tax revenue. Food should be taxed, they say, because grocery spending is dependable.


"It's not a progressive tax, where those at the higher end pay more and those at the lower end pay less," said Bill Rowe, general counsel and director of advocacy for the left-leaning North Carolina Budget and Tax Center. "Everybody's paying the same amount, and so, if you're of modest means, you're going to be paying a lot more in taxes that way."

Of course it's not clear that Mr. Rowe's specific statement, quoted above, can be correctly characterized as "left-leaning." Seems like he's just doing some math. But then WRAL is the station that spawned Jesse Helms, our late and infamous racist Senator.

Here's what happened in NC last November. A whole lot of poor white folks would rather vote for any Republican than anyone in the party that was running a black man for President. Here in NC our Republicans have been pretty much bought by the radical right wing, personified by Mr. Art Pope, gazillionaire. Mr. Pope is now in the state cabinet by the way, having bought hissef an ostensible "moderate" Republican governor, Mr. "Frack You" McCrory. McCrory's first order of bidness was to ask that a new voter ID law be on his desk P.D.Q. No doubt it shall be done.

Many birds are thus being nailed by a modicum of stones. It is well known that poor folks not only pay no income tax, and spend most of their meager funds on day to day survival items, including food, but as well, that poor folks tend to lack "proper" credentials. How convenient for our local Punsch-in-Progress. Voted in by yet another application of the Republican southern strategy, the poor buggers who will in the coming months have to cut back on hotdogs and beans will also discover, if they can afford gas to the polls in 2014 and 2016, that their credentials are not in order.

Meanwhile, by then the left-leaning North Carolina Budget and Tax Center will probably be a faded sign on a Raleigh store front. For all the perky optimism at the Siler City Democratic Party Headquarters across from the Post Office just after the November election, there was then a brick through the plate glass, and after that a closed sign on a sheet of plywood. By 2016 it may be that the only way to find the old Democratic Party Headquarters in Siler City (for the would be historian of early Century doings I mean), will be to say, "go to the old Post Office foundation, just down from the lot on the corner of Raleigh Street and Old 421. The old Dem storefront was right across the street." The PO, of course, will have been "phased out" by then, an outmoded relic of the '30s just like the progressive income tax.

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