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At a recent planning session, the edict went out that this year, there would be no new taxes. The state budget would be balanced without any new revenue….

Progressives cringed but accepted the verdict. This year the Democrats were not going to raise taxes to balance the budget; instead they would balance the budget with painful cuts…

As I have on occasion mentioned before, raising the marginal rate on the top one percent, does wonders for an economy… That is the reason the 90’s were so great. Dropping the marginal rate, sucks money from out of the economy. That is the reason the first decade of this century, is less prosperous than the good times under Clinton. It is all about the top tax rate.

That is for the Fed… However, and though I have mentioned it on the state level, there things are a little different. As we saw last November, when you try to raise the tax level by the tiniest amount on the fewest of the richest…. by the time it gets down to the voting public, all they hear is… “raising taxes.” “Hell, no, I won’t have my taxes raised, and they vote accordingly”…

There is another issue. Taxes by businesses are seen in a bad light. Delaware is in competition with 48 larger states, and one smaller state, for a piece of America’s economic pie. We are wooing businesses away from other states; they are wooing our businesses over to them….

Anything that gums up a deal, is counter productive. Sure, we could tax a wealthy person more, which winds up going to pay for the unemployment we could have prevented by bringing in a new manufacturer, one who chose not to come, because he heard we were raising taxes…..

So, is there a unique way to raise the top marginal rate (which does wonders for the economy) and do it in a way that doesn’t raise taxes?

Actually….. yes, there is…

Here is how. We include a new deduction. Money spent on capital investment strictly in the state of Delaware.

I know it is hard for most people to grasp what just happened, so I’ll elaborate a little more…

You make a million dollars each year (income). The top Delaware tax rate goes up 1%… One percent of $1 million is $10,000…. In 2011 since your income is stable, you will pay $10,000 more in taxes than you did on this year’s return, 2010.

Unless, you decide to use that for construction to improve your business, home, or trailer park. Lets say you run a business out of your home. You redo your roof, pave your driveway, and upgrade your data speed…

The rise in marginal tax didn’t cost you a thing. You were planning to go to Ireland this year and blow the extra money there but… because of the tax laws, you spent it on construction in Delaware. You are not out anything. If you put your house up for market, it is now worth $10,000 more with a new roof, new driveway, and top of the line data connection…

But wait, Delaware is out $10,000 dollars.. What’s the point? You didn’t want to cut programs, so you raised the top marginal rate, and then, didn’t take the money? What gives?

What gives, IS….. well, lets track where that money goes first. The business selling the material for the roof and pavement and hardware for the data upgrade, gets 1/2 or $5,000…. They pay a series of taxes on that transaction…The other half goes to labor… Where 10% in taxes is pulled yielding $500. When that money gets spent again, more tax is paid, by the workers getting paid by that money coming in..

Bottom line, is that even though the wealthy individual does not pay taxes, the fact that he spent money in Delaware for that tax deduction,.creates jobs that weren’t there which will pay something into the state treasury….

This is actually the Reagan argument backwards. He argued that if you cut taxes, people would invest in jobs and more would work, pay their share of lower taxes, and the treasury’s revenue would rise… Naively, he, like most of us, assumed that free money would be spent in America. It wasn’t. It was invested overseas, so those people could get jobs, make things cheaper, and profit margins could rise.

All we are doing is modifying Reagan’s proposal, by saying, you can keep your tax liability where it is, only if you build something new here in Delaware.

All we are doing, by raising the top marginal percent …. is forcing that money to stay in Delaware….. Now what Republican could possibly be against that?

Tony DeLuca, Delaware’s other DeLuca, will again be president pro tem of the Senate.

There never was much of a challenge.

Doug Denison, one of Delaware’s better sources of information, has it all here….

Katz and his supporters needed 11 votes to deprive DeLuca of the pro tem’s seat in the coming legislative session.

That meant they’d have to get all seven senate Republicans (ha, ha, ha) plus four Democrats to vote against DeLuca.

When the vote came, the Democrats got what they needed from their side, with no votes from Katz and Peterson, plus “not voting” designations filed by Sen. George Bunting, D-Bethany Beach, and Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark.

Karen Peterson was a little chatty. “Bonini told me he was going to vote against DeLuca, but he sold out!” she muttered in disapproval.

Bonini (of course) denied he had mentioned that, and responded: “I know some people are mad at Tony about things, but Tony is a strong leader and we need a strong leader in these times,” he said. “I really think with Tony as pro tem and the leadership they have and the leadership we have, I think we’re going to make progress.”

Translated into English from Delawarean…. ” Tony got to me.”

After all, that’s what an effective pro tem does….

So what now? It’s up to us. Katz, Peterson, Sokala, Bunting will be shut out… However, if we make enough of a stink so DeLuca loses credibility with the populace, the same way we did with Deskdrawer Adams,… he will have to back off a little. Look how we defined and reshaped Delmarva’s preplanned “wind debate”? Bottom line, he has to face re-election in two years. He can’t afford to NOT be a knight in shining armor this session.

Katz, Peterson, Sokala, Bunting! If you get shut out, let us know every detail. 🙂

Almost better than the Cpt. Renault classic denouncing of gambling, in his attempt to close down Ricks in Casablanca, …. the Republicans lash out at the Democrat’s final spending bill speeding to passage before the Christmas holiday.

Senate Republicans blasted a $1.1 trillion Democratic spending bill unveiled Tuesday to fund the government next year…

The 1,924-page proposal includes about $8 billion worth of lawmaker-directed spending items known as earmarks. The projects became an issue in some races during the November election, prompting House and Senate Republicans to ban them when Congress returns next year.

Senator McConnell… “This is exactly what the American people said … they did not want us to do,” “I will fight the measure in the year-end session of Congress. I am actively working to defeat it.”

Reporter: Mr. McConnell.. “Not all the earmarks are for Democrats. Republicans, even you have earmarks for their states listed in this bill. You sir, placed a $1.5 million dollar waste water treatment in this bill as well as others!”

Senator McConnell: .. ” Those earmarks don’t count as earmarks, because they were included in the bill before the GOP decided to ban them.”

It’s going to be a tough two years…… lol..

Unstable Isotope sprang the story first. Recently El took it and ran…

Democrat Speaker of the House, Bob Gilligan, told some of Delaware’s brightest and most compassionate people, that increased taxes were off the table.

Instead we would lay off copious amounts of workers, close large numbers of schools, not repair any of our state’s roads, trim down government workers pay again, and … strip funding to police, fire, and ambulance corps..

Fortunately for all us, legislative salaries would be spared and would continued to be paid for at the rate of their last voted increase amount…

All of this is necessary in order to prevent one more tax dollar from being collected…

But wait a second. What’s wrong with one more tax dollar being collected?

Nothing. In fact, raising taxes has been proved to generate thriving economies.

“No way I’m giving another fuckin’ penny to the damn government! I’ll just buy a brand, spanking new truck with the money I’d be giving them! I’ll show those bastards. I’ll just make 0 dollars income this year…

A truck, that would never would have gotten bought, does… Taxes are paid by the manufacturer, distributor, sales person, bank or loan officers, and not to mention… by everyone else from who those people decide to spend the money they made upon the sale of that truck…

So you see, as this one tiny example shows you, taxes are good for the economy. Not so much the paying of them, mind you, but… the threat of taxes and a way out so anyone can get out of paying them… does wonders for any economy… It causes people to spend their money instead of hoarding it.

Whereas the eighties were often defined by the image of Kirk Douglas standing in front of stockholders, arguing that “greed was good”, … history and analysis will define the future 2000-teens by this adage: taxes are good.

After all, that adage explains why the Clinton years were wonderful, and the Bush years sucked. Unless of course you were in the top 1%. And even for you top one per-centers, even the Clinton years were pretty damn good!

So why would Bob Gilligan say taxes are off the table? Because he has sat in a Republican controlled House most of his life and that is all he’s heard? All laughing aside, yes, he and almost everyone else who doesn’t think for themselves…

And you can’t blame him… Based on the facts…if I were in his shoes, I would do the exact same thing… A man needs to get re-elected. And if the population is illiterate and unknowing of all the details, then you had better follow the money if you want to continue to hold power…. And that is what he is doing…

In 1999, 6180 people earned over $200,000 in income. (2.1%) Almost all of those individuals contributed to fund Delaware’s election the following year. Logically, House Speaker Bob Gilligan, along with his compatriot in the Senate, Tony De Luca, knows most of those 6180 people by face and probably half by name. He knows them far better than he knows his constituents living up and down the second street behind his home…

Were I in his shoes, I too would support my friends who got me elected… I too would have to say “no” to taxes in 2010, and trust that my constituents living two blocks behind me, would follow my lead… After all, they never read anything but the News Journal anyway, so my bet on their continued ignorance, is a pretty safe one….

So what has to happen is that the playing field must change. Bob Gilligan and Tony De Luca have to worry more over those people who are living in their neighborhoods, than they do over those making over $200,000 dollars a year…. Which means … we really need to start squawking…

Unstable and El have begun… The rest of us need to follow…

Thanks to Rick Bayard, our state deficit will be $55 million more in the hole. Here is the list of those legislators who put the interests of their friends, the lobbyists, above and beyond the interests of the regular people working in our state… Ironically some of the biggest critics of the 8% rollback of wages, also voted against obtaining $55 million dollars worth of revenue which could have assisted and possibly prevented some of those roll backs.

Ramone N

Kovach N

Bennett X

Blakey N

Booth N

D. Short N

Carey N

Carson N

Cathcart N

Hocker N

Jaques X

Lee N

Manolakos N

Oberle C

Outten N

Thornburg N

Walls N

Wilson N

Each one of the “No’s ” voted to kill the bill strictly because the Racino owners wanted even more money from the commissions off of sports betting,  than the bill would give them….

These legislators listed above, believe wealthy race owners deserved millions of dollars more than those hard working Delawareans who will now have to make up the difference in increased taxes and fees…  the cost of $110 extra dollars for every working Delawarean… Just so Racino owners can make an additional $55 million over the millions they make already.

It is a travesty when members of certain party do not have the state’s interest at heart, and prefer to take care of lobbyists than either you or me..

This is what they did, and that: is who they are….

And I thought yesterday’s trifecta was big… Partly because of trying to encapsulate yesterdays perfect storm of big issues all playing at once, I paid less attention to the one coming up in just a few moments….

That is the necessary vote on SB 59.

SB 59 simply states that instead of adhering to those cheap ass building codes recommended by profiteering developers themeselves, the new code will be based on energy efficiency requirements listed by the Federal Governnment.

These guidelines will save each homeowner lots of money. Money developers wish was coming to them…

They are in the process of old boying the Senate in an effort to kill this piece of legislation…. But there is a catch….

This piece of legislation is a requirement if the state of Delaware is to receive any Federal Stimulus funding for this year… Currently we are expecting roughtly $155 million of our $780 million dollar deficit to be covered by the Federal Stimulus Package. Not passing this bill means that additional fees must be levied somewhere else.

I recommend taking that short fall from Rich Collins and other members of the Positive Growth Alliance.

Here is what is at stake.

These guys (developers) make way too much money.

The state has way to little money..

The state’s homeowners have way to little money.

The “not” voting for passage of this bill by any legislator will prove beyond all doubt, which Legislator is serving only for his own self interests, and which is truly there to serve the public……

For there is no way in hell, a no vote on this bill, helps the public out by one iota.

Sussex Green drops a bombshell…

Despite what Meatball says, there is something sick in Sussex County and it rhymes with taker….

Here in essence is the argument for open government… This type of stuff goes on all the time and those of us jaded by its constant misuse, forget that is really antithetic to representative government… Which is why we need citizen watchdogs… and Sussex County has one now….

This must be read… Not only by residents of Sussex County who have to put up with the antics of a family who thinks they can rule with impunity, but by every man, women, and child of the future, so they know exactly how these things are done, and can intercept their implementation before similar actions are finalized.

Here are several examples of the travesty those communists who represent the fine folks of Sussex County have levied against their own kind….

Instead, the list of parcels and areas being considered for inclusion on the future land use map were presented to the P&Z Commission as Old Business at a meeting on April 30, 2008. The parcels and areas were discussed by the P&Z Commission, approved or rejected, and that was that. There was no public hearing on any of them. Then, when the Comp Plan was finally approved (June 24, 2008) all those amendments, which had been approved at the April 30, 2008 meeting were incorporated into the land use map and became part of the ordinance that authorized the Comp Plan.

The Wilson Baker parcels case illustrates this. Baker got a conditional use (c/u) for the smaller parcel in 2005. He either owned or quickly acquired the larger adjoining parcel of AR-1 soon after being granted the c/u on the smaller parcel. He established a propane, kerosene, and diesel fuel business on the smaller parcel under the c/u requirements. However, he wanted to sell both parcels and that proved a bit too complicated because of the c/u, or so his representative testified at the recent change of zoning hearings before the P&Z Commission and County Council. As a result, he apparently decided that getting both parcels rezoned to heavy industry (HI-1) from their current AR-1 would be the most profitable option.

The P&Z Commission scheduled the Wilson Baker parcels for the June 18, 2008 meeting under the agenda heading “Additional Old Business”. The one item under that heading is “Comprehensive Land Use Plan”. The minutes state that Mr. Lank “advised the Commission that a request had been received for inclusion into the Town Center Area around the Town of Milton; that the request came from Baker Petroleum of Wilson Baker, Inc. for the inclusion of their properties; that they are intending to apply for industrial zoning and to create a railroad spur for access to rail service; that the site has been reviewed through the PLUS process” (P&Z Commission Minutes, June 18, 2008, Page 8). The P&Z Commission decided to incorporate the request of Baker Petroleum into the Future Land Use Map by consensus. There was no public hearing

.

On June 24, 2008, the County Council voted to adopt the ordinance establishing the 2007 Comp Plan Update, with amendments. There was no public hearing

.

The entire sketch of how this parcel was rezoned was not done in secret.. It is available on reruns of the Dukes of Hazard television series that was shot during the 1980s.. The faces may look a little different, but the characters who play them are the same…….

Some of us old timers have been celebrating the second Tuesday of January for what seems like quite a few years… Each year we see signs that Open Government will come to our General Assembly. Last year was the greatest.. Complete with a living autographed open body, fluorescent green tee shirts, and Robert Venebles praying for the souls of those wanting to hold public officials accountable, surely with such a circus atmosphere just before election we would finally see results…..

It never left the drawer.

Fun and games won’t get it done.

What will?

You.

A public who demands that open government is passed; a public who dogs those royalists intent on keeping our hands away from our money, a public who exposes the lies and fallicies of their obfuscations…. WILL PREVAIL IN THE END.

We have to. At some future point they will need our vote.

OK, so that brings up this point which often made by the contractors of our current closed governmental system. If it is inevitable, why the hurry… Why put wrinkles in the current system which seems to work OK as it is now? After all, are their any major problems, serious catastrophies, widespread panics being caused by our current secret General Assembly?

Actually…. yes.

There is a $600,000,000 dollar shortfall; one of the reasons being the lack of open government in those areas that determine where we spend our money… The General Assembly.

In plain terms here is how it goes down.

A handful of legislators decide who gets what money. Those handful are sequestered in a chamber, away from the public’s eye, but freely visited every day by lobbyists for various interests. Many offer gifts. They have access, but someone wishing to get a safety device installed on school buses to protect our children, has to go through loops, tunnels, push bells and whistles, just to get enough points to be heard….

Open government is just a way to balance it out more… There are two ways to balance it out… One is to get rid of lobbyists entirely… then there is nobody in that chamber… The easier way is to open of those sessions so anyone can see what is going on… There is a reason shady deals are not done in the open… people will know about them.. So if we open those arrangements, we can hear when a lobbyist says he will provide tickets to the Netherlands to study wind farming.
And when they come back from that trip spouting only the corporate philosophy of that business that gave them the tickets…. we can say now wait a minute… You were “rickrolled“. What about the other argument?

In tight times there is nothing wrong with looking hard at ones budget…. Making hard choices is what we do… ie should we spend this little bit of money on our roads, or on our schools. Each makes the best argument in their favor, and then someone…. has to decide. That’s it. That is how it is done..

What is wrong, and why legislators such as Senator Thurman Adams, Senator Tony DeLuca, Senator Patty Blevins, and Senator Harris McDowell want open government to go away, is that without anyone looking over their shoulder, instead of going to a road or a school, that money now goes to a developer who has property he can’t unload for a profit to anyone except to the state….

And we hear: “the state has invested “so many” dollars to preserve open space containing so many acres so that future Delawareans can……..”

We don’t ever learn that a school was not built, a road was not repaired, 150 jobs were cut, just to make that sweetheart deal happen…

Here is real fact: choke on this.

In the development of the Wilmington Waterfront, those developers were given carte-blanche legal protection…

Accordingly, no legal or equitable action seeking damages for personal injury or death as a result of any operation, condition, service, or program related to the parcels that were the subject of these development agreements shall be permitted, maintained, or recovered against such entities

Delaware National (nee Hercules) Golf Course – Approximately 101 +/- acres adjacent to Hercules Road (SR 282) in New Castle County. The Department shall work with members of the surrounding community, plus state and local officials, to develop a master plan for the permanent protection – 57 – of the site as community recreation and open space, and upon satisfactory completion of such plans, may transfer the parcel to the appropriate owner(s) for a fee to be determined.

Or $4,000,000 to redo Garrison Lake Golf Course.

Bottom line is as we try to trim $600,000,000 from our state’s expenses, how much less would we be trimming if during the past 8 years we had not invested in various governmental officials pet projects?

Quite a lot.

As a result, our children will learn in shoddy schools, potholes will tear off our oil pans, our police forces and teachers numbers will be diminished….. all because someone was “hooked up” in an earlier closed session committee that decided where and how our public money will be spent…

As was emphatically said by our new Speaker of the House….” Damn it; its the public’s money!” then it stands to reason that the public be part of deciding how that money is spent…..

We did it with Bluewater Wind… Our duty as citizens of this state demand we do it again…

We are at a point where almost everyone in Delaware is in favor of Open Government.. It is an issue that crosses party lines…

Those few who do not, are all in the Senate. That is why we need to take our fight there. Within that chamber are the ones who need to band together to vote with at least 11 votes to do away with the desk drawer veto. From this group of twenty one, 11 need to agree that if any of their coalition is threatened or denied his right to bring his bill on the floor, because he dared to stand up to Adams on open government, that irregardless of party loyalty, the other ten will stand behind them and override Senator Adams and bring that bill on the floor of a vote.. It will need to be bipartisan, which is why it will need all of us to apply the political muscle….

As per our drill with Bluewater Wind, here are the numbers…..

Senate Democrats
Dover: 302-744-4165
Wilmington: 302-577-8542

Senate Republicans
Dover: 302-744-4134
Wilmington: 302-577-8517

And for good measure:

House Republicans
Receptionist: (302) 744-4171
FAX: Dover (302) 739-2773
Wilm. (302) 577-6396

House Democrats
Receptionist: (302) 744-4351
FAX: Dover (302) 739-2313

One might recommend printing up on ones computers business cards with just one number, explaining to ones friends and neighbors the importance of their call, and handing out the numbers enabling a greater number of Delaware’s citizens to become involved with controlling their own destiny.

After all that is why our ancestors fought the revolution. That is why they fought for Lincoln, to keep this nation together. That is why they beat back the Japanese and Germany during WWII, to ensure those freedoms remained at home… That is why Delawareans are in Iraq RIGHT NOW.

They are not there so some very important piece of legislation can get buried in someone’s desk drawer……

This Time I Know Our Side Will Win
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The Antimatter of Democracy

“What sluggards! What cowards have we brought up in our court, who care nothing for allegiance to the people. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest!”