Radio Goldy

(Source: The Tax Foundation

(Data source: The Tax Foundation)

I’ll be on the John Carlson Show on 570-KVI during the 3PM hour this afternoon, talking with John about the beverage industry-backed Initiative 1107, which would repeal recently passed tax hikes on carbonated beverages, bottled water and candy.

No doubt John and his callers will repeat the mantra that we need to further slash state government, not increase taxes to deal with the new economic reality, which is why I’m reposting the chart above plotting Washington state and local taxes as a percentage of personal income from 1977 through 2008, and compared to the national average. As you can see, WA taxes as a percentage of the total economy is near a thirty-year low at the moment, after plummeting dramatically from the mid 1990’s, and is well below the national average.

(And in case you’re wondering where I cherry-picked my numbers, it’s from the conservative Tax Foundation, the same source Eyman often uses to support his preposterous claims.)

Comments

  1. 2

    ba spews:

    Of course, the wingnutia will just argue that Washington will be at a huge economic disadvantage if we raise our taxes to be closer to the national average.

    After all, thanks to our state’s especially low taxes, Washington’s economy is going gangbusters and far outperforming the nation as we lead the national recovery. Right?

    Not.

    And all those millionaires who want to live here are starting businesses right and left, driving down our state’s unemployment rate and rebuilding our economy. Right?

    Not.

    The simplistic mantra that “lower taxes make for a good business climate” is an oversimplification to the point of being an out-and-out lie.

  2. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–
    Did you read this part of the report?
    http://taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf

    Not sure precisely what they included and did not include. Seems like in one part they are assuming businesses can merely “pass on” certain taxes so didn’t count them.
    Did they include Unemployment & Workers Comp. businesses pay?
    Did they include B&O Tax?
    Did they include local Utility Sales Tax?
    Did they include Permits & other fees?
    This seems to be a very weak study that excludes lots of relevant fees & taxes.

  3. 4

    Rujax! spews:

    @3…

    Why asshole? Because the study doesnn’t support what YOU think?

    Any chance you might be wrong???

  4. 6

    sarge spews:

    Goldy: I heard you on KVI. Well done. The guy filling in for Ed Shultz this week is lame. Stephanie Miller’s stand in is better, but still not that great.

    Maybe you could get a gig filling in on 1090?

    Even though I often joke that you “have a face made for radio, but not the voice”. I am kidding. You are good on the air. You deserve your own show.

  5. 7

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–
    That’s not my point..
    My point is about what they specifically included and excluded.

    In Washington, local governments charge Utility Sales Tax on Water/Sewer/Stormwater/Garbage/Electricity/Phone. They don’t in many other States. In Washington, some City’s charge up to 30%…many in the 20% range.

    Also, Washington has a B&O Tax. From the Report you cited, it made it sound like B&O Tax is not included as it is assumed to be passed on to folks, including non-residents.

    All I’m asking for is clarification.
    You, of all people, should welcome an understanding about the details behind the numbers. Right?

  6. 8

    spews:

    Cynical @7,

    Well, it’s been a while since I’ve studied the Tax Foundation’s methodology, but my recollection is that it is pretty much like everybody else’s method of determining tax burden: divide total tax collections by total personal income. If you look at their chart, they break it down per capita, but they’re just dividing these totals by population.

  7. 9

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    @7
    Hey guys, it sounds to me like Cynical is asking a valid question. Really.

    Sure, his point that he is setting up is going to be that the study is flawed, and that really Washington’s taxes are actually a great deal higher. And that’s a problem greater than the apocalypse. Because, you know, the sun rose in the east, so we should cut taxes and shrink government.

    And his point will be wrong. Government is US. Fair taxes, and by that I mean progressive taxes at a much higher rate than we are paying, are the means be which we build what we all share – schools, infrastructure, firefighters, national parks, regulatory regimes that prevent oil spills by wrecklessly greedy companies, regulatory structures that control financial processes to protect them from parasitism. You know, good government that benefits ALL OF US. (And in such a tax regime, I would pay A LOT MORE than I do now, and I would do it gladly if it provided a kid an education, or a sick person health care rather than a Halliburton bonus or a Lockheed dividend)

    But Republicans reject that. They are greedy and selfish and they want to drown government – us – in a bathtub. Because governmant can help people, because it’s a reminder that we’re all in the same boat, a reflection of our shared destiny.

    But republicans are greedy and avaricious and sociopathic.

  8. 10

    Chuck spews:

    I think that this included the sales tax alone. If I can quote a line from an old telephone commercial, “have you seen our phone bill!!”.

  9. 11

    If you're not Dutch, then you're not much spews:

    comparing WA state burden to that of the rest of the country is the first error in logic…can you guess what the other two are?

  10. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Republicans Vote For Depressions And Against The Unemployed

    House Republicans voted against the financial regulation bill designed to prevent future economic collapses, while their Senate comrades* filibustered an unemployment benefits extension.

    * Any comparison with Stalinists through the use of this term is strictly intentional.

  11. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Mr. Cynical @various: Mr. C, how do you live with yourself? Seriously, how do you live with yourself? Doing that to goats?

  12. 15

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 11

    comparing WA state burden to that of the rest of the country is the first error in logic

    No. There’s nothing illogical at all about comparing tax burdens. There might be an error in the methodology with which the comparison is being made, but that would not constitute an error in logic.

    can you guess what the other two are?

    Given that you were wrong about the first one, my guess is that you’re equally wrong about whatever other errors of logic you’ve imagined to exist.

    But, I’m open to being corrected. That is, after all, just a guess.

  13. 16

    Don Joe spews:

    Roger @ 13

    The word being kicked around the Economics blogs is “austerian,” which I define as, “someone who is unfazed by the fiscal effects of two foreign wars, yet throws a hissy fit over the fiscal effects of extending unemployment benefits to 1.3 million Americans during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

    I think it’s also worth noting that none of these “austerians” have had to either fight in these wars or have had to suffer any significant effects of the current downturn. “Austerity” is always something that other people have to practice.

  14. 19

    spews:

    After giving us the lost decade with 7 trillion in new national debt, and nothing to show for it besides 8 million people falling below the poverty line, the Republican Scum Machine thinks it is time to tighten our belts. It’s all because the Democrats are in charge. Time to shrink guvvmint after they exploded it while giving handouts to the rich, and corporate scum.

    I think the fact that Exxon pays no income tax, and 16,000 corporations are run from one building in the Cayman Islands so they pay no (or little) taxes says it all.

    “We” are supposed to tighten “our” belts while the corporate scum, with the full backing of the entire GOP are destroying our country, our lives, and our families. All for a few campaign donations, and fat lobbying jobs after their “guvvmint” stints are up.

    And now Republiscum are trying to stop the recovery with their Ayn Rand small government fantasies that have been PROVEN to not work. The government is the only thing keeping corporate pigs from killing me for profit.

    Republicans Are A Disease.

    No really. Republicans Are A Disease.

    If they get back in charge this country is over.

  15. 20

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Seems like ObaMao is struggling with the masses in many key areas–

    Thursday, July 01, 2010

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 26% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19.

    Eighty-two percent (82%) say it’s important to cut the federal deficit in half by 2013 but just 23% think that’s even somewhat likely to happen. Just 9% say BP has done a good or excellent job responding to the oil spill while 59% rate the response as poor. As for the president, 36% rate his response as good or excellent while 47% say poor. Twenty-eight percent (28%) now believe the United States is generally heading in the right direction.

    The Deficit, BP and general direction of the Country are mighty important indicators of the acceptance or rejection of ObaMaoism.
    Seems like we are rejecting it..overwhelmingly!

  16. 22

    kt spews:

    > As you can see, WA taxes as a percentage of the total economy is near a thirty-year low at the moment

    The data you’re relying on is two years old . . . you’d need to get this up-to-date to make your point. And relying upon that stale data, the states at the very top of the list with regard to local tax burden have some of the worst budget problems today. So perhaps you’ll explain what higher burdens are supposed to bring to the table.

  17. 23

    bruceN spews:

    @20

    Independents move toward Republicans, away from Obama

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c.....io-lt.html

    And this is only going to accelerate as the economy stumbles, unemployment stays high – big jobs number tomorrow – and the market tanks.

    Then there’s that war that HA, other than Lee and a few others, is utterly silent about but that the Dem left is abandoning in droves.

  18. 24

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again.

    During the Great Depression, there was a determined group of businessmen, mostly Republican, who were steadfast against not only government welfare spending, but even private charity. They argued that unless the people were facing an imminent threat of starvation, they wouldn’t work – at least not for the meagre wages of a penny or two a day which they were offering, especially in agricultural employment. These business leaders did their best to drive off charity workers seeking to do nothing more than dispense soup and bread among the hungry – through intimidation, and at some points outright violence.

    While “The Grapes of Wrath” was fiction, it was based on real conditions. We’ve all seen the famous image of the toil of poverty and starvation on the face of an migrant farmworker, a mother of small children:

    Migrant Mother

    But the explanation I hear from the right against extending unemployment benefits isn’t a fear of the deficit. That’s what the politicians in Washington are saying. But the word being circulated among wingnuts is that if anyone can’t find a job in six months, they aren’t really trying, and if you just cut off unemployment they will somehow find a job very quickly. According to them, the 10% or so of unemployed workers in this country are either lazy or have unrealistic expectations of how much they should be paid.

    Anybody else notice the similarities in the arguments?

  19. 25

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 22

    The data you’re relying on is two years old . . . you’d need to get this up-to-date to make your point.

    Really? There’s a trend line, the trend is obvious, and there isn’t any reason to believe that the trend has changed direction. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that the slope of the trend line has steepened.

    And relying upon that stale data, the states at the very top of the list with regard to local tax burden have some of the worst budget problems today.

    Again, really? First, you’ve not shown any trend line, and, second, we have no reason to believe that state’s budgets two years ago reflect their current state today. It is now you who needs to come up with some more recent data.

    Problem is, you can’t come up with any recent data that would support the correlation that you suggest. Just about everyone agrees that California has the worst budget problem. However, according to this article, the next three states are Arizona, Nevada and Illinois respectively. All three are below average in terms of tax burden, with Arizona and Nevada ranking below 40.

  20. 26

    pgo spews:

    There’s a trend line, the trend is obvious, and there isn’t any reason to believe that the trend has changed direction. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that the slope of the trend line has steepened.

    Provide recent data, not what you think should happen. Same goes for you, Goldy. Two years is too stale. And when you get that recent tax data, correlate that with recent state budget data – not that year old data in the link.

  21. 27

    ArtFart spews:

    @16 “I think it’s also worth noting that none of these “austerians” have had to either fight in these wars or have had to suffer any significant effects of the current downturn.”

    In other words, they’re freeloaders. Bums. Leeches. Bloodsuckers. Worse yet, they have the gall to whine about how they’re not getting enough.

  22. 28

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 25

    Provide recent data, not what you think should happen.

    Why? Simply demanding “more recent” data while providing no justification whatsoever for that demand is, well, obtuse.

    What evidence do you have that the trend has, in any way, changed?

  23. 29

    Rae spews:

    How interesting that you are supporting the tax on bottled water, yet bragging about how much you have saved with your very ponderous and totally not-mobile fizzy water system. I can only assume that you will be sending the State your portion of taxes that you aren’t really paying….because you’re such a stand up guy, because the tax is such a great idea, because it’s for the children….blah, blah, blah. Right. You’ll be send that in soon, am I correct?

  24. 30

    rhp6033 spews:

    The demand for more “recent” data @ # 22 is an old trick used to attempt to disparage statistical evidence.

    The purpose of the trick is to get the supporter of the evidence to keep going back to sources, over and over again, in an attempt to supply new data. Yet each attempt takes time to collect, process, publish, and evaluate, and once presented the trickster would then insist on even more recent data, ad infinitum. If the supporter presented data as recent as yesterday, the trickster would insist that the supporter “prove” the data would be relevent tomorrow.

    Of course, the trickster never has any intent on seriously discussing or accepting the statistics or conclusions to be drawn from them. They are simply trying to send the supporter on a series of fool’s errands, wasting their time, until the subject becomes a moot point.

    Now there are some circumstances in which data IS simply too old from which to draw a conclusion as to the current situation. If I were to bring up data from the 1970’s, for example, it would be a valid complaint.

    But in the real world of economic statistics, two-year old data is pretty close to being as good as anyone can get, assuming that they aren’t on the Federal Reserve or working for the Treasury Dept. Even those folks are generally trying to make assumptions for the next quarter based on data which is about six months old.

  25. 31

    jonathan spews:

    @29

    Takes time? Goldy has been throwing up the same chart for over a year!

    If you spent just a fraction of the time looking for the data as you did posting your “psychoanalysis” on HA we’d have it.

    You’re easy to please, that’s for sure RIP.

  26. 32

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 30

    Goldy has been throwing up the same chart for over a year!

    In other words, you don’t have a cogent counter argument either.

    But, thanks for playing.

  27. 33

    Google rocks spews:

    @25

    Don’t count on DJ coming up with current data – FORGET the analysis – anytime soon! That brain of his and numbers are like oil and water – they don’t mix, as he has admitted (and that his posts make painfully clear!). Hence his BIG stall on coming up with new data to replace the super dated stuff Goldy keeps using time and again.

    Joe and his employer have much in common . . . they’re plodders with two left feet:

    Microsoft Kin Discontinued After 48 Days

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07.....1&hpw

    Nothing knew under the sun with these two!

  28. 34

    If you're not Dutch, then you're not much spews:

    so let me get this straight:

    the progressives around here keep telling us how our state has weathered the economic storm better than most other states, that our quality of life is better..etc……..but now they want us to copy the financial model of the other states by raising the tax burden?

    fuck people, make up your damned minds! Perhaps ONE reason we are a little(and I mean a little) better off than many other states is precisely because we have a lower tax burden…

  29. 35

    Zach spews:

    @32 Joe and his employer

    Microsoft is where it was 12 frickin years ago. Looks like neither have gone anywhere. :)

  30. 36

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 32

    Don’t count on DJ coming up with current data – FORGET the analysis – anytime soon!

    Apparently our “Google” friend missed the comment in this thread where I posted a link to an article that has, well, actual data in it.

    ‘Course, we all know why these twits hate me so much. I keep kicking their asses all over the place. It’s why they’re always attacking me, rather than trying to take on my arguments.

  31. 37

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 34

    Microsoft is where it was 12 frickin years ago.

    You’re expecting Microsoft to move somewhere?

    Oh, you mean “MSFT”. Funny, though, how Microsoft’s profits keep going up. You’d think there’d be an asymptote there somewhere.

  32. 38

    Zach spews:

    @34 Funny, though, how Microsoft’s profits keep going up.

    What’s even funnier is the stock keeps going down. The market obviously knows a lot more about the company than Joe. No surprise – he just works for them!

    It’s where it was 12 frickin years ago despite all those profits Joe talks up. What a frickin moron!

  33. 39

    mac spews:

    @34 Funny, though, how Microsoft’s profits keep going up.

    What’s even funnier is the stock keeps going down. The market obviously knows a lot more about the company than Joe. No surprise – he just works for them!

    It’s where it was 12 years ago despite all those profits Joe talks up. What a moron! You just keep buying that stock, Joe!

  34. 40

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 37

    What’s even funnier is the stock keeps going down.

    Really? I thought the problem was:

    It’s where it was 12 years ago

    If I’m the “moron” (at least you spelled it correctly), then why are you the person who can’t get his story straight?

    You just keep buying that stock, Joe!

    Why the hell not? I get a 15% discount off the market price.

  35. 41

    Google rocks spews:

    @37 It’s where it was 12 years ago despite all those profits Joe talks up

    The problem is they can’t shoot straight. One product after another has been a dud. The latest is Zin – who chose that name?!! – which got yanked after just 48 days. Their online version of Office got trashed after the company had talked it up – sound familiar? So they have no innovation, and depend on a handful of products that have been around for years for cash flow – and that’s threatened. That’s what the market is saying. The stock is off something like 37 percent since the fall of 2007 and 60 percent from 1999. Meanwhile, Apple is up something like 36 percent since fall of 2007 and has passed Microsoft in market cap. Look at what Apple or Google produce and compare it to Microsoft – night and day.

    Just lookin’ at Don Joe’s comments above, and it’s apparent why Microsoft is going nowhere . . . the best people have moved on.

  36. 42

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 39

    The problem is they can’t shoot straight.

    Yup. We’re just a bunch of plodding, hapless dweebs; the software equivalent of the keystone cops.

    But that does leave us all to wonder, if I’m such a hapless, plodding dweeb, how is it that you can’t figure out how to actually refute any of my arguments?

  37. 43

    mac spews:

    @39 So they have no innovation, and depend on a handful of products that have been around for years for cash flow – and that’s threatened.

    —–

    Gotta agree. This isn’t a smart company. What was it, only a couple of years back they wanted to buy yahoo @$31 a share. Now it’s at $14 and change, so that would have been a $25 billion haircut. Totally clueless leadership, and from some of the comments above the worker bees aren’t any better.

  38. 44

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 41

    Gotta agree.

    Hey, Mac! Where were you at this year’s WWDC conference? We tried to find you there, and all we could see was iOS. What happened to you?

  39. 45

    LOL spews:

    Microsoft pulls the plug on Kin

    “Amid anemic sales, Microsoft has decided to halt work on its Kin phone less than two months after the product hit the market.

    “Neither Verizon nor Microsoft would say how many devices were sold, but a source told CNET that the number of Kins sold thus far is more than 1,000 but south of 10,000–significantly below expectations.”

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20009336-56.html

    iPhone 4 sales surpass 1.7 million mark

    Apple has just announced that their iPhone 4 is a resounding success, moving a cool 1.7 million units a mere three days after it was launched on June 24th.

    http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/ar....._mark.html

    Don Joe and Microsoft have much in common!

  40. 46

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 43

    Don Joe and Microsoft have much in common!

    Yup. People keep attacking us, but we’re still standing. And, if the attacks on Microsoft are anything like the attempts to ding me here, we’ll both be standing for a long time.

  41. 47

    LOL spews:

    @44

    Those are facts, DJ . . . your employer can’t get out of its own way. Kin, an amazing 48 days on the market before getting yanked? Microsoft needs new management and new thinking. I mean, how many years has this decline been in play? The stock’s been in long-term free-fall yet you’re talking about its profits? Didn’t that ring a bell in that brain of yours? Nope!

    You’re part of the problem. In any event, stop whining . . . I’m just the messenger.

  42. 48

    mac spews:

    @45

    Whither Microsoft and the Kin

    “The phone had an incredibly stupid name, which is something nobody has mentioned in the post mortems.”

    It was mentioned above!

    “I say this because no company can get away with bringing out a major product, orphaning the thing within two months leaving customers high and dry, and expect to get traction with anything similar. In the mobile phone business, the company will just be ignored from now on.”

    They did it with Vista!

    “So let me be the first to declare Windows Phone 7 to be DOA. The company should probably drop Windows Phone 7 immediately and concentrate on enterprise software.”

    But wasn’t Don Joe talkin’ up a storm about Windows Phone 7 not that long ago?

    Yep!

    http://www.marketwatch.com/sto.....2010-07-02

  43. 49

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 44

    Those are facts, DJ

    So is the fact that none of them have anything to do with any argument I’ve posted here.

    Now, it’s off topic, but I have some time. So, what the hell.

    Microsoft needs new management and new thinking.

    Maybe. On the other hand, I have no idea what this has to do with me. I happen to have a great job working with a great bunch of people, and I’m still having fun. As long as they pay me ridiculous amounts of money to have this much fun, why should I seek employment elsewhere?

    The stock’s been in long-term free-fall yet you’re talking about its profits?

    Gosh, but the 5 year trend here doesn’t look like a “free-fall” to me. Looks rather normal for a mature company. And, as a matter of fact, Microsoft’s profits have been solid.

    Which, again, prompts me to ask, what does any of this have to do with me? As I pointed out earlier, I get to buy this stock at a 15% discount. Do you have any investment vehicle that guarantees you that kind of immediate return?

    You’re part of the problem.

    You keep asserting this, but you’ve yet to provide one iota of evidence to back it up. Your argument appears to be that I’m an idiot, because I keep working for a company that’s in the throes of a very long decline, but that really has very little to do with how sweet my job is for me. I should give up full health care coverage, a full matching 401K and a six figure salary, because you think Microsoft is lame? Now that really would be an idiotic thing for me to do.

    Which leaves everyone here to wonder why this indirect attack? I think the conclusion is inescapable: you keep bringing up Microsoft (and please don’t pretend that you aren’t the same person under all these screen names), because you simply don’t have the intellectual horsepower required to go after my arguments in a direct attack.

    In any event, stop whining

    What makes you think I’m whining? I’m rather enjoying myself as I watch you sink further and further into idiotic lameness.

  44. 50

    Steve spews:

    @46 From the comment thread in the link you posted:

    Dvorak on .. the mouse !!!!!

    “”””””The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices.”””

    He’s your expert?? LMFAO!!

  45. 51

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 48

    He’s your expert?? LMFAO!!

    Oh, it gets better. This “mac” guy just quoted, over on the open thread, Dvoraks’ proclamation that Windows Phone 7 is DOA. Yup. That same John C. Dvorak who once proclaimed the Macintosh to be dead.

    This “mac” guy is clearly not a Mac person. No Mac person would be caught dead quoting Dvorak on just about any subject, let alone a proclamation that any piece of technology is “DOA”.

  46. 52

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @49
    First they whine about the methodology the tax foundation uses, then they whine about the age of the data, then they resort to attacking the other commentors and their employers. All because those pesky facts refuse to conform to their worldview.

    As for Microsoft, the only new cash-cow they’ve been able to come up with recently is the Xbox. I have my doubts that things like Bing! or their mobile phone efforts will be successful.

    Still they do make a ton of money (EPS and earnings per employee is excellent by any measure), and they are a good place to work even if they have had trouble dominating the market outside of their core products.

  47. 53

    lyrrdi spews:

    @52 then they whine about the age of the data

    It’s painfully apparent CS that you haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about with that comment. And your observations regarding Microsoft only confirm what a dull knife you are.

  48. 54

    Truth spews:

    The Tax Foundation’s study includes virtually all revenue items that are classified as taxes by the Census Bureau.

    Yes, the B&O tax is counted. Licenses are included. Utility taxes (state and local) are counted.

    Read the appendix of the report.

  49. 55

    kt spews:

    @54

    Well, it doesn’t include property taxes that went up 8 percent from 2009 to 2010 for some people on HA that was discussed elsewhere, nor lost income from a jobs lost in 2009 and 2010 and thus far not recovered. There’s been a significant change in the data since that 2008 report. And nobody on HA has even remotely addressed what the impact has been (and few are remotely qualified, either professionally or by acumen).