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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Happy "New Tax" Day

Economy, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

Welcome to September 1st and two new taxes in Wisconsin.

We now have the privilege of paying an additional $0.75 per month for each telephone line and each cellular "line" we have.  That is ostensibly to fund police and safety needs but we all know it will get buried in the general fund and our police and safety needs will get none of it.  This is estimated to bring in additional hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

And, cigarette smokers, of whom I was one many years ago, have the pleasure of ponying up another $0.75 per pack in state taxes as of today.  That will place Wisconsin among the highest handful of states in the country so far as these taxes.  I know this is a terrible habit, but the hypocrisy of federal subsidies to growers, and of our state's dependence upon these taxes, coupled with the steady drumbeat of the tales of damage cigarettes do to our bodies simply doesn't square in my mind.

Both taxes should rankle the liberals no end since both are regressive; the lower income groups get hit harder with these taxes than do the higher income groups.  In the case of smoking, it can be argued that lower income groups contain more cigarette users than do the higher income groups.

Beyond all this lies the simple fact that we in Wisconsin are taxed too much.  This is mindful of the "death by a thousand cuts" approach to torture.  Each cut is but a small, none-too-deep, wound, but combined take the life away from the subject.

We are being subjected to the same insidious "torture" by being burdened with more and more taxes (or fees).  We are approaching a tipping point beyond which our state will simply lose ground to other more "hospitable" states even more quickly than it already is losing ground.

Taxes aren't the sole reason for the probable Mercury Marine move to Stillwater, OK, but they will have been a significant part of the reason. 

Beyond this, however, lie the cold, hard facts; we'll begin the next budget period in even worse straits given the use of "stimulus" money to plug holes in the last episode of state budgeting.  Governor Doyle will leave quite the legacy to his successor and to us citizens.

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