Sunday, June 21, 2009

Democrats in Legislature split over capital gains tax break - JSOnline

Democrats in Legislature split over capital gains tax break - JSOnline

This split between the gas tax versus capital gains is quite interesting. The current split is between Democrats, rather than between the parties. Why?

What are these revenues for? Are they targeted to fund particular functions? Which?

What policy change was adopted several years ago that helped create the problem with funding this function?

How should particular functions be funded? Should the revenue be directly linked to the function or should all functions be paid for from the entire revenue pool?

Compare this with the traditional use of property taxes for K-12 education. How has education funding evolved over time? With what conseqences?


  1. Well it seems the reason that the split is between the Democrats, because the GOP doesn't want anything to do with either measure. It seems that a possible reason Doyle would not want to repeal the capital gains tax, is because at the current point in time (and the economy) such a measure might not go over well with the as far as public relations is concerned. The gas tax is much more appealing to the public, as it is more easily construed as a "rob from the rich and give to the poor," type of policy with which few (except big oil) can become easily angered with (provided that they don't end up paying for the tax themselves at the pump.) As far as what the revenues go I am uncertain, but a good guess would be education, prisons and contractors for public goods (highways etc.) I don't necessarily believe that revenues need to be tied to their function and think it is impractical to limit resources in such a manner. As long as the money is being taken in through sound policy and spent in a manner that will better public welfare, who cares if it is related to its function?

  2. I have similar feelings to Kurt regarding why the repeal for the capital gains tax exemption seems to be between the Democrats instead of between the GOP and Democrats. It is easier for the general public to accept the tax on oil because high gas prices have notoriouslly been an issue in this state. However, I am not sure that keeping this tax exemption in place can be considered at all fair to the overall general public? I am not extremely familiar with this topic, but it seems to me that this tax exemption can be easily exploited by those who are in the upper income brackets, which may be contributing to the rich staying rich and the poor falling even more behind in their take-home income. Like I said, I am not familiar with this but would like to say that this seems to be a tax exemption that more readily aids the wealthy and does little to help out those that need it the most in the lower tax brackets.
    In response to the issue of state funds being set-aside for students in the Milwaukee area to attend private schools, I have mixed feelings. As a child, I attended both a private school and a public middle school. Receiving help from the private school to attend, I am not familiar with state funds being used for private tuition, as my scholarship to attend was provided through our parish/school. Though I understand the predicament with MPS in the state and the right for every child to attend the school he or she chooses, possibly if we moved those funds, as well as allocated funds from other areas (though these days I'm not sure from where), maybe the MPS would be in slightly better shape. Consequently in this way, these funds would be enjoyed by the general public instead of a select few. But in general, I do not think that revenues always need to be tied to their function.


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