Assembly Republicans Protect Yacht Owners from Budget Cuts

The same people who are screaming for big budget cuts in education and social programs for the needist of our state’s residents have come out clearly in favor of protectinga tax loophole for Yacht Owners.

PLease see this story on how the Republican Assembly blocked a measure that would have closed a tax loophole (a sloop-hole) that would have added a meagr $26 million to state coffers this year from people who can obviously afford it.

Then read this LA Times column about the sloophole and the budget crisis and this report from the California Progress Report.

The GOP is calling the closing of the loophole a tax hike but even Tom McClintock says that’s not the case.  Its all about protecting the interests of the wealthy few or the needs of the many.

  27 comments for “Assembly Republicans Protect Yacht Owners from Budget Cuts

  1. February 20, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I know we’re so under taxed here in California. The nerve of those Assembly Republicans. I think Dan and all of your other liberal friends should send in extra money to the state. You obviously think you’re not paying enough.

  2. Aunt Millie
    February 20, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Alan,

    As soon as you and Cunningham and your neocon friends start paying the war tax for your trillion dollar fiasco in the mideast, we’ll gladly chip in extra for things that we really want, like education, health care and infrastructure. I say we bump that car tax back up to where it was before Schwarzenegger got rid of it and ruined out budget.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    February 20, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Allan — I have lived in both New York and Massachusetts, so please don’t lecture me about high taxes. And compared to living in NY and MA, yes, I think our taxes are low.

    I am also a boat owner — nothing fancy..its a 15 foot jet boat. I don;t think the tax applies to me because the boat is stored, not on a sloop, but I’d pat the extra tax.

    Even Tom McClintock says its not a tax Allan; how can you defend this loophole but not be appalled by proposed cuts to education?

  4. February 20, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Please don’t group me in Aunt Millie with other pro war Republicans. I support Ron Paul and I have been against the war since inception.

    Again Dan, if you think you’re not paying enough of your “fair share:” then by all means please remit more money to the state. I’m sure Arnold & the liberal Dem legislators would appreciate it.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    February 20, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Allan –
    as long as you defend this loophole for weathly yacht owners, please do not ever complain to me about overpaid teachers. Trickle down economics is a proven failure. A good teacher does more for our economy over the long haul than a yacht owner.

  6. February 20, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Dan:

    Why not simply confiscate their yachts and sell them? Obviously, these fat-cats are rich enough to buy new ones. God knows, the government deserve to have their money more than they do.

    Why stop there? Why not take all their money? All those clients of the government obviously need and deserve it more than them.

    A good teacher does more for our economy over the long haul than a yacht owner.

    I’d like to see you prove that one, Dan.

    And Aunt Millie — this is a state bill, not a federal one.

  7. RHackett
    February 20, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Who else besides me gets a hoot out of conservatives lecturing about big spending democrats?

    Especially given the spending habits of conservatives at the local and federal level. I’ve been told but don’t know if it’s true that SF is more financially solvent than reddest of the red OC.

    Gotta love the irony in that.

  8. February 20, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Actually I read on Drudge today that the Bay Area city of Vallejo is on the verge of bankruptcy. Here was the article: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_8306159

    The cause is from a crushing burden due to fat union contracts.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    February 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Matt –
    Glad to see the only budget cuts you support are ones promoted by Republicans. We’re talking about a drop in the bucket; $23 million and even Tom McClintock says its not a tax increase. So is closing a loophole some violation of political free speech simply because Dick Ackerman doesn’t want to pay more for his boat slip than he has too.

    Oh and there are lots of studies as the to benefits of a well educated workforce to the ecomony; and without good teachers, kinda tough to get that quality education.

    “The economy of the future will rely on intellect and knowledge. Every business needs ideas, innovations, and creativity. These are the things associated with a good university system. Tapan Munroe, an economist from California said, “Like steel and auto manufacturing during the 1900’s, universities will fuel the regional economic engines of the 21st century” (The Fresno Bee, 1998).”

    But since you asked:
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/bernanke20070924a.htm

    http://www.duke.edu/~bgd3/bgd0202.pdf

    http://nces.ed.gov/pubs97/web/97939.asp

    http://www.commonwealthnorth.org/uastudy/pitneyecon.html

    Oh, and here’s one on the economy impact of Yacht Owners on the economy: http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-6317180/Rich-famous-steer-yachts-to.html

    so you’re OK with increasing class sizes in schools to save budget money but want to make sure these mega yacht owners have some extra cash to remodel their yachts.

  10. February 20, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Dan’s right. There is absolutely no rational or logical basis to support the “sloophole.” Defending it, while tacitly endorsing further cuts to California’s already embarrassing Medi-Cal reimbursement rates (by silence) is pitiful. Shameful and pitiful. This doesn’t even rise to the level of I’ve got mine now you go work hard and you can get yours, too. Rather it’s more like I’ve got mine and screw you.

    Thanks, Dan, for the post.

  11. Jubal
    February 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Gotta love the liberals: equating the government taking money from one group of citizens with government giving money to another group of citizens in the form of services. Is government just a giant income redistribution machine?

    Exactly what is the magic number at which we have “too much money” and the government can plunder us at will because another group of citizens “deserves” that money more than those who earned it?

    Dan, we don’t live in a zero-sum world where allowing someone to keep their money somehow shortchanges someone else.

    I agree a good education system is necessary to prosperity. A good teachers a re necessary part of that. But the “rich” who create businesses and jobs and opportunities are as well, and more so. It’s not one or the other.

    But I’m not very sympathetic to paens to education from a Democratic Party that is more concerned with kowtowing to the teachers unions than improving public education, and whose idea of education reform is simply to shovel more money into a system that doesn’t work.

    I’ll let you get back to searching for rich people to squeeze so we can put their money in the oh-so-capable hands of state government.

  12. Jubal
    February 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Especially given the spending habits of conservatives at the local and federal level.

    You conveniently left out the state level, where last time I checked the Democrats have held the power to tax and appropriate for quite a few years.

    I’ve been told but don’t know if it’s true that SF is more financially solvent than reddest of the red OC.

    The SF charter also requires pension hikes for city-county employees to be put to a vote of the people.

    Would you like to see that brought to Orange County.?

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    February 20, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Nice non-sequiter Matt. We’re talking about closing a loop hole that benefits rich Yacht owners during time of a state financial crisis and only that.

    The Republican solution seems to be cut vital services, cut education, cut MediCal benefits, but leave those poor rich people alone. Yep, that’s a winning ticket come November.

    Just where are you pulling your quotes from in your 2:35 PM post? Not on this string….

  14. February 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Dan-
    Matt’s quotes in his 2:35 pm comment are from RHackett’s comments at 11:24 am.

  15. Dan Chmielewski
    February 20, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I see it now; thanks

  16. RHackett
    February 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    The SF charter also requires pension hikes for city-county employees to be put to a vote of the people.

    Would you like to see that brought to Orange County.?

    Sure would. Is that the biggest reason for the difference between the two?

  17. RHackett
    February 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    You conveniently left out the state level, where last time I checked the Democrats have held the power to tax and appropriate for quite a few years.

    And I’m sure if the Repubs held the reigns at the state level they would be pillars of restraint like their local and federal counterparts.

  18. demmother
    February 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Has business been putting back into our economy?

    I thought it was going to China.

  19. Dan Chmielewski
    February 20, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    That;s the free market at work for you Demmother

  20. RHackett
    February 20, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I should have written:

    And I’m sure if the Repubs held the reigns at the state level they would be pillars of restraint like their local and federal counterparts given how well they’ve managed the finances of the CRP.

  21. Bladerunner
    February 21, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Jubal—

    1) All tax exemptions(credits, loopholes) involve government favoring one group of citizens over another. And by granting the exemption are in effect taking from one group over another by making the one that doesn’t get the exemption pay a higher proportionate share of the overall tax rate.

    2) All tax exemptions have some public policy value(charitable contributions, home ownership) the yacht exemption no exception(some, like the yacht, are stretches). All expenditures also have some public policy value.

    3)Exemptions don’t challenge the validity of a tax. The question is whether that particular group of people or businesses who benefit from the exemption should continue to do so when others are not so blessed–social security earners versus wage earners; food companies versus package companies, etc.

    4) What may be good expenditure and exemption policy in good economic times may be bad fiscal and political policy in bad economic times. Providing yacht owners exemptions that can for one big boat can add up to almost a quarter million dollars seems inappropriate when programs for school kids and the disabled are being cut. Even the Governor who, despite what you consider his Rinoitis, has held firm against no new taxes, has closed this expenditure in his budget. What may be in order is restoring the time period to one year with a sunset provision reinstating the exemption in 2 or 3 years when the economy will improve.

    5) If you and the Reds want to continue to defend the yacht exemption be my guess. But I suspect you and the GOP might end up like General Paulus and the 6th German Army at Stalingrad.

  22. February 21, 2008 at 11:38 am

    And I’m sure if the Repubs held the reigns at the state level they would be pillars of restraint like their local and federal counterparts.

    That would be filed under “non-response response.”

  23. February 21, 2008 at 11:43 am

    BR,

    I think the world of you, but obviously a disagree. the underlying (conscious or unconscious) premise of arguments like that advanced by Dan is that it’s all the government money to begin with, and we only get what the government leaves us with, or what the government transfers to us.

    What Dan is essentially saying is by not taxing yacht owners more, you are taking money away from other people who never earned that money to begin with.

    The problem with this kind of soak the rich thinking is it is making a arbitrary judgment about how much of one’s wealth one is entitled to keep.

  24. February 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    And if the political viability of my position must be assigned a battle metaphor, I’d prefer the Spartans at Thermopylae, or the Byzantines at the fall of Constantinople.

  25. Dan Chmielewski
    February 21, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I can speak for myself, thank you very much. This is not a tax we’re talking about. Its closing a loophole that allows people who can afford to avoid paying their fair share on tax owned that state. You buy a boat; you pay a sales tax on it. And the loophole being closed isn’t going to stop people from buying these boats.

    So Matt, to take your argument ot the next level, if the government takes my tax money and uses it to fund the war in Iraq or uses it for legal fees in state court to argue against gay marriage, is it my money or their money they are using to two different political agendas that I don’t support?

  26. Dan Chmielewski
    February 21, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    “Spartans at Thermopylae” Oh please

  27. Bladerunner
    February 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Well, Senator McCain sure knocked yachts off the front page, que no Jubal?

Comments are closed.