The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, December 05, 2004  

I’m So Screwed

Never, ever underestimate the proclivity of Republicans to punish their enemies, real and perceived, a list that seemingly grows exponentially with every passing year.

Today’s Los Angeles Times reports (“Proposal Would Hit Blue[-]State Taxpayers,” by Warren Veith):

Some conservative activists are urging the Bush administration to scrap the federal deduction for state and local taxes as part of a broader plan to revamp the nation’s tax system.

Although the proposal would hurt some taxpayers in nearly every state, it would hit hardest in states with higher-than-average income levels and bigger-than-average state and local tax burdens. High on the list are a number of blue states -- those that were carried by Democrat Sen. John F. Kerry in last month’s presidential election.

Taxpayers in California and New York, for example, which have top state income tax rates of 9.3% and 6.5% respectively, would be highly affected; residents of Florida and Texas, which have no state income taxes, much less so.

Funny how that works out.

What’s not funny is that the proposal is a back-door tax increase but God forbid anyone call this spade a spade.

What’s even less amusing is that the proposal, for the most part, would hit hardest the residents of states that already pay more in federal taxes than they receive in return from Washington.

The Times makes note of this with respect to California: “California State Controller Steve Westly, a Democrat, said it would amount to a hidden tax increase for millions of California taxpayers, who already pay $58 billion a year more to the federal government than they get back in services.”

For some it will be even worse, namely those who also pay city taxes or commuter taxes or self-employment taxes.

Hey, wait a minute, that’s me. I pay federal income taxes, state income taxes, city wage taxes, and city self-employment taxes.

I’m screwed.

And that’s the idea, isn’t it?

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