Blogging License

So I pull up good ol' Drudge Report and at the top, I see this headline: Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 for 'license'. I thought to myself "no way" until I followed the link, and sure enough, there's the Washington Examiner running a story about how some poor lady who rakes in a whopping $50/yr on her blog is being asked by Philadelphia to fork over $300 for a business license.

A business license? Are they nuts? On what planet could this possibly even begin to make sense? I realize that the economy is toast and cities are getting desperate to find funding, but launching a full out assault on personal speech isn't the way to go about getting there.

If Philadelphia wants to find a solution to their economic woes, they should start by dropping this ridiculous tax, cut their welfare programs, quit paying the union thugs in charge their humongous pensions, and cut taxes for their citizens so they'll be encouraged to invest money into the city instead of trying to bully them into leaving.
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Aug 22, 2010 10:54 pm by Samson in: | 17 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
I'm entirely not clear on how they could prove that you've got a blog (particularly if it's hosted out of state or even out of country) or how they could justify calling it a business if, like most of us, it generates zero income (let alone profits)... and, is it constitutional to impose a tax on speech? Considering how large a role the City of Brotherly Love played in the creation of our government and our constitution, this seems quite the shocker.

Okay, read the article and the first page of comments. She didn't make $50/year on her blog, she made $50 over 11 years between her blog and another web site. The article also points to another individual who did manage to rake in $11 over two years strictly from his blog facing the same license requirement, but adding insult to injury, this is just the first step in the process Philly's sticking to these folks, after they pay the $300 they then have to also pay income/sales taxes on those proceeds from their blogs and a litany of other taxes/fees/licenses as well. :crazy:

       
If Philadelphia wants to find a solution to their economic woes, they should start by dropping this ridiculous tax, cut their welfare programs, quit paying the union thugs in charge their humongous pensions, and cut taxes for their citizens so they'll be encouraged to invest money into the city instead of trying to bully them into leaving.


Actually, what they need to do is cut public debt and return the budget to surplus. The following is from Scientific American. by Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

The continuing economic crisis in the U.S. and Europe is quickly sharpening the debate over public finances. Several countries have budget deficits around 10 percent of national income or larger, and their governments must show their publics and the financial markets that they have a plan for dealing with these unprecedented peacetime imbalances.

In the wake of the financial panic in late 2008, most economies adopted fiscal stimulus packages of spending increases and tax cuts in keeping with Keynesian ideas (which I cautioned about in my March 2009 column). Because consumer spending was falling, offsetting the decline through higher government spending or by stimulating private spending by tax cuts was considered necessary. Keynesian thinking presumes that the financial markets will readily buy government bonds to finance the stimulus.

It proved overoptimistic for many smaller European countries, most recently Greece. Potential investors looked ahead skeptically to governments’ ability to service those debts through some combination of higher taxes and lower spending in the future. Consequently, the bond markets slammed the door on new financing by Greece early in 2010 and threatened to do the same for various other European countries, including the U.K.

So far the U.S. has not been similarly touched. Unlike Greece, the U.S. borrows in its own national currency: whereas the Greek government can run out of euros, the U.S. government cannot really run out of dollars as long as the Federal Reserve provides them. Of course, the fear in that case is not bankruptcy but that central bank financing of future deficits will stoke inflation.

Yet even if the markets agree to finance deficit spending, large-scale borrowing might not be wise. Large deficits today mean that the public debt will rise sharply as a percent of national income. The ratio of U.S. debt to GDP will roughly double between 2007 and 2011, from around 37 percent to 70 percent. Even if the budget deficit is then reduced through spending cuts and tax increases, the costs of servicing the extra debt will remain and will distort the economy. Furthermore, awareness that today’s budget deficits will eventually require spending cuts and tax increases at least blunts the short-term stimulus effects of the deficits. Households may save rather than spend any tax cuts on the grounds that future taxes are rising. And higher interest rates caused by budget deficits may dampen any boost in private investment spending.

America’s budget deficit challenge is worsened by the country’s deep political division over the role of government. Tax increases are anathema, but contrary to common belief, there are few easy cuts in the budget for removing simple waste.

The biggest waste, I would suggest, lies in the Pentagon budget, which now stands at around 5 percent of GDP and finances two expensive wars, hundreds of overseas military bases, and overpriced service contracts and weapons systems. Yet no public consensus on a sharp reduction of military outlays exists.

Still less will there be an agreement on cutting civilian spending, the bulk of which is on Social Security, Medicare, Med­i­caid, food stamps and other mandated programs. Many categories of discretionary civilian spending—sustainable energy, R&D, infrastructure, higher education, global development and more—are chronically underfunded rather than laden with waste. The much disparaged earmarks, which do distort the budget, constitute only perhaps 1 percent of total budget spending or even less.

We need to look again at higher taxation of the superrich. The wealthiest 1 percent of U.S. households now take home more than 20 percent of all household income, more than double their roughly 10 percent share around 1980. The richest 0.01 percent of households brings home around 5 percent of total household income.

The superrich households have also enjoyed repeated tax cuts during the past 30 years. Their increased tax contribution will not be sufficient to balance the books. We will also need to look at higher gasoline taxes, carbon-emissions levies and perhaps even a national value-added tax. Yet the superrich households are the right place to begin to get our public finances back in order.

       
Edited by The_Fury on Aug 26, 2010 12:40 am
fiscal stimulus packages of spending increases


Jesus, these people really don't get it. That's what got us into this mess. You can't combine spending increases with tax cuts. This is how you generate governments with deficits the size of Obama's ego.

Even if the budget deficit is then reduced through spending cuts and tax increases


This also doesn't work either. You can't combine spending cuts and tax increases because it causes unemployment as employers begin cutting people loose to save on their now higher taxes.

You have to combine tax cuts with spending cuts. Do like was done during the Coolidge administration. Otherwise known as the roaring 20s. Massive cuts in federal spending, along with sensible tax cuts. People get hired on in droves under these conditions which generates massive amounts of federal revenue.

We need to look again at higher taxation of the superrich.


No, no we don't. Imposing the burden on the superrich will only cause them to start hoarding what they already have. They'll cease hiring, cut the workforces at the companies they own, and if ludicrous policy like this is allowed to last long enough, they'll leave the country and become exempt from US taxation entirely.

What this guy is deliberately leaving out is that the top 1% also pay 70% of the tax burden as it is now.

We will also need to look at higher gasoline taxes, carbon-emissions levies and perhaps even a national value-added tax.


Great. Massive penalizing taxes on the middle and lower classes. Brilliant solution.

This brings us right back to my tax proposal I've mentioned before. Get rid of all that bullshit stuff and impose a 15% national sales tax. That's it. Nothing else. Feds can't generate the revenue they want from that, tough shit.

       
(Dallen) [Anon] said:
Comment #4 Aug 26, 2010 9:11 am
Samson said:


Get rid of all that bullshit stuff and impose a 15% national sales tax. That's it. Nothing else. Feds can't generate the revenue they want from that, tough shit.


That's actually a good idea, of course it would mean everything you and I buy would have like a 29% tax on it.



       
Nah, Dallen, you missed Samson's other thread a bit ago about the 15% sales tax thing, the idea is to get rid of all other taxes and replace the whole lot of them with a national flat 15% sales tax. For some things, like gasoline and cigarettes, that would actually lower the price we're paying.

       
(Dallen) [Anon] said:
Comment #6 Aug 26, 2010 12:27 pm
No, I actually got his point. I was just saying for him and me it would come to like 29% (15% NST, 11% state ST, 7.5% Local st) etc. Plus they'd still find a way of putting a punishment tax on things like booze and cigarettes.

       
What state are you in Dallen? I only pay 9.5% in sales tax here in CA in my county, and there's no 7.5% additional local tax from the city either.

       
I see what you meant, Dallen. I don't now which state you're in that's hitting you for 11% sales tax already, but I have run across a few cities that add their own sales tax to the state sales tax with amounts that are pretty questionable, but 7.5% on top of a state sales tax of 11% would be enough to get me to seriously consider moving or at least only shopping online.

       
(Dallen) [Anon] said:
Comment #9 Aug 26, 2010 1:33 pm
I just was wrong about what the state sales tax is. (I'm in California). In town, there's a 7.5% sales tax, where I actually live there isn't-but there's nothing to buy either.

       
(Dallen) [Anon] said:
Comment #10 Aug 26, 2010 1:34 pm
Oh, yea forgot about the county sales tax, but I don't know how much that is.

       
The only way to make a VAT/GST work is to have centralized national taxation and to remove the powers of the states to create new taxes that are doing the same thing as the VAT/GST tax. Of course this is something that would never happen as everyone in the US is fearful of centralized national government.

When GST 10% was introduced here in Aussie, it lead to somethings being cheaper and somethings being more expensive, but overall, things stayed about the same. What it did provide whoever, was greater revenue for all levels of government, coupled with boom times in the economy, and we had plenty of years of budget surpluses and extraordinarily low levels of government debt.

Sadly, the US is just not prepared for this kind of tax reform and the other reforms that have to go along with it to make it work well. Also, this would not be a quick fix to to taxation and the economy either, until the US can balance its books and deliver budget surpluses and pay down public debt, all the reforms to taxation in the world wont fix the problems you face.

And this is what Jeffrey D. Sachs column is about, the US due to its policy choices faces an economical dilemma, and the root cause of this is high levels of public debt and no real savings in the budget to be had by lower public spending to pay down that debt, other than by cutting military spending which the US pubic wont wear. More so that the US public wants lower taxes, better health, schools, roads, jobs, et al, but there is no room in the budget to pay for them currently, growth is low so there is no new money to fund them other than having the FED print dollars to make it all happen, which in the end leaves you all the poorer due to inflation and leaves your children to fave the issues you were too weak to deal with.

       
Jesus, these people really don't get it.


Read what he is saying, he is saying, he is against such ideas and gives Greece as an example of what can happen when you do such things to excess.

This also doesn't work either.


Again he outlines the problems this causes.

No, no we don't. Imposing the burden on the superrich will only cause them to start hoarding what they already have


Atleast this is something in which we actually disagree, Do you really think that say a 5% tax on the Rockefellas would really change how they spend and what they spend it on, i highly doubt that i would change my spending patterns on a 5% change in my taxation and i earn a lot less than they do.

Great. Massive penalizing taxes on the middle and lower classes. Brilliant solution.


I have to agree with you, but i can understand where he is coming from, the US does enjoy some of the lowest levels of taxation on these essentially limited resources, approximately 12 cents per litre taxation of gasoline compared to 38 cents per litre here in Aussie as an example.

       
The problem, Fury, is that the Rockefellas of the world didn't get to be that wealthy, nor stay that wealthy, by not being concerned about little 5% tax increases. ;)

Beyond that, I think the US is, in fact, ready for some drastic reforms that would simplify taxation as well as make it more fair. What we don't need is yet more spending to somehow magically cure the debt nor new taxes on the middle/lower classes who already can't afford what they're being told to pay.

Oh, and if you think we've got great low taxation on limited resources like fossil fuels because our gasoline prices are so much lower than yours, you're going to have your mind entirely blown away when you see what gasoline is selling for in Venezuela... ;)

       
Edited by Conner on Aug 26, 2010 4:25 pm
Yeah Chavez is an idiot, what can i say, here is a REAL socialist moron in action (not the pretend Obama socialist) selling stuff for less than the cost of production as his socialist utopia crumbles around him due to waste, inefficiencies and corruption.

However its not all as bad as it seems, while they might have 6 cents per litre for petrol, the general population only earns that per month if they are lucky, but the price of hay to feed their donkeys is $2 a bale, (sarcasm).

       
Edited by The_Fury on Aug 26, 2010 4:38 pm
Me said:

I have to agree with you, but i can understand where he is coming from, the US does enjoy some of the lowest levels of taxation on these essentially limited resources, approximately 12 cents per litre taxation of gasoline compared to 38 cents per litre here in Aussie as an example.


I should also add, that Australia enjoys low unemployment 5%, growth of about 3% and out of all the industrialized nations we came out of the GFC with the lowest amounts of public debt and we did not go into recession. Maybe, just maybe, our slightly higher levels of taxation and our better policies on economic maters and the fact that we can balance a budget and have surpluses during the good years has something to do with the good position we find ourselves in right now, and that other countries should follow our example. :)

       
Edited by The_Fury on Aug 26, 2010 4:42 pm
our slightly higher levels of taxation and our better policies on economic maters


Or it could be you don't have 350 million people to deal with, 40 million of whom don't even belong there. :)

       
Chavez may not be the sharpest tool in the shed every time, but damn I wouldn't mind filling my tank at $0.24/gallon instead of $2.55/gallon..

As for your patriotism, Fury, I'm with Samson. Your numbers may be skewed a bit by some other numbers, but the loyalty to your country is nice to see. :P

       
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