Thursday, January 22, 2015

Double D’Oh!

On my way to the office on Tuesday morning the radio was full of both local and national discussions as we would see a new Governor take office in Pennsylvania around lunch time and the President was set to address the nation in his State of the Union speech in the evening. It should be no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I wasn’t looking forward to either of these speeches. Two meals ruined by the double d’oh!

The morning flew by as I as jumping from project to project trying to make sure things were lined up for what was going to be a scattered afternoon. As I walked out of my office to head to a meeting Tom Wolf (in sheep’s clothing) was being sworn in as the 47th Governor of the Commonwealth. While his speech was innocuous there are too many questions still unanswered stemming from his previously stated views from the campaign. While by no means all encompassing, this was pointed out later in the evening by 6 ABC (a local Philadelphia news station) when they reported the following:

“Wolf outlined his goals in positive, general terms - creating good-paying jobs, equalizing educational opportunity in public schools and providing "a government that works." He did not mention a projected $2 billion-plus revenue gap for the fiscal year that starts July 1 or his proposals that include levying a new tax on the natural gas industry, overhauling the state income tax and increasing public school funding.”

Basically we are all just waiting for the state and local taxes to go up along with the federal taxes that are certain to be on the rise as well. Having a greater chunk taken out of our pay is a near certainty heading into the final two years of the Obama administration. Some will say that it will only be imposed on the top 1% but those are not the ones that are going to feel it. Trickle down taxation is something that is not discussed as much as it should be but simply put the ripple from top to bottom is certain and, in the end, we are all going to have lighter wallets.

By the way, Business Insider has a great state by state chart of how much you would have to make to be considered part of the 1%. The Atlantic has another chart that breaks it down by age. While still high compared to what many of us take home each year, it is takes far less than a million dollar annually to be considered part of the 1%. In fact, when you think about it, nearly every politician that you vote for would fall into this top echelon.

However, what really struck me about the evening speech by the President is the combative tone which he used throughout the night including the record threat to veto four separate initiatives expected to be passed by Congress. This is particularly striking when paired with his other pleas for understanding and cooperation. With an economy that is still lagging and national security in question, might we consider the fact that there are other ways to go about doing business. Of course that wouldn’t work. Instead we are going to keep paying more and more money to support failed and flawed policies because the best way to fix a problem is to throw money at it and the best way to get people to accept something is to give it to them for free (you just get taxed for shipping, handling, and processing). The state of disillusion is strong indeed!