The Senate passed its version of the “bail out bill.” Well, that is what they are calling it. A better name would be “The Stick it to America Bill of 2008.”
The bill, whatever you want to call it -- “bail out” or “stick it to America” -- as passed by the Senate has a number of interesting provisions. One of the most perplexing is that it authorizes tax breaks for property owners in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. No doubt, property owners in those states are quite pleased with this provision.
This is a perplexing provision. You see, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming do not have state income taxes. So, this is a real windfall for property owners of those states.
Why would these tax breaks be given? That answer is kind of hard to find.
Let’s look at the property tax rates in these states in relation to other states:
Alaska ranks 18th. Florida ranks 19th. Nevada ranks 29th. South Dakots ranks 22nd. Texas ranks 12th. Washington ranks 11th. Wyoming ranks 41st.
Hard to say that any of the property owners in these states are being taxed to death.
Of course, at this juncture in history, it is kind of hard to imagine why any tax breaks or tax credits are being given. And, just to compound the debt that the country already has, there is an additional funding of $3 billion for rural schools over the next five years. Toss in another $8 billion over the same five-year period for disaster relief, much of it for Midwestern states. Somehow, a provision also got stuck in that requires insurance companies to provide better benefits for mental health.
The bill also provides for tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for middle class taxpayers. Wonderful.
Who is going to pay for all of this? How is it all going to be paid for? No one seems to be able to offer a concrete answer. Those two questions can provide some insight into the requirement that insurance companies provide better benefits for mental health. Those Senators who voted for this bill are all insane. They are going to need those better benefits for treatment if they ever decide to avail themselves of it.
The spending continues unchecked as America continues borrowing money to stay afloat. Be afraid. Very afraid. The politicians are sticking it to America all in the name of getting re-elected.
The Old Codger has left the room