Monday, April 11, 2011

Lightning Round - 041111

Haven't done one of these in a while:
  • Who won the budget battle in Washington? You'll get differing views, but what I saw suggests that most people inside the Beltway remain clueless. The larger battle will come later in the year as we start to look at the 2012 budget. Paul Ryan's approach to the matter will get more of an airing at that point and it will force people to confront some things they'd rather not confront. So I'd call it a draw.
  • The structure for funding a Vikings stadium is out there now and one topic of local conversation is whether or not it would help or hurt the chances of Arden Hills. Tony Bennett, the Ramsey County commissioner who might be the dictionary definition of a RINO, has been on point for this pointless exercise and he's been encouraged. He's a fool -- there's no way the thing will get built in Arden Hills, because the Vikings don't want to be in the suburbs, especially suburbs that are some distance from their primary fan base in the western and southern suburbs. Whether the thing gets built at all is another matter.
  • Hey, if you can't win in reddish Ohio, or even in purplish Wisconsin, maybe you can win in deep blue Washington state, right? Truth be told, Washington is a red state with a huge indigo metropolitan area embedded into it. Still, if you need to do sleepovers in a place like Washington, one can reasonably surmise that the public employee unions are really in more trouble than they'd prefer to acknowledge.


Anonymous said...

I guess I will have to contact my legislators again and tell them we already HAVE a "new" Vikings stadium. As soon as the roof is repaired, GIVE them the Metrodome for $1. Give them a property tax exemption forever. Give them 100% of the concession income, and the parking, and 100% of the income from all the other events they can book into it. Let them build more skyboxes or anything else by way of remodeling that they think will make them more money; it's their stadium. And just think: it doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime, up front, and it only costs the Vikings $1, up front, MILLIONS less than any contribution to a new stadium that would be required big-IF it could be approved at all. Forget the legislative hassles and give them the whole thing.

J. Ewing

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I can get behind the protesters on one thing, GE isn't paying taxes and that's a travesty. When the government is choosing which companies get the advantages and which ones don't, then we've got a problem. Close those loopholes, THEN slash funding for social services and bust the public sector unions. :)
Doing all three should put the state on decent footing.

Mr. D said...

J, I've heard that solution offered before and it's an excellent idea.

WBP, actually GE does pay taxes, but their corporate statement was unclear on the matter. Of course, the question about whether any corporation really pays taxes is a stickier matter.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Mr. D, what I am concerned about is the following:

"But a quarter-century of pushing by businesses -- of which GE has been among the most aggressive -- has left us with both the lower tax rate (now 35%) and lots more deductions and shelters and other tax-reducing tactics than the 1986 legislation envisioned."

I had heard, erroneously it appears, that these insider tactics had earned them a tax holiday of sorts.

That said, I think that it is in the market's best interest (and ours, natch) for corporations to pay lower taxes, but taxes that the government does not target so as to choose winners and losers.

Mr. D said...

That said, I think that it is in the market's best interest (and ours, natch) for corporations to pay lower taxes, but taxes that the government does not target so as to choose winners and losers.

Yeah -- that's the thing. As a practical matter, taxes that a corporation pays either (a) get passed on to their customers or (b) end up hurting the dividends they pay out to their shareholders. Which is why corporations like GE try to game the system -- it's a competitive advantage if they can pull it off. And since the government loves to pick winners and losers, the whole process is rife with potential for mischief, or worse.