Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Politics vs Governance


Will be interesting to see how long this can be prolonged until negotiations actually begin to take place... reasonable discourse could really help move this along & benefit all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Data Driven Michigan - Tax Collections!


This site reveals interesting data on the state of Michigan's tax collection. The impact of drastic changes in tax collection over a two year period has had a massive impact on local government. An example of a struggling local government and inadequate revenue streams is my favorite little city: Ypsilanti. Between 2008-2010 Ypsi Township has experienced a -12.87% decrease in tax collection, while the City of Ypsi has been hit by a -15.72% decrease in collections. These numbers explain recent dramatic reductions in police and fire services, as well as street lighting and other vital public services. Meanwhile, less than half an hour away, Ann Arbor City has only experienced a -3.12% change in tax collections. This is interesting because the cities are not only so close, but also because they are both towns with large public universities. However, the industries and populations of each town are very different . Ann Arbor has much less of an industrial based economy; Ypsi relies more upon service and labor (also historically the auto industry). The change in tax revenue is evidence of the disproportionate hardship experienced in industrial towns as opposed to more diversified, academic based cities, caused by a downturn in the economy. Unfortunately, this results in massive cuts in social programs and government operations in areas that have a far greater need for such services (such as Ypsi).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Paul Krugman is right


Krugman provides a compelling point that increasing taxes will make a significant impact on the deficit.
The increase in tax revenue would almost certianly prevent the potential downgrading of the United State's credit rating


Friday, November 18, 2011

Millionaires approach Congress for a tax raise


Would be great if this works and Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy are allowed to expire. Hopefully even more will be accomplished from this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Michigan raising taxes on the poor, cutting benefits


Cutting EITC from 20% to 6% of federal credit seems pretty significant. Not sure Michigan can afford to be cutting taxes on businesses while more and more people fall out of the margin into poverty.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bill Clinton discusses tax rates

Bill Clinton explains his view on tax policy, average tax rates and corporate tax deductions. Interesting points brought up about the cost of externalities as a factor in coal versus solar and alternative energy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NYC smoking tax and revenue


This is an example of a tax that could be causing people to turn to alternative options such as roll your own cigarettes or out of state purchases to avoid paying the additional cost of the tax. since cigarettes are a vice and a relatively inelastic demand for the product exists, the tax can be pretty high before people will change behaviors (resulting in deadweight loss). The tax could be past a point where revenue is maximized on the laugher curv, this has been acceptable because the change in behavior of quitting smoking is an externality that has positive consequences on health of society. But if the tax is high enough where people are turning to alternatives that still allow them to smoke, but for cheaper, then the tax is not maximizing revenue and is also not resulting in the externality of health benefits as people are abandoning the habit all together.