Wednesday, September 23, 2009


UNCHAINED MELODY OR SAME OLD TUNE?: The old saw regarding lies, damnable lies and statistics got a workout today as the Honolulu Star- Bulletin reported that Hawaii’s tax burden ranks 24th in the US.

That’s the statistic.

As for the lie - a classic “big” one that, if repeated often enough becomes fact- despite this fact, we’ve become all too used to being bombarded by greedy, rip-off, big-business-bastards who boast that Hawai`i is “the most taxed state in the country” or “the worst business atmosphere” or some such bloviation.

The information that we’re actually somewhere in the middle of the pack was actually reported last week in an article in the Pacific Business Journal.

But PBJ reports that actually, in many ways, we’re among the best. It says:

Hawaii ranked near the top for corporate taxes (10th) and sales taxes (11th) and was considered among the best for unemployment insurance taxes (12th) and property taxes (8th). Hawaii was near the bottom for individual income taxes (44th).

The one area that taxes were “near the bottom”- as a matter of fact the only one we weren’t among the best- was income tax. But we have to look to the S-B article to get the explanation of why.

It isn’t until the last sentence of their take that we find out:

Hawaii and Oregon now have the highest (income) tax rates in the nation, 11 percent, with Hawaii's kicking in when income exceeds $200,000.

So it really isn’t even some kind of across the board income tax that’s bad, it’s only the progressive increase that was passed last year by the legislature asking those who make more to pay more that has caused the whole “drop”- a drop that keeps us near the middle and of course, in no way even “one of the worst” much less the worst.

As a matter of fact, unreported by either paper- we’re one of the least taxed overall.

But that didn’t stop former councilperson- and now blogger while he awaits the November 2010 election- Mel Rapozo from whining about how badly business people are treated even though corporate taxes remain in among the 10 best.

Though some of his complaint centers around the proposed 1000% increase (yes you read right) in unemployment tax he finally shows how he’s been taken in by the big lie and shows how it’s become a damnable lie in confusing poor Mel.

Mel cites the PBN story but still says:

Small business gets it again. This is one of the reasons why Hawaii is known as a "business unfriendly" state....

It is simply not fair to keep laying it on small businesses. We are having a tough enough time keeping our doors open. Small business is the backbone of the American economy. Let's help them for once. Let's help bail out small businesses, who struggle on a daily basis. We don't have private jets and multi-million dollar salaries. We work hard in our respective businesses and try to hang on to our employees. Stop the assault on small business. Please!!

Is Mel one of those making over $200,000? Actually the legislation was for those making over $250,000 as we recall. Even if he is, he’s complaining about the business or “corporate” tax which as we said is really comparatively low.

But Mel is one of those who has been taken in by the big lie and can’t seem to read the statistics correctly due to the blind spot created by the damnable lie- that is perpetuated by the business media in Hawai`i in not pointing out the big lie or properly analyzing the numbers that belie the lie they prefer to proffer.

While the state worker unions have been suggesting that an excise tax increase- the most regressive of all taxations- would solve the fiscal problems of the state without laying off or furloughing state employees they would be well served- even at this late date- to look at the low corporate tax for revenue enhancement.

But first they would have to get out of bed with management and controvert the big lie. Good luck with that.

1 comment:

Anon333 said...

If you've been watching Mel all this time and haven't figured out he's just not all that bright, you're slipping.