Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another Conservative Ideal Bites the Dust When Conservatives Control the Higher Office

So, I guess smaller government isn't the way to go. Yes, our beloved Governor is floating the idea that municipal tax should be collected by the state. Apparently, when conservatives say, "That should be a state's issue," they also mean that from the bottom up as well as from the Federal Level down. That is, everything should be handled at the State level. So their argument is, "all these differing communities and their tax codes, it's really complex and hard" (read that in Barbie's voice, "Math is hard. Let's go to the mall").

Are local taxes a pain? Ask anybody who has had to deal with RITA or CCA (the two major tax collection services in NE Ohio) and they'll tell you, "Hell yes." But that's not from actual compliance (the "it's complex and difficult to keep track" argument), it's from pissy customer service that doesn't know their rear-end from a hole in the ground (and if you think it's that bad as a citizen, you haven't even begun to scratch the surface as the municipality that uses their services - which is why we went to collecting the tax ourselves). But "confusing" and (here's that word again) "uncertain(ty)"? Nah. You've got CPAs, that's why you're paying them.

And now we have the state wanting to collect to "simplify" the system. Bull. The state just wants the money. I doubt they'll collect this without taking a "processing fee" (just like RITA and CCA, another reason we left, it's cheaper for us to do it ourselves - note this to the "let's outsource government functions" people, we're saving about >5% of our tax collection or around 60% of the former fee - I didn't do the math yet, but we were paying 10%-18%, depending on the month, we now spend <6%) by doing it ourselves.

Hey Tea Party, here's a big power and money grab going on by the people you helped elect. They're trying to shift local control to state control (and making government larger and more intrusive to boot). Remember your promise to hold them accountable? I do. I'm watching.

Also, the same arguments work for a national level. It's difficult for companies that have operations in different municipalities? Imaging how difficult it is for companies that operate in different states? I mean, it's a factor of 50x more complex. So, why shouldn't all taxes be collected by the IRS and then State of Local get apportioned out from the Federal. And actually, this makes a little more sense. Imagine the cost savings to companies to only file with one organization and cut one check. The same goes for individuals. Why fill out 3-5 form and follow the same processes (depending on your work and local laws). Now you'd only have to do one simple tax form and you're done. Image the power of scalability that can occur at the federal level. Instead of 50 administrative burdens, you only have one (although somewhat larger than the individual) burden. More of your tax money could go to actual benefits than to bureaucracies. Also imaging the savings that would be to the state and local governments (individual departments having to have tax offices, etc). It's staggering.

Sound like a great idea? No?

Which is the same reason why having the state do this is bullshit.

It always amazes me that conservatives love to say, "we should decentralize and push out decisions and actions to the local level" or "that's a states/municipal rights issue" except when they hold power at a higher level. And then the argument gets reversed. This is why I say that conservatives aren't about service or holding to their ideals. They're about control of power, and consolidating that power into fewer hands (their own hands, BTW).

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