Governor Dave Heineman, of Nebraska, has proposed to the current session of the Unicameral we eliminate the state income tax, and replace the revenue by eliminating exemptions on sales tax for a variety of businesses, agriculture, and charitable purchases. Not surprising, a Democratic alternative proposal has been offered, which adds a new tax layer to the top earners ($400,000 for single income earners, $ 450,000 for couples).
These two proposals have been described by liberal pundits and politicians as "regressive" for raising sales taxes on the poor and "progressive" for charging the "wealthiest" citizens more. Despite the generalizations, Governor Heineman's plan places sales tax on equipment, supplies, and purchases that a business, or farm would pay when it is doing business, so it is experiencing some level of success and activity. Very few average citizens would be affected, except those who function as their own business, not lower income earners.
The Democrat proposal is reflective of the Obama tax policies, and has been adopted in many states as a model. Citizens in California were only too happy, in the last election, to raise taxes on the "wealthy" which lead to the widely publicized comments from Phil Mickelson last month.
It does not seem to matter whether the tax system generates a healthy economy. It does not matter that states whose expenses exceed their revenues, like California, cannot pay their bills without federal help, disguised as "stimulus money" or exemptions for entertainment in the fiscal cliff resolutions. It does not matter that, in 2011, "24/7 Wall Street" analyzed all 50 states and ranked them on a scale for the "best run" states fiscally. Nebraska was second. Wyoming was first. Coincidentally, they also have no state income tax. The two worst run states were Illinois and California; two "progressive" states with dominant Democratic leadership, including the governors and state houses.
As I read the local editorial pages, I see references to transferring wealth from the rich to the poor, the truly progressive dream, and it dawned on me who is responsible for this foolish philosophy. Robin Hood.
People who do not read literature, or truly know history, have been given the thumbnail version of Robin Hood which says, "Steal from the rich to give to the poor" as an altruistic ideal. However, as a graduate of an accredited college, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, let me explain the truth of the fiction here.
The story of Robin Hood was to symbolize the struggle between noblemen and tradesmen, and the royalty. The king on the throne was, in reality, a pretender; the brother of the true king on a crusade for the Holy Lands. The prince was left as a place-holder, to manage the king's affairs. He was a poor administrator, spent more than he took in, so he used his ability to raise taxes on everyone to satisfy his extravagance. Like many people with spending issues, he believed the problem was just not quite having enough money; when the reality was poor management. Robin Hood was a member of the ruling class, who found his family's wealth stolen by the prince when he returned from the crusades. He formed a band of rebels to fight the overbearing taxes and poor leadership. The myth was based on the historical events which ended with the signing of the Magna Carta, a forerunner to our own Constitution, guaranteeing liberty to the nobles.
The "rich" that Robin Hood was robbing were the king and his supporters, whose only means of getting wealthy was to tax without regard.
In this mythology, Republican governors who try to balance the rising federal taxes by countering with lower or no state income taxes (several governors have proposed this at the state level) are following the true example of Robin Hood and his band. The progressives then become the Sheriff of Nottingham and his minions, looking for their share of the tax roundup.
Saying all rich people need to pay more because they don't need that money, no matter how they came by it, means you don't understand the morality of the tax system at all. For all the intellect that supposedly resides in liberal thinkers, they've adopted the "comic book" version of Robin Hood, and want everyone else to pay.