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Kevin reports that Sokola and Jacques put up a bill that postpones the Education Funding Improvement till effectively legislature is over. (Senate CCR 56)

Why?

Here is what the old bill said…

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor, and, for public distribution, the Director of the Division of Research of Legislative Council and the Director of the Delaware Public Archives by March 31, 2016.”

This was one of the major sticking points last year if you will remember, because several people would not originally vote for the original bill’s date of June 30th 2016 because that was “bad” government… So it was changed to get passage votes… and now it has been changed back.

This original bill was forced on an runaway Educational lobby that really did not want it. It’s purpose was to propose legislation to change how schools were to be funded. it was also a foil being used to blunt the passage of Opt Out and opponents to the charter takeover of city schools.

The charter proponents are very scared that exposing the reality of how the funding of charters does immense detriment to the rest of public education, might wake up some legislators and the Delawarean public. They want this hidden.

Hence, the two legislators who are completely owned by corporate educational big money, Earl Jacques and Dave Sokola, wind up being the only sponsors of these two bills:

The first bill requiring the report by the end of March, and the second pushing it to June 30th.

Legislature ends on 6/30/2016.  This report is due on 6/30/2016.  There will be no time to debate or even look at what was proposed.

That is the bill’s intent.

Whenever anything comes up due on the last day of legislature, we can be assured that someone is trying to sneak something in, the majority of Delawareans don’t want…

What the original bill was intended to accomplish was a way to shift more funding to poorer state school districts.   it sounds good in principle.

But if one takes the actual record of deals stuck in the middle of the night by this administration, deals such as Fisker, Bloom Energy, TDC, Kinder Morgan, and Race To The Top, with 5 straight losses it does not look good for the sixth.

Anything other than a late night end-run-sneak, was no reason to pass this bill…

It is past time to hold accountable, those who are accountable for Delaware’s Educational fiasco. 

Our legislators at least for now, seem to be failing miserably at doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

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rich monopoly man

Courtesy of The O Zone

You hear the handle turn, you here the wheels start to grind.. and then the sound.. the awful sound begins to screech… “Your taxes are going up; we can’t pay more money… Vote NO. It’s outrageous to pay more in taxes… Cut Administrators.. Blah, blah, blah”…and then the sound gets softer and softer and fades quieter and quieter into silence until the next person turns the handle and …”Your taxes are going up… we can’t…..”

And it’s a very small tiny ridiculously low amount of people who believe this crap. .. but they are highly motivated to vote.. Why?  Because they get $15 dollars a hour to hand out pamphlets, call radio stations, and write letters to the editor… They are hired by large landowners, the developers…

The developers own thousands of acres. Just $200 an acre costs them  a minimum of $200,000 dollars a year.. But, they are making hundreds of million each single year so that much money is still like losing a penny to us… But they still pay people to squawk.

The estimated average is that the increase will be around $237 a year… That means that half of the people who can afford to, will pay higher than that amount and half those who are living on tight incomes, will pay less….

Most houses sell for $240, 000 but they are assessed at 1974 levels.. Which means $60,000 for the above if an older house..   At $60,000 assessment, the current tax is $852 per year.   (Go to that site if you know your assessed value),  Your new tax will be roughly $180 dollars more… Divide that by month, it is  $15.00 more you will find added to your escrow when you pay your mortgage…

If your house is at $100,000, and the 1974 assessment is $30,000, the current tax is $426 and the increase will be $90 more per year or $7.50 per month…

If you rent, this referendum costs you absolutely nothing..

If you are on the high end and have a house assessed at $500,000, your current assessment is $7,100… Your new assessment will be $8,600 ($1,500 more).  That huge (cough, cough) jump puts you at an increase of $125 a month. Which it you own a $500,000 house, your cost increase is less than normal utility fluctations…  Big deal.

So all the screaming is not from little people owning house, unless they got whipped up by someone with big money… The screaming is by the huge landowners who lease property…

But local real-estate experts insist that good schools DO lead to higher property values, and several studies done in other cities have found strong correlations between highly performing schools and higher house prices.

So defeating the referendum can cost your home to plummet in value by $120,000 balanced against voting “no” you saving your pocketbook $15.00 a month…

It is past time to raise revenue for schools.  Many have gone years with no increase, yet costs increase every year. Just as your costs have increased, so have those of all schools. All districts must continue having referenda as often as possible until a “yes” vote occurs, simply because they are out of money.  Referenda are the only way districts can increase revenues.  Christina for example this year cut 90 teachers and raised.class sizes from 20 to 30 per class.  That does not bode well for better learning. it does not bode well for your children….

That makes this a no-brainer.  Vote Yes for the referendum…

I forgot to tell you something… Even though at the top I said these “NO” voters were a small sliver of the population,… they all vote.  And even though parents of school children can easily overwhelm them 1,000 to one, they don’t every referendum because only 5000 of those 50,000 parents supporting children even bother to go out and vote… Just 6000 “NO” votes were able to derail the last referendum, because only 5000 yes votes bothered to show up…

If you don’t vote, the no’s win… That simple. Everybody who cares about Delaware, needs to vote to make Christina District a better place for all.

Bottom line, this extra tax is not a burden and you have so much benefit to gain for your yes vote.  Don’t be dissuaded from voting in YOUR best interest by some fly-by-election-night outfit that is paid for, owned, and controlled by the wealthy landed class of citizens who can easily afford to give up billions for our schools, but cry over giving up 30 additional cents per $100 dollars of assessed value… For a nice $200,000 home, you pay $15.00 a month more for the privilege of living in a district with great schools…

People lie, lie, lie… Math never does.

 

 

This is unprecedented.  $21 million… Remember the casinos who were $12 million in the hole?  Oh, its a tragedy they whined; we’ll lose jobs, we have no choice but to reimburse the profits being lost by the casino owners…. Remember when they asked for $37 million the next year?  Again…. We have to do it…

Well, guess what… Jobs are being lost at Christina too. And it is solely because of Charters….  Minus $21 million!

We pay tax money to fund our public schools.  Privateers bribed our legislature (piloted by Sokola (see Exceptional Delaware) into allowing charter schools steal money from public schools…

If we paid taxes to New Castle County and as an example, one fifth of then were being sent to Sussex County because Sam Wilson was a friend of Charlie Copeland and needed a welfare hand-out… we would have a legal case on hand. Our money is collected for our district.  If we paid the state that same money then such would be legal; it would be in their jurisdiction.. But we don’t pay the state… We pay our district….

From the 2015 Budget conveniently provided by Those In Favor, we see that Current Expense Tax Receipts for the Christina District is pegged at $76,856,000 out of which is immediately stolen by Charters: $20,146,672…. So the Charters take (20,146,672/76,856,000) or 26.21% of every tax dollar you give.

For every $500 you are assessed in Christina…….  $131 IS NOT GOING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS… It is going to Charters…..

Which means that for every $12,000 required to teach each child in your school…. there is only $8854 dollars going to your child’s education…. 

This is Dave Sokola’s fault (again, see Exceptional Delaware)……

Now, compounded to this dilemma is the fact that with the absence of any Race To The Top money those programs pushing Common Core are still costing the district close to $14 million per year… (which incidentally is close to its shortfall…   Getting rid of both Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessment could make the Christina District financially solvent as is…

But adding the Common Core costs upon to the Charter School costs compounds the problem yielding a loss of $35,000,000 dollars or 45.45% of your local tax dollars…

So those who complain that they aren’t getting the bang for their buck are correct… they are getting exactly 55% of the bang for their buck…

If we simply cut charters off of district funding… and if we simply dropped the Smarter Balanced Assessment, this District would instantly have back $35,000,000 of its lost money to plump down into making its school system one of the best in the state….

The problem is not teachers.  The problem is not schools. The  problem is not poverty. …. .The problem is not the district…. The problem with education in Delaware all comes from the Corporate Reform movement which is trying hard to bankrupt public schools so they can put in charters and be paid royally for doing so….

The even bigger problem with that, is that only 17% of charters are better off than the schools they replace.  37% are actually worse!!!!!  And the balance sort of muddle as the same…. Building charters only gives you a one in six shot at improving the education of those children, while guaranteeing the demise of every one of the 79% remaining in public schools because of the local lack of funding which you can plainly see here in Delaware

We need a class action lawsuit that seeks an injunction of continuing any charter school in 2017…  Next it needs to be up to the individual legislators to throw out the lobbyists and listen to real people for a change, and remove all charters from district funding… All the tax base goes to the feeder school’s district   And we need to remove the Smarter Balanced Assessment as our state albatross…. (Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner reference)

We can fix Christina’s problems without more taxes….. if we unite to rid ourselves of all charter schools and the Smarter Balanced Assessments…

But you see… the problem of the shortfall is plainly not that of Christina’s District… it is all Dave Sokola’s (see Exceptional Delaware)

It is just another name.  In today’s reality it speaks of those 5 people who rule the world through their influence. That influence comes strictly tied to shares of ownership…. Those 5 own directly or indirectly enough of the global economy to hold everyone in thrall.

Which when they pull in the direction of our own interests, is ok. When they don’t, we have to modify their power or lose our power..

After the past recession if truth will ever become fact, you will one day learn how we needed them to jump start our post recessional economy. No one had seed money but them. We are now suffering the residuals of that effective policy. Like chemo-therapy, what once was needed for all of us, is now not.

Essentially we continue to let them benefit from the low tax rates then in effect… We used our low tax rates to compensate for other nations use of lowly paid labor in order to help us match their end-costs and stay competitive….

With the global economic implosion the top echelon lost a large percentage and in order to make them willing to throw their leftover good money into saving it, we the people had to make sure they got something back… While profits were low, our plan worked… Now that profits are high, it is working still but to our detriment.

So it is time to change.

Historically that happens with revolutions. France, Colonial America, Ireland, as well as hundreds of documented revolts in ancient Rome line historical accounts of record, where desperate men facing desperate measures had nothing to lose in completely dismantling their society….

And whether that attempt is effective or not, surprisingly…comes down to simply a contest of strength of wills between the two contesting parties. Ultimately that means it depends on your will. Do you yourself have the will for fight for your rights and if necessary risk everything you own to remain a democratic nation?   History implies we don’t; written accounts show us democracy has not been sustainable over the long term. 

Today if every American wanted some type of revolution, there would no way of putting it down. The only way a corrupt government can continue over the wishes of its governed, is to make them prefer the evils they have over what may potentially come upon them if they should ever decide to rise up…..

So as one example the force used against Occupy crowds was there to make others wary of joining in; not so much to wreak havoc on those few demonstrators who were as demonstrators, extremely almost to a fault, well behaved…..

The signal given was “yes, you can have free speech” as long as it is first approved by us…. Those few who picked their battles to demonstrate against Liberals and Socialists do not have cops dressed in intimidation descend upon their displays or bombard their gathering with helicopter backwash… Instead they have tacit approval and are left alone….

Now, none of us alive today felt affinity to those saying… “Rah, rah, rah, Support the Kochs” even though they had corporate America’s and big donor’s support solidly behind them. None of us cared to join. On the contrary in 2011, I think just about everyone felt some affinity towards the Occupy movement in one form or another so the impetus to join their ranks was very high. Many of today’s current politicians and community spokespeople were there at Occupy voting in pure democracy along with everyone else..

As an anti-authoritarian protest Tienanmen Square in China was relatively harmless in what it “did”, but was extremely damaging to the Communist Chinese government for what it “represented”, freedom of expression. Having happy people in a square is not a problem. A problem is that all other Chinese will next do the same and together coalesce and form a counter-government that almost everyone would prefer over the current existing one…

Therefore the brutality at Tienanmen Square was not necessary to clean a square of very harmless happy people… It was necessary to scare all others from doing the same… “Look what happens to you if you challenge your government”…

Now there was a huge risk in undertaking that controversial Chinese governmental policy. It could have flipped Just as easily as having a well cast die turn on its side; in turn it could have created the opposite effect causing a reaction like:… “Oh, no. They are killing us off, All of us need to join and overthrow every Communist Government leader now”… If every village simultaneously lynched, killed, or ran off their communist party, there would be nothing the Communists could do… They are hugely outnumbered.

But the Chinese leader read his population right. The massive numbers of the working class kowtowed and went back into their dutiful trained mode of keeping their head down to keep from having it cut off. On the other hand, the Russian junta two years later got it wrong… Just like the British got it wrong in America prior to 1776. Just like the French got it wrong in Vietnam in 1956. Just like the Russians and Americans both got it wrong in Afghanistan….

When large numbers of people choose to fight… it becomes very hard to regain control… One can only ultimately regain control as is ISIS today, by force and horror, and that force has to be completely overwhelming and destructively horrific enough to wipe out all bad blood, leaving only good available after one takes control… Very messy.

Our forefathers were much closer to violent history. Their ancestors unlike ours were there simply because whenever they attacked, or were attacked, they won and overcame adversity. Whoever lost got rounded up and killed off and their genes were long gone.

The founding fathers scoured history for a way to stop that trend from continuing in this brand new land. Only those of us most astute in historical archives are aware of their knowledge of interstate religious “wars” that took place here, on these shores, primarily between catholics and protestants, or Puritans and the established church… They were “wars” in quotation marks because they really only amounted to raids since so few people were here at the time.. But… they did their damage in spilled blood, but now todays children and most of the general population know nothing of it and think America was always one big happy family.

That big happy family came about solely because of the system established by the founding fathers. A system that was impartial almost to a fault, and left judgments strictly in the hands of society’s members whoever happened to be in power at that moment time…. Each of those people had to constantly receive the affirmation from those governed or lose their position to someone deemed more preferable by a majority of their constituents…..

And it’s worked so far… Just like Democracy in Rome also worked for about 250 years… Today all Americans are 12 years away from that mark in Roman history when at 250 years, Romans gave up their chartered right to rule themselves and instead settled for accepting whomever grabbed the mantel of tyrant or person holding absolute power.

Indeed. Our parallel is not only enumerative, but reflects parallels in our societies as well. We have a media that is controlled. We have the ability to monitor every citizen; to control them by intimidation over “what might happen” based on our knowledge of their peccadilloes. We are treating fellow human beings as things to be exterminated instead of human being fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, and grandparents who are for the most part, just like us. We are at the point where as serfs we have only two options: accept what our master gives, or starve. There is no opportunity to change or step up. Suck it or else.

Likewise right now we have education slowly closing its ranks to the poor, and giving top income earners a worthy jump in life over those whose lot was to be born in the 99%…. We have corporations poisoning our food, and killing the Monarch butterfly with our representative Congress accepting its private donations and voting willingly to kill both us and many other species, even outlawing counter-studies or discussion to prevent anything bad from surfacing which could cause masses of people to change their minds.. We have energy now monopolized into the hands of very few, and so to live, must accept their price or perish.

Like the Romans we now have continuous war because both parties in Washington now get rich off off it.

So yes. From a historical point, we may very well see democracy disappear in our lifetimes and for most of us if it did, would bode little change. We’d still work, get drunk, entertain ourselves, and go to bed. Romans continued as a dominant society 400 more years after giving up their rights to tyrants. But for others, doing this will mean extermination. It will mean life’s disruption. It will mean a return to slavery… Simply because there is no longer any possible way to override the will of whatever directive each tyrant decrees…

Like every prior civilization, eventually our governmental society will soon become corrupt; since when one is in favor by the rulers one is set for life, the best way to curry favor quickly is to bestow gifts: gifts paid for by you and me. Currently the only thing keeping Democracy in its place now, is the lucky fact that no one is seriously challenging it. But give us one major disruption and someone to effectively blame it on democracy’s inadequacies.. and that tyrant suddenly looks very appealing. That so far is what we have not had, but odds say we will face soon if we do not decide once and for all right now, who we really want controlling our lives: representatives of ourselves or a monarch….

The prime question we currently face right now is how to cut the string running from the handlers to the puppets… The handlers have no real effective power. Do you even know who the top 5 hedge fund holders are? But having Carper cast a certain vote. Have Coons cast a certain vote. Have Carney vote a certain way and with 60 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House, certain policies do quietly get set…. Policies that hurt 99% of Americans, always still squeak by with only a few votes which is all they need.

The reason we are at this point is because when that argument was made, that people with money should have more clout in government over ordinary people who don’t have money… it won. And it stood up in court… Citizens United opened the door for money to takeover our government and leave 99% of our people in its dust. The original idea behind Democracy was that every eligible man had one vote. The new forthcoming idea is that if you have a hundred million dollars, you should have 100 million more times of voting influence over someone worth one dollar….

In effect, the worth of any person through this decision now became more important than the individuality of that same person…

We come from pioneer stock. It wasn’t always that way. Our ancestors knew that worth was based on luck but survivability was based on effort and that every person had an equal share in making Democracy work, and every person should therefore have an equal representation….

What Citizen’s United did was turn this original idea on its head. The idea that money spent was a form of free speech immediately gave power to those with all the money… They now had all the free speech… It was a bad idea and one that disenfranchised 315 million Americans from their own government.

Now. Even if a politician-elect is a great people’s candidate, one who was very humanly oriented in their original candidacy, after one term they too are forced into this reality of kowtowing to those who can break them. This explains the fall of Chris Coons and John Carney. As soon as the reality hits of being in Washington, it becomes explained very quickly to them by their brethren that to stay in power one must acquiesce to power. There are great forces against which if you don’t comply, can flood your constituency with a lot of trouble against which anyone would prefer not to deal.

If you are in a solid party-controlled seat, they make someone with resources primary you. If you are in a close two-party election seat, someone with resources will challenge you.. the money will be forthcoming to them… Amazing amounts of money you can only dream of seeing… (O’Donnell- Coons)…

If you were in power… why on earth would you even listen to a single person like me? Seriously. I can do nothing more than give you one vote. But Acme Corporation, rich off of Wily Coyote’s sales, can buy challengers against you for pennies on the dollar. If you vote no, when its PAC says yes… you have to question which really is the best for your citizens long-termed interests? For if you vote no as you wish, and lose the next election round, someone much worse will be thrust in your place making all those same decisions. It becomes apparent rather quickly that if you wish to keep your values for which you were elected, you need to do the dance of listening to constituents and obfuscating from them all your votes for the power brokers as best you possibly can. Ironically under Citizen’s United, this becomes indeed the preferable course of action… The last thing we need is someone replacing Carney with Copeland in the next election… Then the little people have lost all clout…

So what needs to happen is that all the ground rules quickly change in campaign finance so the power becomes more balanced between those with money and those with numbers who have little money. And that is easily done. We already did it with McCain-Feingold. That is until it was deemed unconstitutional following the Citizens United decision. The court said any containment of influence by wealthy individuals or PAC’s was a violation of free speech… What happened next was that the new influence of unlimited money, in turn violated our rights to free speech by isolating us from all ongoing dialogue, since their ad-buys block my voice out…. I now lack the free speech once afforded me because of the effects of Citizen’s United… Which means if I can no longer speak out for any of your interests, then you too have lost your right to free speech ultimately because you do not have over $100 million dollars to spend simply to get access to listeners.

Unless Citizens United is quickly overturned, our government becomes a shill for those 5 people by default.  What it has done is create an environment very ripe for all the tools we used originally to create a police society protecting us from “terrorism”, to now be used upon ourselves to shift into a new society, one complacent to the loss of our right to determine our own future…..

That scenario is NOT democracy in action….

It can be explained quite simply……  Here is their district’s 10 year voting history…..

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May 27, 2015………………..Total Votes Cast……….11,042;  FOR……….5074;   AGAINST………5968

February 24, 2015…………Total Votes Cast…………8195;   FOR……….2119;   AGAINST………6076

May 25, 2010………………..Total Votes Cast…………6072;    FOR………3049;    AGAINST……..3023

November 6, 2007……….. Total Votes Cast………..9208:    FOR……….6600;   AGAINST……..2608  (bond issue)

January 26, 2006………….. Total Votes Cast………..7626:    FOR……….2242;   AGAINST……..5384

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As one can see around 6000 people have consistently voted against raising taxes…. (during the recession of 2010 it looks like there was too little money to fund the usual vote drive against taxation, so 3000 votes did not show up)…..

But with the pro-referendum advocacy this month….. 3000 new voters did show up…. and all of them voted yes for the referendum……

It just wasn’t enough…. but Christina is on the right track…  But as these figures show, unlike Red Clay, or Capitol… this district has been very harsh against passing referendums….  One might equate that passing a referendum in Christina District, is the equivalent of getting a ward to carry Obama when it is registered 75% Republican…. yet that is almost what Christina District was able to do……

Pretty amazing, really…..

Bottom line is now we know… and I wish I had seen this prior for it gives a the solid line we need to measure our efforts… for it is obvious that the anti-referendum-nuts, are capped out at 6000…. We just need to organize and get pro-referenders up over and above that number…..

Which can easily be done by one piece of paper handed out to every parent when they register their child for kindergarten, explaining how every good parent must vote “yes” on every referendum and why only that choice can give their child the best education possible over the next 12 years….. Staying at home on voting day is not an option; it hurts ones child…..

There are roughly 1250 new children entering the system every year… Engage those parents…….  (the 6000 should be dying off any day now)…..

This headline explains a lot.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Acquire Scholastic Ed-Tech Businesses for $575M
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So what does that mean.

  • It means with consolidation that many (almost half) high paying jobs will be lost.
  • It means that whereas two independent entities were previously competing on innovative educational techniques, now there will be only one, meaning less innovation.
  • It means that $545 million  (5 Delaware Race To The Top Grants) will not now be spent on education because it was just spent on this.
  • And it means that from society’s overall point of view, that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was overpaid $575 million. We could have gotten our goods cheaper….

But whenever a larger company buys up a smaller company, all of society loses.  Any efficiency you gain, is sucked up right out of daily economic activity.  it goes straight into a vault of the profiteers, never to be used in active economic activity again. And educational companies like everything else have simply gotten too big….

You can regulate companies, but that is a nightmare of arguing and documentation…  There is an easier way… Tax them Tax away the money they are wasting on petty purchases… Tax them fairly, and thoroughly. IF HMH’s money had been taxed fairly and thoroughly prior to this company’s purchase, or if much of that had been put toward research, capital investment, or raising employees salaries just to avoid taxes, all would be better off…

As it is now, there was no benefit to anyone other then those purchasing.  If we were talking about quarters for gumball gum, we could probably live with it… But we are not… We are talking about 5 Delaware Race To The Top Grants, now completely wasted for 99.999999999% of the population…..

This big money is why you are never heard…  If you want your country back, you have better vote on those who promise to raise tax rates on the top 1%….   In truth, we really don’t need more taxes. We need more real investment and every chart the US Treasury and Federal Reserve can procure, show that real investment was a lot higher when any money leftover was taxed before going to the shareholders. I hope you too can through this one example exactly how the Bush Tax Cuts have changed our country from the land of bustling opportunity we had up to 2000…. to today….

The object lesson is that we should have no deficit by always paying our bills and those with most of the money, should be the ones paying them….

From Politico:

“For all of the furor about the Common Core tests, one development has gone largely unnoticed: The federal funds that have sustained both the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortia are running out. Smarter Balanced’s budget [http://1.usa.gov/1waLNNW] shows its $175 million Race to the Top grant will carry it through the end of September. PARCC aims to stretch its funding through the fall of 2015 [http://1.usa.gov/1q3I4UU]. But both consortia expect to stay in business for many years to come. They will develop assessments and tools for teachers; set cut scores and monitor student performance; and serve as a conduit for collaboration among states. So how will they stay in business?”

The federal funds have run out… For Common Core to continue, state funds must now be used….

It is cheaper now to forgo the tiny bit of federal Dollars which will be lost, and pay for those services ourselves, than it is to go forward with these fake tests…..  which actually cost us almost double what we will get from the Feds…

The Feds provide roughly 6.6%.

Of that, lots can’t be touched because it includes things like money from the Department of Agriculture for free and reduced lunches, or money for special needs students. What they really mean is that we could (not necessarily “will”) take a hit to Title I funding which is a mainstay to many schools in with high poverty populations. But–and it is a really big BUT–that still only represents about a 1-1.5% funding cut even if the Feds take away ALL the Title I funding. That deficit could easily be made up at the State and local levels by (a) trimming out the bureaucratic support for that funding; and (b) money saved from eliminating large parts of the testing regime. But, in reality, the Feds aren’t going to take away anything but a percentage of that money if they even do that.”

One percent of the state educational budget is a measly $13 million….  The Smarter Balanced Tests at the very minimum, (governor’s estimate) cost $20 million a year to operate.

In this scenario, the image originally pervaded upon Greg Lavelle, (who is at fault for the SBA by switching his vote from “nay” to “yay”),, that the DOE had no other option other then the Smarter Balanced Assessment, is actually a better plan than going forward with the SBA.

When you have something that is a negative number… just reaching 0 is an improvement…..

So kill all funding for the SBA… We don’t need or want to spend state tax dollars on that worthless piece of junk…  It has done nothing positive… It’s results are flawed; it’s creates huge unnecessary animosity among the state’s parents, and it will ruin some local and state political careers…

We don’t need it; especially if it is no longer free.

Delaware’s 1 percent reported average income of $863,734 in 2012.  There are 4747 filers in Delaware who meet the 1% threshold.

What that means is that half of those, 2424 have to make more than $863,734…

Currently everyone making more than $60,000 each year, pays the same marginal rate. … So all these 2424 pay the highest rate of 6%…..

So if all 2424 average above $863,734 then the minimum income available to be taxed would be this product of both.

2525  X  $863,734  =   $2,093,691,216   That is as in two billion…

Therefore, if we raise tax rates on this group, with each percent, we would raise $20,936,912. ($21 million) Enough to fund all of Delaware’s casino losses for a full year or the average spent on Race To The Top per each of its 5 year cycle; or a one percent raise for all of Delaware’s state employees.

Keep this in light of the startling fact that this group grew incomes at 15%….  15% of $2 billion is $300 million.   So whereas this group of 2424 top 0.5%’rs grew incomes at $300 million yet paid the same rate as someone making $60,000… that person stuck making $60,000 lost income at 1.6% but still paid the same rate as those earning a combined $300 million a year….

Which is why saying we can’t fund seniors credits for school taxes is nothing less than a joke…. Perhaps such might be true, IF WE WERE TAXING THE TOP 0.5% AT ABSURD HIGHLY RIDICULOUS RATES.  But we aren’t.. 

  • California charges 13.3%… It’s economy is booming btw.
  • Oregon charges 9.9%… Doing well too.
  • Minnesota at 8.95%… No harm there.
  • Iowa 8.98%… Those corn huskers are quite happy there.
  • New York 8.82%… Everyone “Hearts” NY.
  • Our neighbor, New Jersey?  8.97%….

Even Republican Scott Walker’s state, Wisconsin charges higher:  7.65%!!!

There is a lot of room to expand….

Here is the recommended rate schedule that Delaware needs to implement.

  • Incomes over $400 billion   @ 12 %
  • Incomes between $400 and $100 billion  @ 11%
  • Incomes between $100 and $1 billion  @ 10%
  • incomes between  $1 billion and $400 million @ 9%
  • incomes between $400 million and $100 million  @ 8 %
  • incomes between $100 million and 1 million.   @  7%
  • No change for incomes under $1 million…

The reason for the above is contingent on how much each level of income impacts the local economy.  Those who don’t provide a local benefit with their purchases, should be taxed higher than those who do.  And keep in mind this is all taxed marginally… That means the the first million for all of the 2424 is taxed the same, and only those amounts that expand over into the higher brackets will pay out at a higher rate….

For any sacrifices to be borne at all by those losing income at rates of 1.6% without ramping up the donations exculpated from those whose incomes rose 15% over the same identical time frame, is simply unjust, immoral, and positively Un-American.

These people have to be taxed more.  No if’s; No and’s; No but’s.

It is so obvious… Like hitting you in the eye with a big Pizza Pie!

Now that we’ve started growing our economy, it has become a persistent theme… “We need money for this”; “we need money for that”; “we need money for both and for other things too”.  “We need money”, pure and simple.. Am I not right? Pick up any paper. Listen to any radio newscast; read any internet news source…. (did you notice I completely ignored television entirely? You should ignore them too if you don’t already ).

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but (and this is a theoretical question…):  when you want something that you don’t have….a)  do you go asking for it among people who don’t have any themselves, or b) among people who have lots of it to spare?

Hmmm. I wonder…. (finger on chin; one eye looking at the sky)  Should I ask those who have, … or those who don’t have….

Which makes Markell’s asking our Seniors to forgo their credit on school taxes allegedly to balance the budget, nonsensical..  Especially when the top 1% of Delawareans by simply adding a few lines to the tax code. can cough up $70 million a year… (enough to roughly fund 3 years of casino shortfalls) and not experience any loss of spendable cash,

So why would someone ignore those who COULD give, and threaten those who have NOTHING to give?  There are probably many reasons, but none meet the level of good straight forward reasoning… For if you truly want something, asking someone who doesn’t have it is absolutely pointless….

What Seniors don’t have, the 1% does have;  (that is why they are in the one percent.)

So, being theoretical again, wouldn’t it make great sense to turn the tables on Markell and actually go forward and spitefully raise the taxes on HIS friends, those in the top one percent, oh… let us say…. about the same percent that his tax hike would have hit Seniors pinching pennies on limited incomes… to around the percentage of a 100% increase….

So it would come out that on incomes over let us say, $100 million dollars, instead of the 6% they are currently assessed, (the exact same percent as someone earning $60,000) we would hit them with a 100% increase (another 6%)  and bump that owed amount to 12%…  We could then graduate the layers from 6% to 9% over a range of income levels.. and except for the rates on the top echelons, the percentages would still be lower than neighboring New Jersey.

This gives us $70 million in new revenue. Each and every year… We can even blow it on the casino’s if we want….

We need the General Assembly to respond to Markell’s challenge with a tax increase of this nature.   Now, the point is really not so much of whether it passes or not..  But the point is that by having a progressive coalition sponsor and at the very least, put it on the floor, (especially those who hail from districts where doing such would make them a cult hero for life, and cost them zero switched votes since no millionaire would ever vote for them anyway), it becomes a bone of contention, and a topic of conversation in letters-to-the-editor pages across this state; on Al Mascitti and Rick Jensen; on WDDE and other WGMD down south, and gets talked about on both sides…

Because there is a funny thing that always happens when good ideas get talked about in the open, and one can hear both sides.  They start to get followers.  And as more and more followers pile on, as more and more support for this bill becomes apparent..  as more people start supporting what appears to be a very common sensical means of pulling our society back together, of fixing the broken door jambs that have been stepped over too long, of repairing leaking cracks too long ignored across our aged infrastructure (in both physical and human capital), then Jack will rue the day he ever threatened Senior with tax hikes they could never pay…. while ignoring those who can easily pay 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 times the amounts we will be asking of them.

And the idea that we have to cut back now on very essential stuff in what is now a richly growing economy,  all because we don’t have money when it is there, right in front of us, dangling for us to take it: is plain stupid.  Really…  Would YOU not cash in a winning Powerball ticket because you didn’t want Powerball LLC. to lose any money over you?   Somethings are smart. Some things are really dumb… Not cashing in a winning Powerball, or not raising the tax rates on the top one percent, are both…. about as equally dumb.

The point of placing this bill on the table, is that if we generate significant conversation and make a run at passing a 12% top state tax rate, or even just get that conversation out there, and get 500,000 Delawarean voter’s hopes up that yes, this legislature might finally do something responsible, and still fail by being one or two votes short… the very fact we did so helps it become far easier to have the General Assembly slip in and vote on the last day of session, a bill that raises the wealthy’s rates by 1%, or 2%, or 3%, or 4%…. And that, would be a godsend to Seniors…..

Society across the board has simply outgrown all this “cut taxes to grow” hype.  We tried it; it failed; now we remember the good years back when taxes were a tiny bit higher and we were all, everyone of us, far much happier, far better off, and all of us facing what looked to be a very, very bright future. …

Most Republicans smoked dope in high school. Some libertarians did also.  Democrats, maybe, but not so much. Therefore in America at least 47% of the voting public in General Election years, and 51% of the voting public in off-years, is ignorant about American History… The important stuff.

America was founded on freedom, and whenever that fails to work well, our law making bodies add a regulation… Regulations like everything else can be bad or good, but for the most part, the regulations we do have all had to be voted into being by a widely diverse group of people, and therefore there is probably some good reason we have them.

With Dodd-Frank, the reason is obvious.  But Republicans seem to have forgotten both crash deregulation brought on, and their catastrophic loss of both chambers of Congress and the Presidency because of it.

Dodd-Frank simply puts a limit on gambling… No, you can’t bet your domicile at Delaware Park.  No, you can’t sell your car there and bet it on roulette.  No you can’t put your kids into prostitution to feed your gambling habit.

We have to regulate things like that. Otherwise if we don’t and someone does them, they can keep doing them without a law to stop them.

That is why the idiocy of cutting regulations is just that idiocy.. Perhaps I can grant that with Google now, we can search and find perhaps one or two regulations that would benefit society if we removed them.  But they certainly would not be in Dodd Frank.

Those are there to prevent what happened in 2008 from happening again…  That’s impossible you say… It was 80 years between both Great Depressions… That is a lifetime… Nothing happened in between!

Exactly,! Because laws like Dodd-Frank were held in place which limited the amount of our money one could gamble. Two bills repealed that oversight and bam, in 2008 we were in crises.

And now, we want to return to the instability of those years prior to the Great Depression of 1932?

The Great Recession was solely the result of an economy built on overextended consumer credit and risky mortgages; the crisis began in March, 2008 as investment bank Bear Stearns became the first of dozens of major American institutions to fail or be bailed out by the Fed. Bear Stearns would soon be joined by AIG, Lehman Brothers, GM, and Countrywide, to name a few.

Some regulation are on the books for a reason… such as regulating derivatives.  While derivatives were regulated, gas stayed at 99 cents a gallon for 8 years… Remember that?  And just as soon as we deregulated Derivatives, it climbed all the way to $4.25 a gallon before the collapsing market dropped the price down to real market, which we shockingly discovered was just $1.70 a gallon.   The Dodd-Frank regulation on derivatives has returned us again to low prices (faster due to help from our Sultanic friends in the Gulf),

And as soon as it gets removed, the hedge funds buy it low…. wait and sell it high…

We played this game before:  the year 2000, the end of Clinton’s term. The spending bill passed in September were held up through December in conference committee by Sen. Phil Gramm.  The Omnibus funding bill that year, had a rider that deregulated all derivatives from government oversight.  Over those 4 months leading up to passage, parts of the government had been officially unfunded.  Government employees wondered if they could even spend for Christmas.  Finally on the very last day of that Congress. by a voice vote only seconds before adjournment, all conference committee (Phil Gramm) changes were approved and the bill got sent to Clinton.

Unfortunately he signed it… and we paid those hedge fund investors a lot more than we should have been paying for our gasoline. Up to $2.50 on every single gallon!  We also sold bad mortgages as derivatives, world-wide… and when those mortgages failed (as we knew they had to), the world economy collapsed.

We should not make the same mistake again. We really cannot afford that same mistake again.  With hindsight, a new democratic Congress would have been sworn, and could rectify that before Clinton left office… But tired and in the last waning days of his presidency, one cannot blame him for not doing so.  Who wants to end with a pie-fight?

And I’m sure it seemed like a good idea … up to 8 years later.  But is was wrong. It was dumb, and we paid dearly for it. How we paid dearly for it…

Veto the changes, and then see if they can find 70 Senators willing to go on public record while all America is watching and screw over the American people.

Removing good regulation will be our downfall.. Don’t let that happen.