Soon, it will be official that the $580 million surplus has been appropriated to things such as a 15% increase in annual spending, as well as putting $200 million more into the rainy day fund – now, after the fact, maybe we can discuss the over-taxation of the people of North Dakota that produced that surplus..
The state currently procures $252 million per year via the income tax; 66% of which is paid by the 97% of North Dakotans that make less than $150,000 per year (the remaining 34% of income taxes are paid by that remaining “richest 3%”.)
Many are predicting that the 2009 legislative session will face another large surplus. The discussion must begin now to determine whether the people themselves can spend their hard earned money better than the government. This discussion must not wait until Labor Day 2008. Should a government – By, For, and Of The People – collect endless taxes on The People’s earnings even when those taxes are not currently needed?
This state needs to determine what its priorities are, and fund those. It should not collect taxes and have an entire legislative session determining how to spend the extra money – that is neither conservative nor liberal – it’s just plain immature and greedy.
The legislature’s job is budget, not to figure out ways to spend excess tax dollars. If the legislature chooses not to budget, rather to simply spend what comes in, then The People will have to send a message to their officials that they are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more.
How much income is taken from The People for the purported purpose of “economic development?” Simply letting The People simply keep more of the money they earn is the best economic development plan there is.
Perhaps the time has come to tax what people spend, not what they earn. They will have more money to spend, and the economy will develop on its own. Soon, the consumer base to create jobs needed to keep young people in the state will emerge. Government simply has to get out of the way, and let people keep their own earnings.