Reed May Be On To Something

Wow.

The state panel drafting a revision to the state’s tax code heard Wednesday how other states are doing it and got advice from Atlanta’s mayor.

Mayor Kasim Reed recommended the state government shed 10-15 percent of its 75,000 workers and scrap most tax exemptions.

Really, we all benefit in some way from the exemptions, but I think if we got rid of the exemptions and just had a reduced tax rate we might be better off.

That’s why until we can get something like a Fair Tax pushed through Congress, I’m a big fan of an across the board flat tax without all the exemptions and deductions — just make it simple and make it just for revenue.

35 comments

  1. Tiberius says:

    Bold. Considering how many of his constituents are state employees…

    I can see the mailer by one of his opponents 3.5 years from now.

    • ChuckEaton says:

      I don’t think he would have made that statement before his election. It will be much easier to weather the storm as an incumbent.

    • Chuck, I think you and Alanis Morrisett have something in common in that you misuse the word “ironic” I would think that the new mayor of a city with one of the most city employees per capita would be the guy MOST likey to make that statement. The honorable mayor of Unadilla, Ga is probably not looking to cut many city employees. But if you’re going for a strictly partisan shot, I guess your statement works.

      • ChuckEaton says:

        Mayor is a non-partisan position, although the Democratic party worked very hard at making it partisan last election.

        You’ve basically got somebody who weighs 750 pounds telling another person, who weighs 280 pounds, that he is too fat – definitely hypocritical and I think ironic.

        • hugoblacksupreme says:

          Sometimes it sounds better coming from a fat person!

          I give the Mayor a ton of credit. Reducing the size of gov. and fixing the structural flaws in the tax system are good ideas. Plus he is being smart. It is a lot easier politically to reduce fat if somebody else is doing it to. He is seeking political cover from the state and we should make sure that he gets it.

          • ChuckEaton says:

            I absolutely hope you are correct in his motivations, but the proof will be in the pudding. I wonder what he means by “most exemptions”. Is he talking about senior, homestead and limited income exemptions, regardless, that’s much easier to do after you’ve left the Senate.

            I’m just a bit cynical, after watching Atlanta Mayor after Atlanta Mayor play a shell game of saying they have reduced the City payroll, but then watching it increase year after year.

          • ChuckEaton says:

            No problem.

            Being somewhat familiar with your political philosophy, from this blog, I was a little confused by your reaction.

  2. Baker says:

    Chuck- I will certainly grant you the sad history of Atlanta mayoral-dom, but (maybe this is because I’m relatively young) I’m actually inclined to take Kasim Reed at his word on this one. During the race, I definitely thought he would be an extension of the Jackson/ Young/ Campbell/ Franklin way of doing things. And I’ll grant you that Franklin seemed good in the beginning, but I really think this guy is going to be different.

    I think that on a city level, Reed might actually be what Obama convinced some people he was going to be. A black man, not focused on race, working with a Democrat background, but pushing for fiscal responsibility when numbers are now undeniable.

    • hugoblacksupreme says:

      Good point.
      I think the difference is that Obama does not have a Rep. legislature looking over his shoulder. That is part of the key to this equation. Reed has the State Republicans to blame for cutting away. It helps him politically to to act as a fiscal conservative and he can blame someone else. This is part of the power of not having one party control everything. Now the question is will the next Speaker at the Fed. level do the same with Pres. Obama?

      Remember how much got done with Newt at the helm? Pres. Clinton took credit for a lot and blamed most on the Republican congress but in the end we got that budget balanced and some descent policies.

  3. ChuckEaton says:

    I’m not as cynical about Reed as my previous post suggests. I’m all for folks looking at ways to make all government more efficient, but just found it interesting that he would start throwing stones from his glass tower.

    Giving him some credit, I was very impressed that he has chosen to address Atlanta’s hemorrhaging unfunded pension liablities. I think it’s the most important, and one of the least talked about, issues facing the City. Reed himself stated that the “pension system that is strangling our city.” http://www.ajc.com/opinion/atlanta-forward-another-view-333277.html

    The rehtoric is impressive. And, after some thought and reading your posts, I’ll withold judgement for a couple years to see if the rehtoric aligns with the actions.

    I suppose it’s a knee-jerk cynicism I have toward Atlanta City government. Mayor Reed deserves more respect than that at this point in his office.

  4. John Konop says:

    It took real guts and we should all give him support for telling what needs to be done. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been making the same tough calls for his state. I saw him interviewed and they key is finding leadership that cares more about doing the right thing over getting re-elected.

    • macho says:

      I don’t think we need to be handing Kasim Reed the “Chris Christie Award for Fiscal Conservatism” just yet. Let’s wait and see if he actually does something first. Don’t be like the Swedish dudes that gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize right after he was sworn into office.

  5. Jane says:

    Sounds like a Republican or may be even a Libertarian. Lets start by privatizing the Atlanta Airport, mass transit, management of state parks, as well as eliminating do nothing jobs programs like AmeriCorps. We can also increase fines on Illegal aliens and those who employ illegal’s. Say, seize the cars and home of people who have no right to live in this state regardless of wither they have a loan or mortgage. This will make lenders leery of loaning to illegal’s, if they know they will probably never see their money again.

    If Agriculture interest protest they cannot find any workers, start using convict labor to pick the onions, etz.

    • I agree with part of this. But if you seize the property of people who have no right to live in this state, you’re also talking about outlawing foreign ownership of property. The equivalent would be like telling people in the US that they’re not allowed to own a vacation house in Cancun and keep a vehicle or two there. I don’t mind ejecting someone not here legally back to their own country, but I don’t know that I’d go so far as to seize their property until they stop paying property taxes or their mortgage.

  6. saltycracker says:

    Getting rid of a lot of low seniority employees while raising taxes thru the roof suggests a lot more money and secure, improved early retirements for those left….

  7. lively64 says:

    Use the median income derived from the Census Bureau every year. Exempt all income below the median and tax the income above the median at 10%. For instance if the median income is $30,000, then a worker earning less than $30,000 would not pay any taxes. A worker earning $45,000 would pay 10% tax on $15,000. $45,000 – $30,000 = $15,000.

    No pay roll deductions would occur until the workers year to date pay surpassed the median.

  8. Jane says:

    David,
    I too worry about the private property rights issue or taking property from Illegals, but you do not have the right to profit from illegal activity, this holds true for the criminal and the people who supply goods and services to the criminals. If business are punished for doing business with Illegals, it will be harder for the illegals to support themselves.
    Teachers are required to report child abuse to the police. If a Child is living in a home where there is widespread criminal activity, they are living in an atmosphere of abuse and should be removed from the home.

    • Yes, but we have to be careful with how these laws are worded. Are we going to penalize Publix and Kroger for “doing business with illegals” because that’s where they shop for their weekly groceries? Are we then going to require Publix and Kroger to validate someone’s citizenship before they’ll sell something to them?

      I totally agree that businesses should not hire people that are not in this country legally. But I’m concerned about how the laws are drafted in that sometimes our politicians’ intentions and the results of what they pass are two totally different things.

      It’s one thing to say that nobody is allowed to own property that isn’t a United States citizen. But are we then outlawing vacation home ownership by Canadian citizens? What if someone lives in Toronto during the summer and West Palm during the winter? (excluding of course the possibility of dual-citizenship here just for the sake of debate… it could be someone from any country).

  9. Jane says:

    If a Gun shop loans guns to muggers, they should not squeal if the Government does not return the guns after their clients are arrested. If a homes owner rents to an illegal, they should not complain if the government seizes the residence.

    I would also allow qualified legal workers who are passed over by the hiring of an illegal worker to sue for job discrimination, they can argue that they were not hired based on their county of origin, they are Americans.

  10. NoTeabagging says:

    I doubt he’ll be axing any of his campaign staff the suddenly got city jobs after his election.

    • macho says:

      Let’s be honest, I doubt he’ll axing many jobs at all. They play a game down there at City Hall, where they get credit for axing budgeted positions, but nobody actually loses their job.

      The State of GA, over the last decade, has been far more conservative with government jobs than the City of Atlanta. Atlanta is the poster child for gluttonous budget growth.

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