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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Guest Column: Rep. Lange on Fiscal Responsibility, Business, and Death Penalty

Representative Gerald Lange (D-8/Madison) forwards his Capitol Report for the past week. Notice two things:

  1. Rep. Lange, with all his ingrained North Dakota Catholic socialism, is preaching fiscal responsibility and an end to dependence on the federal government.
  2. Posting legislative reports online makes them much more easily accessible, researchable, and discussable than posting PDFs. Every legislator should sign up for a free blog and post their legislative updates just like this. (Legislators, if you need help setting up a blog, call me. I can have you blogging in ten minutes, no charge.)

Following is Rep. Lange's text, with links added by me (there's more value the Madison Daily Leader won't add).

Gerald Lange, Capitol Report, 2010.02.13

Last week, our Tax Committee turned down, on a party-line vote, HJR 1002, my proposal to allow the voters a chance to balance the budget by broadening our corporate income tax. Banks and insurance companies already pay it, so why not include the profitable WalMarts and others who just “export” these profits to their home states?

To me, the “art of taxation” involves plucking the most feathers from the public goose while provoking the least squack! Certainly, requiring out-of-state corporations to pay their fair share here in South Dakota should be a “no-brainer.”

The popular belief that we have no corporate income tax and that it attracks businesses is clearly false. My research shows that our “favorable business climate” depends more on other factors such as a trained labor force, transportation, and community services than it does on tax structure. Here in South Dakota, however, ideology seems to overwhelm evidence when it comes to the hard economic facts of life. “There is no free lunch!”

Next Thursday, the death penalty bill comes up in the Health and Human Services Committee at 7:45. Life without parole is a much better alternative and incidentally, saves taxpayer money by forestalling the costly appeals process. If you have an opinion, please let us know or come and testify.

As we move into the final weeks, critical decisions have to be made. Hopefully, with your help, we will choose to promote the “common good” when it comes to critical issues such as education, health care, and children’s welfare. The days of dependence on a near bankrupt federal government have ended. It’s time we took responsibility for our own future. Contact me at rep.lange@state.sd.us.

1 comment:

  1. The words "income tax" remain toxic to me. I don't support it in any form for this state. I think the notion of "expanding" it is a mere play on words. Wedge the door open, and hope that a flood will ensue ... Nyet!

    An alternative exists, and I can support this: HB 1255 would remove the sales tax on food, and increase the rate on other items from 4.0 to 4.3 percent. Presumably, this change would be "revenue-neutral."


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