To pay higher taxes

By Mark Luedtke

This was predictable. Not long ago, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley campaigned to make the temporary part of Dayton’s income tax permanent. It was only a matter of time before she pushed to steal more money from the people she pretends to represent.

The Dayton Daily News reports she’s not alone. “The Dayton City Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved placing the levy measure on the Nov. 8, ballot,” Cornelius Frolik writes.

If you believe the story our rulers and their propagandists tell about the nature of government and the economy, the timing of this tax hike seems confusing. We’re told the Dayton economy is going gangbusters. If true, that would mean tax revenue is the highest it’s been since 2007. Our rulers are rolling in excess dough for services, so they shouldn’t need a tax hike now. It makes no sense.

That kind of thinking will lead you astray because rulers lie about the nature of government. It doesn’t exist to provide services and make our lives better. It exists to steal our money and make their lives better. It provides grossly expensive and counterproductive pseudo-services as cover for stealing our money, and rulers party all the way to the bank.

The proposed hike is 11.11 percent, a hefty increase, but the Dayton Daily News (DDN) dutifully reports the increase as 0.25 percent of income to make it seem less burdensome. But even the DDN hints at the real burden. “If approved, Dayton’s tax rate would be 2.5 percent and the city would be one of only about 30 Ohio municipalities to have an earnings tax of 2.5 percent or higher,” Frolik continues.

In other words, the businesses, jobs and people of Dayton, who have been fleeing high taxes in the city for greener pastures, where taxes are lower for 60 years, will have more incentive to leave. We’ll end up with more abandoned, blighted housing and commercial properties, which conveniently require tax dollars for our rulers to raze, supposedly for our benefit. Catch-22.

Those on fixed incomes will get burned worst.

But as usual, the DDN does everything in its power to promote the desires of rulers. In an earlier article, the DDN parrots, “The tax increase will help close a $5 million funding gap, but also it will pay to maintain fire services, increase police staffing, pave and resurface more residential roads, make park improvements, and better maintain vacant lots, said Shelley Dickstein, Dayton’s city manager.”

Gosh, only a nihilist could be against maintaining fire services, staffing police, paving roads, and improving parks and schools. What a load of baloney. As the DDN reported from a critical point of view…

Just kidding. The DDN is never intellectually, honestly critical of government. Frolik mentions critics only to marginalize them. “Some critics of the levy proposal say the city has the wrong funding priorities, and they questioned why the city isn’t cutting costs to balance its budget,” he acknowledges, but nothing more. Critics are faceless curmudgeons, never quoted, given one sentence then dismissed.

This is business as usual for the DDN. I laughed out loud while taking a DDN survey the other day when asked if I wanted the DDN to continue holding local government accountable.

As far as services are concerned, the private sector provides far better services than government at a fraction of the cost. Dayton’s fire department is notoriously heavy on chiefs and light on Indians. Dayton’s police chief wants spy cameras watching everybody except his officers. Dayton’s roads look like they were transported from London during the Blitz. Parks are poorly maintained and inhibit commerce. Dayton schools stink. Those services, like all government services, should be fully privatized so competing entrepreneurs could greatly improve the quality of life of their neighbors.

The timing of this tax hike has nothing to do with government needing money and everything to do with the wealth effect. When the Federal Reserve floods the economy with newly printed counterfeit money, it creates bubbles and a false feeling of wealth called the wealth effect. Most people are being made poorer, but they feel wealthier during the bubble. It’s not until the bust follows that reality hits home and they realize the truth.

Rulers know this. Dayton’s rulers want to pass their self-serving tax hike while people mistakenly feel wealthy. They know they have to pass it this year before the impending bust makes it impossible.

The sad thing is, if history holds true, they’ll probably succeed, and Daytonians will be harmed further.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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