John Adams on the Income Tax
Rep. John Adam, once again, lays the smack down on old man Joe Hallett and kicks his wrinkled ass… Navy Seal style. Oh the carnage!
In his January 24 editorial, “How will Ohio pay for its schools if it kills the income tax,” Joe Hallett raised many questions about my proposal to phase out the state income tax. Opponents and even some editorial columnists will attempt to mischaracterize my bill because they know propaganda is a successful tool, but legislative discussions should consist of substance, not political theater or shock value.
As a father of seven children, I am not willing to let schools in Shelby County or Ohio’s other 87 counties risk closure. Mr. Hallett, you are correct that the income tax was instituted in 1971 to aid schools, but you failed to mention that since that time, the state income tax has grown into an insatiable beast that feeds numerous areas of a bloated state government which consumes tax dollars that could be better spent. Since the 1970s Ohio’s tax burden has exploded going from the sixth lowest to the seventh highest, losing hundreds of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Contrary to your claim, I do not plan to “starve” the government of money but instead will reduce the wasteful annual average rate of spending. When looking at the last six years, total state spending increased in Ohio an average 2.4 percent while the General Revenue Fund averaged 4.5 percent growth. My plan cuts these two rates of spending growth in half and devotes the difference to phasing out the punitive and economically damaging income tax. Mr. Hallett, there are no spending cuts here.
Your argument that blames Ohio’s economic misfortune on the cold weather isn’t new but certainly is flawed. According to the 2009 ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitive Index, some of America’s northernmost (and coldest) states clearly outperformed Ohio’s economy. You overlooked that Montana ranked fourth and Washington ranked fifth for their economic growth, while North and South Dakota ranked 14th and 11th, respectively.
Although five of the nine states without income taxes have higher sales tax rates than Ohio, you also failed to mention that five of the “tax-haven” states are among the 10 most prosperous economies in the nation over the past decade. Believe it or not, Alaska and New Hampshire have neither a general income tax nor a sales tax, yet they still have schools and still pave roads. While you might rationalize why these states still prosper while Ohio flounders, the Buckeye State historically has had its own ace in the hole: a flourishing manufacturing industry…which just so happens to have packed up and relocated because our tax burden is too high.
Ohioans are well aware of our economic challenges, ranking 49th in economic performance over the past decade – beating out only beleaguered Michigan. Mr. Hallett, if you are happy with this economic status quo in Ohio, then you may continue to attack my plan to make Ohio a tax-haven state and bring about economic revitalization. However, I hope you and your readers will join in my efforts to create jobs today, and bring about a positive change in the way our state does business for generations to come.
Instead of asking “How do we pay for schools?”, the question should instead be “How do we unleash entrepreneurs to create jobs and build the type of wealth the state confiscates to pay for schools?” At the very least, Hallett should not write about the income tax when in his official capacity as as supposed “reporter,” since he is the leading defender of the gift from John Gilligan which keeps on giving.