Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time For a Tea Party

I live in New York, the highest taxed in the Union. This is depending on what source you look at. This site has New York at the top. This site has New York in second with New Jersey being first. Our taxes just keep going and going and going up. For instance, take the counties that pay the highest property taxes in the country; of the top 10 highest four of those counties are in New York. New Jersey rounds out the top ten with six of the highest. The gasoline tax in my county is 42.3 cents on every gallon. Our local resident multi millionaire, Tom Golisano recently changed his residency to Florida and now saves $13,000 per day in NYS taxes. Does that mean that the rest of us will have to make up that deficit now, I hope not.

New York state is the third most populated state in the nation but ranked at 27th in size. It goes without saying that our amount of welfare recipients is pretty high also. I've never been on welfare and hope to never be on it. My family is gainfully employed and I'm so very grateful for that. It must be awful for low income families to make ends meet. To worry about feeding your children healthy meals, pay rent and general living expenses is certainly a challenge. There are plenty of folks who try their best using their welfare checks wisely. For whatever reason they need welfare but are working towards getting off of it and supporting themselves. Then there are those who come up with all sorts of ways to cheat and defraud welfare. They've honed their scamming skills and know how to work the system. These are the people that make me angry because after all, who is supporting them by paying taxes that pay their welfare benefits? You and I do!! I do believe there should be some sort of welfare reform allowing people to work lower paying jobs and supplement with welfare.

Governor Patterson just came out with a program that gives low income families a one time extra $200. per child to pay for school supplies. There are over 800,000 kids receiving the 200 bucks. That's a hell of a lot of dough. The money was put on their benefit card that could be used any ATM last Tuesday August 11. Many families are using it for that exact purpose but guess what? Many are not. Last Tuesday many ATM's ran out of money and stores that don't sell school supplies had a huge spike in business. I'm talking about cell phone stores and Best Buy. Best Buy had a run on flat screen televisions and Walmart electronics were also selling like hotcakes. They actually made phone calls to see if this was welfare fraud since this sales bonanza occurred the same day the school supply money was deposited.

Here's the thing, in my city we have many programs that give low income children free backpacks loaded with new school supplies and I'm sure other cities do too. I'm not begrudging these children new supplies at all. I think it's great but I see in my own school families that can't afford new clothes, shoes, backpacks and supplies and they're not on welfare. I can't tell you how much of my own money I've spent on supplies for kids. What rubs me the wrong way about this program is that there are no checks or balances as to how the money is spent. You don't have to prove you spent it on school related items. Seems to me it should have been given out in the form of vouchers, which in turn are presented to "purchase" the supplies. Maybe give it more thought and set up clearing houses where one could go and pick out things. But not waste it on things for the parents. Many kids will return to school without the things they need even though money was provided. Guess who will front them the pens, pencils, paper, folders, books they require? The teachers. Most likely out of their own pocket.

Money is tight for everyone these days and I wish someone would give me a little windfall. One way I could make some extra cash if I was younger is to sell my eggs for stem cell research. Yes, New York State tax payers will pay women up to $10,000 for the donation of their eggs. I'm all for finding cures for diseases and am pro stem cell research but geez my taxes will go up more.


tornwordo said...

It was my understanding that welfare money has to be repaid eventually and that it isn't permanent. There's probably more money lost to people fudging their tax returns than is doled out to the needy. And hey, consider yourself lucky, I live in the place with the highest taxation in all of North America. Let's see, gas right now is 105 a liter. What's that 4 bucks a gallon? And property taxes are insane up here. Still, we do have universal healthcare.

What I don't understand is how whole states like Oregon can function with 0 sales tax. What're they doing different from the big sales tax states?

S said...

yeah sounds to me like someone should have thought more about just shelling out $200 checks to people to purchase school supplies. I am no genius but even I KNOW that people are gonna use that money for other "things". Like you said, vouchers would have been more appropriate.