- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Hammer and Nail
I think that the proponents of one issue or the other seem to think that that one issue is the basis for the problems for everything. Hey, even us hardcore progressives do it. I think that, for example, we need to stop talking about getting rid of Bush and talk more about bringing a spine back to the Democratic Party. Bush is bad, ra ra ra, but with the current lack of conviction in our party, even if Bush wasn’t there, there would still be a big problem. But I digress. Proponents of Tax Cuts seem to think that it will cure all of Philadelphia’s woos, and then do the dishes and slice the bread. As the saying in programming goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. I think that all of us need to get out of that nail mentality.
I think that the best way to put things into perspective is to tell personal stories. I am a computer consultant, which means that I have to pay BPT. There are some serious problems with it, and I think that we need to fix them. For example, why should I have to prepay next year what I paid this year in taxes? What if I am in a volatile business where cashflow is important? Why do we have to pay a tax on gross income. Doesn’t this punish people who need to hire a lot of people and/or buy a lot of equipment? (Click Read More for the Rest)
I have had many conversations with my parents why they chose for us to live our lives in Germantown. They told me that when they had me, they new that there was a decision that they had to make. They had two options. The first was to stay in Philly and send me to private school, and the second was to move to the suburbs. Sending me to public school was simply not an option.
A person from Chestnut Hill told me a story about why he left Germantown. One day, the Police, with guns drawn, chased someone through their back yard. He said that once he saw that, he knew it was time to go. Asher’s Candy, which was a Germantown institution when I grew up moves an hour and a half outside the city because their employees were getting robbed. Who can blame these guys for leaving? Who wants to live or own a business in an area where they have to worry about the safety of their kids or employees?
We can talk about taxes here. I hope that we have an honest open dialogue about that. But I think that at the end of the day, the exodus from this city has more to do with the fact that people don’t feel that they can make a good life for their family here. People want to feel safe walking the streets. People want their children to have a better life and have more opportunities then they had. Most people are willing to pay more to get more, whether it be through taxes, private school tuition, or a fat overextended mortgage for a trite cookie cutter home with a white picket fence and a Gas grill in the Burbs.
What people see happening in Philly is that they keep spending more and more for less and less. Their taxes stay the same or go up, yet their representatives in government are non-responsive. They keep their business here in the city, and they pay higher insurance, get robbed, and have contracts go to companies with bigger wallets and crappier labor practices. They send their kids to Temple, and then Temple basically tells them that they care more about out of state students.
I personally think that the Burbs are the 5th ring of Hell. But that is just my opinion. What does it say to us that, at the end of the day, people are more willing to spend a lot more money to live their than here?