Monday, January 05, 2009

Taxing (is the) the PITS

The NYS Comptroller-Select, Tom DiNapoli, is warning us that taxing so-called millionaires may well be unavoidable-but he warns that it shouldn't be anything but a last resort. As the NY Daily News reported yesterday: "State Controller Thomas DiNapoli said a millionaire's tax may be necessary to solve New York's budget crisis but should only be used as a last resort. In an interview with the Daily News, DiNapoli said a recession is not the best time to add to the state's tax burden. He called for state lawmakers to make "tough decisions" to curb state spending before considering a tax on the wealthy. "To start out there would not be the smart way to go," DiNapoli said of the millionaire's tax."

We agree with DiNapoli, but we've yet to see the kind of state spending curbs proffered that could be seen as a significant response to the fiscal mess that we're in. All of the WFP and DMI wailing about "shared sacrifice," must be put into the proper context. The advocates who want to add more taxes in a recession should be, instead, the very folks scouring the nooks and crannies of state government in an effort to expose the waste that is certainly there.

If they feel that certain services are indeed "vital," than it is incumbent on them to expose the less than vital government waste of the tax payers' money. Instead, they knee jerk on the more tax mantra; but it shouldn't just be business interests and conservative scholars on the reduce government spending band wagon. DiNapoli needs to be heeded by all of the decision makers and interest groups.