April 15, 2011

The Rhode Island Tax Day Tea Party 2011

Carroll Andrew Morse

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Heh - "Total Recall"

Posted by: Monique at April 15, 2011 10:40 PM

Hello all. New activist, a registered Independent on the scene, that's me above with Arnold Cartoon/image. Made it that day after finding it online that morning. I've shared some ideas to help take this State back from the unions and democrats with the likes of Colleen Conley, Helen Glover John Hazen White and others. I'm now trying to reach Ken McKay. But, the party's website is antiquated and still has former chair on their - as does Wikipedia for the RI party. Help!

Idea #1 - Excise tax on state pensions that are over average income of 42k per household in RI.

Posted by: Jeff Brown at April 18, 2011 10:25 PM

That's an idea worthy of consideration, although the starting figure for the excise tax will require some debate.
I think you'll find, however, that most of the pension fat cats (the ProJo ran the six-digit ones recently) never had anything to do with unions. The judicial ones are really ridiculous, but the Tea Party has been silent about those.

Posted by: bella at April 18, 2011 11:27 PM

Thank you Bella. The Pea Tarty is indeed very selective about what it chooses to see.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at April 19, 2011 1:25 AM

Not being in the Tea Party,but conservative nonetheless,I can assure you very few people other than those that benefit somehow,support the obscene judicial pensions.
It's basically the same all over-judges(who are often sleazy clubhouse hacks anyway)are treated like royalty.
I don't know why.Maybe it's the word "judge".
I was a NY State court officer from 1971-76 and I saw enough of judges to have no automatic respect for them.
Matter of fact,some of them were absolutely worse than the offenders that came before them.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 19, 2011 10:41 AM

The "excise tax" on pensions is a terrible idea. As a matter of principle it is wrong - once you accept the class-warfare tactic of "leveling incomes" the rest is negotiating over the limit. Why $42k - why not $30k, or the poverty line?

No. In principle, the thing to do is end defined benefit plans and replace them with defined contribution plans. This is fair to all, whereas a punitive tax on high earners is not. The hard part is transitioning those who already participate in the system. Steve Laffey's idea of giving them their fund balance is a good start on that, particularly for younger employees.

Posted by: BobN at April 19, 2011 11:36 AM

42k is average per capital income in RI. Idea is this as a temporary tax to act as a band-aid until pension reform occurs, as well as a way to get the union heads to the table. It is absolutely not class warfare, and it is based on the exact same principle used by our wonderful federal government program called Social Security. Retirement benefits are taxed at a progressively higher rate, i.e. 0% to 50% and then to 85% of Modified Adjusted Gross Income.

I am not naive or stupid and have over 20 years of pension, benefit, investment management experience. This is not a long-term solution and as such this would drive more state retirement plan fat cats to take up residence in states such as FL. However, what you state in "principle" is not "practical" in the short-term. The can will be further kicked down the rhode two or three times over for what needs to happen now in principle as well as practically. So let's be honest here, in principal serves no purpose to close the budget deficit, help fund the $7 billion shortfall or incentivise the self-serving state retirement board to come to the table versus ongoing denial on the part of selfish participants. Finally, this services to help put a "dent" in the excessive COLA that has exceeded the rate of inflation over the past 20 years.

This raises revenue without driving more businesses out of the state nor placing a further economic burden on the entire population.

Put this on the ballet and see what the people of RI decide...

Posted by: jeffbrown at April 21, 2011 12:49 PM
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