Monday, January 3, 2011

Why I will never be elected Governor...

The Columbus Dispatch has a budget simulator, which can help you decide where you would find the $8 billion Ohio needs to balance its fiscal 2012-13 budget. It consists of 34 multiple-choice questions. The selections you make generate the "headlines" shown. 
My values were:
  • Do not increase tax rates, but make existing taxes more consistent in their application.
  • Make cuts across the board to spread the pain as evenly as possible. (Note that I just proposed cutting my own salary by 3%) ...
  • Pay for everything now, not delaying it until later by infusion of one-time funds.
Of course, a budget simulator has its limitations -- in reality, I could have fine-tuned the surplus to a smaller amount by reducing tax increases or spending cuts by lesser amounts. The value of the simulator is to show just how politically and morally difficult it is to make these kinds of decisions. I particularly hated the "drug tax," but thought its economic impact would be less harmful than directly increasing the income or sales tax.

On the long run, I favor abolition of the income tax, a simpler property tax that taxes only the unimproved value of property, and working out a gradual program of reducing and redirecting state services and entitlements to minimize (but of course, not eliminate) the pain to individuals.


Tomorrow's "news," from The Columbus Dispatch budget simulator -- if I were Governor:

Governor's budget plan more than erases deficit
Thomas surplus called 'painful, needless burden'

The governor today gave the General Assembly a proposed state budget with a surplus of $43 million.

The plan brought immediate objections from lawmakers and a host of interest groups, especially those representing taxpayers, who excoriated the governor for seeking to raise a surplus 'during the worst recession in two generations.'

Tomorrow's headlines if Harold Thomas were governor:

  • Poor and sick decry 'drug tax' at huge Columbus rally
  • Lawmakers heed loud tax protests from Ohio families
  • Thomas ripped for 'robbing' local governments

    'Staggering' new local taxes predicted

  • Medicaid cuts called 'brutal' to Ohio's poor
  • Business tax hike will 'strangle' growth, critics claim
  • Homeowners vow to defeat Thomas
  • Disabled veterans brandish crutches, canes at Governor's Residence

Your choices

    Taxes
  • Property tax subsidy: Reduce subsidy by 5% (raises $170 million)
  • Commercial activities tax: End exemption for first $1 million in sales (raises $250 million)
  • Exemptions: End sales-tax break for packaging and packaging equipment (raises $460 million)
  • Exemptions: Apply sales tax to prescription drugs (raises $1.3 billion)
  • Exemptions: Cut income-tax deductions for spouse and children by half (raises $500 million)
    Spending
  • Aid to K-12 education: Halve aid that makes up for elimination of tangible personal property tax (saves $1.1 billion)
  • Aid to colleges & universities: Cut aid by 10% (saves $340 million)
  • Aid to cities & towns: Halve aid that makes up for elimination of tangible personal property tax (saves $380 million)
  • Aid to libraries: Cut aid by 25% (saves $190 million)
  • Spending on adult and youth prisons: Cut spending by 25% (saves $900 million)
  • Medicaid: End optional coverage for dental, vision, podiatry and hospice (saves $1 billion)
  • Medicaid: Cut spending for nursing-home care by 5% (saves $260 million)
  • Medicaid: Cut spending for hospital care by 5% (saves $110 million)
  • State employees: Cut pay by 3% (saves $200 million)
  • Department of Mental Health: Cut by 20% (saves $180 million)
  • Close other state departments: Developmental Disabilities (saves $634 million)
  • Close other state departments: Veterans Services (saves $64 million)
    Sell or lease state assets
  • Allow oil and gas drilling on state land (raises $25 million)
To which can be added:
  • State employee unions excoriate governor for salary cuts
  • House Democrats call for impeachment proceedings against Libertarian Governor.

3 comments:

Carol Moore Report said...

I'm sure if there was any chance continuing "Cointelpro" operations would do their best to shut you down. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO "The Church Committee report says: Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed -- including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths." Needless to say we should not condone or enable such attacks, even if they do *seem* to come from a private person.

Harold Thomas said...

Carol: I appreciate the information, but am unsure why you chose to post it as a comment to this post. I am unelectable as Governor of Ohio for many reasons unrelated to COINTELPRO. For starters, as a friend said to me years ago, I'm too poor and too honest...

Carol Moore Report said...

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Even if there was a chance you could get 4% of the vote - like the secession candidate did in Vermont (and Libertarian and Green Party candidates often do) - there'd probably be various establishment attacks on you. As we all know, 4% is often more than the difference between a losing and winning major party candidate. I guess political dirty tricks might be more the case than federal disruptions - unless of course you became nationally famous, which you - and we all - may yet!! ;-)