Sunday, January 20, 2013

Patrick's Tax Proposal


To my surprise, Governor Patrick's tax proposal is a major step in the right direction, and deserves our support.  To the extent that Tim Murray was responsible for this proposal we should thank him too.

The whole package, if passed together, would mark a major shift of the tax burden away from regular Mass. residents and toward those with the most money, and generate a very significant overall increase in revenue.  It would take money from those most likely to park it in speculative investments and put it in the hands of those most likely to immediately purchase goods and non-financial services.  Those in turn would generate more demand - and employment - and revenue!.  By spending the revenue back into circulation on major projects and non-financial services, to the extent that it can be channeled into local hiring, still more employment - and revenue - would be generated.

A back of the napkin calculation suggests that this tax initiative might generate - directly and indirectly - roughly 50,000 jobs, a significant dent in unemployment in a state where the real unemployment rate is at least 20%, or at least 600,000 unemployed.  

Of course if you believe the endlessly-repeated mantra that "Government Doesn't Create Jobs, only Private Industry Creates Jobs", then these couldn't be real legitimate jobs - we would have to count them as imaginary jobs - building imaginary roads?  Generating imaginary paychecks that will get spent on imaginary food, fuel and housing?

I can say with confidence that very few of the unemployed will see it that way.
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