America is supposed to be the land of the free, yet it is has one of the most vicious tax regimes in the rich world. Once blessed with comparatively low tax rates and levels of regulation, businesses and entrepreneurs flocked to the United States from the sclerotic systems of Europe (and elsewhere). Now American businesses are fleeing America’s shores and foreign-born entrepreneurs are less inclined to come at all.
Numerous polls over the years have identified the property tax as one of the most hated taxes—if not the most hated tax—in America. Ironically, something cities and counties across the country have enacted to reduce property taxes actually drives them higher.
Following oral arguments, I was not optimistic about this ruling. The Court could have bought into the argument that Hobby Lobby can’t really complain about this requirement when they have the capability to not offer coverage at all, instead shifting people under their employ to the taxpayer via Medicaid or the exchanges. The penalty for offering coverage which fails to meet essential benefits is clearly absurd and sizable, but the penalty for not offering coverage at all would actually cost them less than offering coverage in the first place (around $26 million per year). The “gun to your head” penalty was the one which moved the court on the Medicaid/federalism question before, in a ruling that unexpectedly led to half the states declining to expand Medicaid. Justices Kagan and Sotomayor stressed this in oral argument and the Court could have found that this factor removes the pressure of an actual requirement. You can understand the reasoning: Just like the requirement to purchase insurance, it’s not illegal, it’s just a tax!
A judge in Sangamon County Circuit Court has blocked a modest reform of Illinois’ pension system for state workers and retirees outside Chicago from taking effect June 1, giving Gov. Pat “Four Counties” Quinn the excuse he’s probably been looking for to block reforms for two of Chicago’s pension plans. (I’ll explain “Four Counties” in a moment.)
It’s common for people to pretend public education is free. But it’s not. Parents buy access to certain public schools with their mortgage or rent check. A 2012 study of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas found houses near high-achieving public schools cost approximately $11,000 more per year, or 2.4 times as much, as houses near low-achieving public schools. It also found the typical low-income child attends a school that scores below average on state tests, whereas the typical middle- or upper-income child attends a school that scores above average.
The media is giving mixed reports of Cardinal Dolan’s interview on Meet the Press with David Gregory. According to Fox News, the Catholics oppose Obamacare and, according to NBC News, the Catholics embrace it.
The Heartland Institute’s author series hosted Dan Pilla, author of the Heartland-published Ten Principles of Federal Tax Policy on November 14. Pilla is a taxpayer’s rights advocate and has defended countless tax[…]
Steve Staneck interviews Ben Van Metre, Senior Budget, Tax and Policy Analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute, regarding Illinois’ movement from Flat tax to Progressive income tax. This movement is[…]
“They don’t seem to be interested in whether or not climate change is really occurring. They are not interested in facts. They want a carbon tax because it will give them unlimited power and unlimited power means unlimited campaign contributions.”
That is what our system needs. Not third-party payers who know they can always raise premiums to cover these ridiculous costs so never bother to argue, but engaged (and sometimes enraged) consumers who refuse to be treated like patsies.
Common Core is an outgrowth of the big business-big government consensus that dominates education and, because the mainstream education system reaches virtually every future voting citizen, is increasingly dominating every area of our lives.
The most recent report (reflecting up until March 31) under the $32 million grant shows that Smith delivered 421 of its vehicles, with $27,343,311 reimbursed to the company with government funds thus far. That calculates to a whopping $64,948 taxpayer subsidy per vehicle.
This essay is based on remarks delivered on June 19, 2013 at Heartland’s annual President’s Council Retreat. The Heartland Institute had a breakthrough year in 2012 and by every measure[…]