Senate approves mediocre budget

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Raising the capital gains tax isn’t the end of the world. But it’s unfortunate that such a solution was the result of political cowardice in the face of big oil companies, rather than a rational assessment of state priorities.

To avoid any added cost at the gasoline pump, the Senate plan would raise the capital gains tax on investors and property sellers, with the exception of those selling farm property, a move they said would protect working-class and middle-class families.

Really? Or will it also an enormous loophole for large agro-business firms? It’s amazing how attaching the word “farm” to any policy immediately qualifies it to be a “working class” policy. The estate tax would demonstrate the point even more poignantly, as it has never helped any working class American. At least those working class Americans who aren’t also millionaires.

In total, the two-year tax increase would amount to $486 million and comes as Doyle and Democratic lawmakers also propose to increase the income tax rate by one percentage point on couples making more than $300,000 a year.

Although it’s embarassing that the Democrats surrendered to oil lobby pressure, it’s good that their alternative method of raising money was progressive in nature, targetting mainly high income residents.

Looking through the budget (thank God they finally make a document I can search for words in), it is clear that changes to state tax law were made to target job creation, with new benefits for companies or persons who “perform services” in economically distressed areas. Additionally, per-employee 10% tax credits are given to businesses for each employee who makes at least $20,000 and less than $100,000.

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2 Responses to “Senate approves mediocre budget”

  1. sccollins Says:

    Hey Jack, I’m using your blog to research for that class project I mentioned to you. One tiny correction: it’s “agribusiness” not “agro-business”.

    Good post, though. Trying to balance the 2011-2013 budget has made me appreciate your blog more.

    -Stephen

  2. sccollins Says:

    By the way, you should blog about this REALLY AWESOME student group named Slow Food UW. Go to slowfooduw.org

    Two Fridays ago we orchestrated a breakfast at Rheta’s–the new Chad Caf.

    You could title your post “Student group aims to eliminate shitty food from UW dining facilities”.

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