Seth Woolley's Blog

Occasional Musings

response to the allen alley plan to tax government to pay for vital services(0)

This is the grand idea we've been waiting for?

Oh please.

This is a terrible proposal, but I see the groupthink has already begun. Why do I have to be the person who thinks outside the box and points out the obvious? Here goes.

Federal funds can't be diverted at the state level like he is proposing without being directly related, like administration, so he's not talking about 3/4 of the budget, but less than one half. We can lobby to change this all we want to no avail, and the Democrats in Washington, specifically the Oregon delegation, are not going to vote to change this for him, period. Unless he explains how he's going to get around the legal issues here, he needs to stop including this.

The "other funds" category of the budget is that way because those programs are specifically funded so as to have stable funding. Taking money from everything else in violation of stable funding sources is moronic. Now you expose every other program, many of which have stable funding sources that come from users directly, to being robbed.

If this were implemented, it will be impossible to eliminate wasteful or bad programs (like the lottery) because a portion of them will go to fund education! Government will try to expand those "other services" as a way of leveraging its "tax" on those services. People who want to legalize Marijuana want to tax it so that government will protect the tax program and thus marijuana. This seems like an obvious problem with his proposal. Why does he not see it?

And since these services are non-profit, they shouldn't need to be taxed, just like we don't tax non-profits already. It's akin to taxing non-profits in my eyes. It would make every dollar put into a program harder to deliver on by government than a non-profit (except non-profits have much higher administration costs than government, so it wouldn't be that bad). If we want to fund education, fund it directly!  Alley is playing a game with the budget that any accountant would mock, rightly so.

Does Alley have a position on kicker reform that every sane person has been advocating except hard-right Republicans? We can fix the problem with a more substantial and reasonable rainy day fund created by eliminating the rest of the arbitrary kicker, which was a problem created by his own team. Even the right-wing Oregonian editorial board supports this idea.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, Alley needs to stop lying about the growth of government. Government did grow, but that is when you include federal revenue that is passing through (with increased caseloads brought on by the recession) population increase, and inflation. If you take the first out, which will happen when the recession ends anyways, you are left with a per capita reduction in expenses and a corresponding drop in the budgets. The state is already collecting fewer dollars in inflation-adjusted dollars per capita than we were 20 years ago. Alley keeps misleading the public about basic facts of the sustainability of state government while mouthing sustainability. If he keeps doing this, he's going to lose every debate he gets into with anybody who has done five minutes of research.

I'm willing to help him learn these facts, but he has to be willing to think outside the box to be innovative. I think perhaps he's too old and set in his ways to truly innovate (which is why his company has been on a downward slide of 20% year over year decline in revenues while mine has 60% year over year growth).

Seth Woolley's Blog

Leave A Comment

Secret is used for editing your own comment. If subject, secret, and name all are the same as a previous comment, it will be overwritten. Turing is the name of this program (look at the Source Code link on the front page), used to see if you are human.