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home : opinion : opinion April 29, 2016


3/31/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: A rotten time to tax Kingmanites

Rich Thurlow
Editor


OK, so I'll give the Kingman City Council credit for not going Obama on us and saying the fire department is going to shut down and that the police are going to be furloughed. Heck, if someone asks I'm sure the members of the Council will probably say its OK if third-graders from Biscuit Prep want to tour City Hall.

See, that's one of those things the president did when the dire warnings about the sequester didn't result in the tax hike he wanted. The president made White House tours one of those things that had to end due to the sequester cuts, proving again that anyone growing up in the U.S. can be elected president, and they can be a petty jackass at the same time.

No, as far as I can tell the City Council hasn't made any huge noises about how severe things will be if they don't raise the sales tax by a half-cent or .65 of a cent. Give them credit for that.

OK, I'll say it. By and large, I think the people on the City Council are just darn nice folks.

But golly, when you place your order at a drive-thru and the business selling the food is smart enough to let you know how much of the total is taxes, it's disturbing. We're talking California rates here.

And I do know that one proposal calls for the Council two scale back its 2-cent tax on bars and restaurants by half. But that total tax rate is still outrageous, even when a penny is lopped off.

The Council hosts a public hearing on the tax proposals at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Bare bones about the proposals are spelled out on Page 1 of today's Miner just above the Penske ad, and ace city government reporter Doug McMurdo will offer a complete summary in Tuesday's Miner.

There's no question the city will find a way to use the money if they do hike taxes, but there's also no question Kingmanites can't afford any more taxes. Unemployment hovers around double figures, and a number of workers are about to have their hours cut so their employers can avoid the punishing financial burdens Obamacare will impose.

Food prices are up and gas prices have stabilized to a degree after skyrocketing following the holidays. We are supposed to take comfort in knowing gasoline is about the same price now that it was a year ago, but how much did gas cost five years ago?

This isn't a happy time to be on the City Council, but it is a time for members of the Council to earn their pay and do right by the citizens of Kingman.

Don't make a bad situation for a lot of people in town worse.

Please don't raise our taxes.

•••

Can't get enough news on the glories of Obamacare? Then how about visiting here: http://tinyurl.com/cnlklu8.

John Nolte's piece, with plenty of links to back up every statement, hits on millions losing their insurance, premiums skyrocketing, lots of lost jobs, doctor shortages and rationing, $800 billion in tax increases for the middle class, inflation, more bureaucracy and, ta-da, $6.2 trillion added to the deficit.

None of this should be surprising, simply because many of the major problems government faces now - Social Security and Medicare nearing insolvency, the debt and rising welfare costs - were created by government in the first place.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

I have no problem with your interest prosal for SS – although I find your numbers severely skewed towards high income wage earners. I say that because a person would have to earn – over fifty years and average in excess of more than $149,000 a year to generate anywhere near $500,000 in their SS account (which of course does not exist).

“Why you bring LA in to this discussion...I have no clue.”

Because she is perfect example of a low-wage employee – based on information she has provided over the years - who has taken much more out of the system than she ever put in. Which of course begs my proposal that, in order to “save” Social Security, people only be allowed to draw out as much as they put in.

OR we could have everyone pay the same percentage on all monies received with no earnings cap. No major changes to the system, no “interest” computations, no reductions in benefits, just a simple and fair “flat tax” applied to everyone.


Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

The $50-100K were just a hypothetical numbers. It could be adjusted based on the total contributions to the fund. Lets just say 10% of their total? If someone has worked and contributed to SS for 50+ years, with ever increasing payments, and with the interest rates I proposed...I could easily see their "portion" of the SS fund being $400-500K or even more.

Do you think your total contribution with the applied interest would not allow that? I'm sure mine would. Many annuities, whole life policy, and compound interest charts would probably show the same.

Why you bring LA in to this discussion...I have no clue.


Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“I also think a person should be able to take a lump sum payment for a limited amount upon reaching retirement age or becoming disabled. Say $50 or $100K…”

Now you are really reaching! $100K – a partial payment on the money put into the SS system? You actually feel someone like LA put more than $100k into SS? Very few of us (and I will admit I did) reached a level of $100k paid into SS.

As to the interest point – whatever floats your boat. However I still feel the best way to repair the system is to remove the earnings cap – simple – efficient – fair.


Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Since it is a long term investment.....nothing outrageous. I'd think 6-7% or thereabouts would be fine. Maybe even a flexible rate of some sort prime + X% (though maybe not since prime has been pretty flat for 5 yrs) or inflation +X%. Or X% + CPI. All would have a minimum required interest of 6%

I also think a person should be able to take a lump sum payment for a limited amount upon reaching retirement age or becoming disabled. Say $50 or $100K This would reduce their remaining payments...but for some people it would allow them to pay off their final home, buy their last new vehicle, or if they happened to be terminal...blow it on hookers and hotel rooms.


Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“3.5%? That's it? I believe savings bonds and T-bills pay better. I know that over time good stocks do much better.”

Okay, give us a figure that you would be comfortable with.


Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"did not address the removal of the earnings cap"

I've agreed with that in the past...didn't think I needed to again.

3.5%? That's it? I believe savings bonds and T-bills pay better. I know that over time good stocks do much better.


Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“That might work if they come up with a formula to pay equivalent interest as if that money had been wisely invested as it was taken out of folks pay over all those years of work.”

No big deal. Allow a moderate interest rate – say 3.5% - be applied to each year’s payment into FICA. For some reason you thought this would be difficult?

”Or maybe just a rule that if you have a net worth over X amount upon application for SS benefits.....you get zip dinero, a hearty handshake, and a ‘Thank you for helping others less fortunate’?”

Well, I don’t feel that would be a good plan, but if you seem to think it would work give it a try.

And I notice you did not address the removal of the earnings cap – the proposal that I feel is the best way to deal with Social Security forever. Why not? Isn’t that the fairest thing of all – a “flat tax” that would be the same for everyone, applied to every dollar received?


Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"shut off Social Security Benefits when an individual has drawn out as much as they put into the system"

That might work if they come up with a formula to pay equivalent interest as if that money had been wisely invested as it was taken out of folks pay over all those years of work.

Or maybe just a rule that if you have a net worth over X amount upon application for SS benefits.....you get zip dinero, a hearty handshake, and a "Thank you for helping others less fortunate"?


Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“Want to erase the deficit? Tax all 401k and similar money hiding places at 28 per cent of the account amount.”

One of the problems inherent in doing a cut and paste of someone else’s words without actually comprehending what they wrote is … well, you know. And of course “your” solution would dramatically impact people like Willard the Money Hider who hides the bulk of his fortune off-shore – glad to see we agree on that point.

“Let's make it so what you put into SS, as suggested above, only what you can get out.”

That sentence makes no sense, but I think you are advocating one of my solutions to the SS “problem” (which does not exist). However a better solution would be to tax everyone at the same percentage on all monies received – a nice “fair” tax with everyone paying the same percentage.


Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

FLS

“More AN BS passed off as fact. Still ticked off that ACORN was defunded as a result? If the viseos were ‘faked’, why did that happen?”

December 9 , 2009 - “An independent report found there was ‘no pattern of intentional or illegal conduct by ACORN.’ What was found was not only were the videos provided to FOX News substantially edited by Breitbart’s team, but the editing also involved substitute voiceovers of the fake pimp and hooker who made the videos, making it impossible to hear what the ACORN staffers were responding to.

I find it disturbing that ACORN was defunded (sp) because of lying right wing, but am not now, nor was I ever “ticked off” about it. Why do you continually post things about me that you have no direct knowledge of?

“By ‘Everyone’ I'm sure ypou are not including the poor. And would the SS benefits cutoff you recommend include the poor?”

Again you seem to “know” what I mean and twist what I said. When I said EVERYONE, I meant everyone – period. Yes, the poor would pay the same percentage as the rich. And yes my plan would shut off benefits when EVERYONE reaches the amount they paid in – even “the poor.”


“I wonder how many WH Tours could be paid for with the amount of money spent on Secret Service protection for the First Brats back to back vacations?”

Why are righties so obsessed with the vacations of the First Family – even going so far as to use the pejorative “First Brats” to show … what? Ignorance? And where was the righties outrage when The Criminal racked up 1,020 vacation days during his eight year Reign of Error?

And before I forget – LOL!


Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: No One No Where

@Going Gosar on Us

Actually you should rephrase that to "Going Pelosi on Us" since the last time our government passed an actual yearly budget it originated from Nancy Pelosi's Congress and everything since then has just been a Continuing Resolution. Darn those pesky facts.......


Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

Good article Rich. Again I say, because posters here dis agree or do not want to hear it or do not have the ability to understand does not mean what Rich says does not have validity.

Want to erase the deficit? Tax all 401k and similar money hiding places at 28 per cent of the account amount. Now institute a savings tax of say 15 per cent of the account balance...means 43 percent on the aforementioned accounts. I mean after all if you have these things you have more than I do so Demo up and gimme. There is a solution. Ok one more. Let's make it so what you put into SS, as suggested above, only what you can get out. No no. Make it so everyone gets the same amount by dividing this pool evenly across the board. Then go back and take a few more percent of all savings and investments. Gee with no incentive to invest or save, money would flow and look at the economic growth....everyone would have everything....all equally....but everyone would be unemployed which is a good thing because everyone would finally be equal because why should I work.have a nice day and have fun with this one.


Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Typical Republicanism - Cut, Cut, Cut Until It Affects Them

"and the military industrialist are screaming about not selling their $200 toilet seats to the Pentagon,"

And of course, you can provide us all with a link proving that claim, right? Didn't think so.

I wonder how many WH Tours could be paid for with the amount of money spent on Secret Service protection for the First Brats back to back vacations?


Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

"Everyone pays the same percentage – why, you might even call it a “flat tax.” Another option would be to shut off Social Security Benefits when an individual has drawn out as much as they put into the system."

By "Everyone" I'm sure ypou are not including the poor. And would the SS benefits cutoff you recommend include the poor?

LOL



Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

"Breitbart (remember him, the guy who made up not just stories but faked videos for FAUX News)."

More AN BS passed off as fact. Still ticked off that ACORN was defunded as a result? If the viseos were "faked", why did that happen?

LOL


Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

What's wrong with you, R.T.? Don't you know this USA is doing just fine under Obama's direction and life can only get better for now on? Just ignore that our cost of living goes up every week. Thats OK, according to liberals. Or maybe you're not supposed to notice

Or is it still that nasty Bush's fault? Talk about beating a dead horse !

Just let Obama do his redistributon in these 4 years and see how great it's going to be.


Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“John Nolte's piece,…”

No surprise that we see Rich referring to a right winger spewing garbage for Breitbart (remember him, the guy who made up not just stories but faked videos for FAUX News). Nolte’s “piece” is nothing more than a scurrilous opinion slap at the ACA and is full of misinformation that has been debunked – numerous times – over the past three years. And still there are those sad individuals who keep repeating and believing in this nonsense.

“Social Security and Medicare nearing insolvency…”

Factually incorrect, but not surprising as we see this meme repeated time and time again. Social Security is very solvent and will remain so for the next 25 years. However changes are necessary for the second half of the century and beyond. Medicare needs fixing now and there are ways to do that

Let’s consider SS first – an immediate and permanent fix would be to remove the earnings cap and make every dollar received (note I did not say earned) taxable for FICA. What could be fairer than that? Everyone pays the same percentage – why, you might even call it a “flat tax.” Another option would be to shut off Social Security Benefits when an individual has drawn out as much as they put into the system.

Medicare would need a tax hike or better yet – since the righties hate tax hikes – would be to shut off Medicare benefits when an individual’s benefit equal the amount put into the system.

Of course another fix would be for the Republicans to stop blocking jobs bills and get people back to work – working people pay taxes that support both systems.


Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Typical Republicanism - Cut, Cut, Cut Until It Affects Them

yoohoo try to remember that the Republicans supported the sequester and loved the idea that if an agreement wasn't reached automatic across the board spending cuts would occur. Now that Republican congressman are faced with their constituents anger about not getting that WH tour they were promised and the military industrialist are screaming about not selling their $200 toilet seats to the Pentagon, the Republicans don't like the agreement they signed on to known as the sequester.

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: The Editorial Points to Hypocracy

Yea, its fine that tours of the city hall are still on - we want all those Biscuit Preppies to see how democracy in Kingman works. But somehow comparing a tour of the city complex with that of the White House is a bit grandiose. Perhaps you need to study the costs associated with both - especially since you support the Republican tactics of always spending when there is a Republican in power and always screaming about spending when a Democrat is in power.

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Going Gosar on Us

First Mr Thurlow try to understand that spending bills originate from the House of Representatives by the.... hold on to your hat....The Constitution of the United States. So instead of "going Obama on us" make that "going "Gosar on us."

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Good article and unfortunately so true.


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