This winters' infrastructure catastrophe in Texas

Sid

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Washington State doesn't have income tax and they manage a safety net.
Whatever you call the taxes isn't really relevant, income tax, energy tax, road tax, sales tax, VAT, property tax, fresh air tax....., as long as the state collects enough to do its duties: make life better for everyone by investing in decent infrastructure, security, medical care, social security.
Without enough funding, a state can't function adequately.

Yeah, I know, European commie talk.
 

Jolene Benoir

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Republicans, as much as they rail against taxes, but like everything else that comes out of their mouths is a scam, really do love taxes that they can misappropriate as they love to attempt to privatize anything and everything they can. The reason for that is so that they may take those taxes and operate what should be a public utility or service under the cover of darkness with no accountability.

This usually means increased taxes as they wish to bring in as much as possible (well increased taxes for the middle class and below, the rich are to not pay any or very little) and sub-par service as they wish to pocket as much of those taxes into private hands as possible.

The anti-regulation push is of a similar nature with similar results. They want no regulations, but when something happens they DO want federal money. The owners of huge companies do not want to pay any money that would be involved in keeping their service (whatever it happens to be) secure and/or safe. But they do want taxpayer assistance when shit blows up in their face, and unfortunately in the face of the public.

These and the absolute collusion of the political class are the reasons why our infrastructure has gone to absolute hell. In the end, it is always the public that suffers. These weasels find a way to never pay the piper. Rather than do the right thing, like ever, they would prefer to use the money gained in such schemes to control our democracy.
 
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Khamon

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The political talking points in the US focus on who pays the taxes Sid. “Raising property taxes will tap the fortunes of people wealthy enough to own property, and reap the profits of owning property, and that’s a good thing” one side will say. “Raising property taxes will punish those who have worked hard to provide a home for their families and ultimately put those hard working Americans on the streets” the other side will argue. Property taxes are lowered when Republicans have a majority and are raised, or left as is, when Democrats are governing.

We have no middle ground here. There exists no multitude of political parties to allow us a granular choice beyond one oligarchy or the other. Our federal government provides for a common defense and protects wealth. State and local governments (on a scale similar to European countries) are supposed to protect the interest and welfare of the people. We need Governors and state legislators that are brave enough to implement the necessary income to offer necessary educational, healthcare, retirement, and welfare benefits to their residents.

But so far not one if fifty states has even attempted it and that’s a far more shameful indictment than looking to our federal system.
 

Sid

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Republicans are basically a party of dyke bombers, which I guess makes them the natural enemy of the Dutch.
We always have our Hansje Brinker to put a finger in the dyke. 😉
I wonder why we have spend billions on our Delta works to be honest.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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It would be very easy in the states to have lots of money being available without the need of tax increases: make the army more efficient.

While the US army is powerful, it's handling of money is really wasteful beyond belief.

This, or just cut the military budget by a lot.
 

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We always have our Hansje Brinker to put a finger in the dyke. 😉
I wonder why we have spend billions on our Delta works to be honest.
For a moment, I wondered if that's where the term 'brinksmanship' derived... but I guess 'Brinker' would maybe means someone who takes care of 'edges' (ditches, rivers, cliffs).
 

danielravennest

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“Raising property taxes will punish those who have worked hard to provide a home for their families and ultimately put those hard working Americans on the streets” the other side will argue.
The way Georgia deals with it is a "homestead exemption". Thus the first $75,000 of your residence value isn't taxed. So low income people with low value homes are lightly taxed. At age 65, the exemption rises to $125,000, because retired people typically have lower incomes. Retirees also get an exemption on income taxes. Property besides your home gets no exemption, and high value property pay the full taxes on whatever is above the exempt amount.
 

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It would be very easy in the states to have lots of money being available without the need of tax increases: make the army more efficient.

While the US army is powerful, it's handling of money is really wasteful beyond belief.

This, or just cut the military budget by a lot.
Or just have the politicians, who are unable to balance a budget, to use their super duper awesome financial gains powers to make the mony appear out of no where, much like the tens of millions they magically have at the end of their political career. If they are such "investment" geniuses, use it to help shore up the insane amount of debt they rack up because they are unable to grasp the concept of don't spend money you don't have. Since 2009, base pay for Representatives and Senators has been $174,000 each year. Almost like they are taking money on the side from corporations and foreign interests...

What needs to happen is tighter budget oversights and an end to automatic budget increases for all branches/components of the government. In fact, a mandatory cutting of budgets should be in place. Say a moderate 5% slashing each year until the budget is balanced.
 

Jolene Benoir

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Property taxes are lowered when Republicans have a majority and are raised, or left as is, when Democrats are governing.
I just want to address this one particular thing in your post. I've had the opposite happen. When Republicans have gotten into power in Minnesota, they begin to demolish all money going to things like public schools, libraries, social services and so on. Certain services are more reliant upon state funding and when that isn't up to snuff they turn to property taxes. Schools are very dependent upon property taxes, as an example.

Inevitably that means that my property taxes go up to shoulder the difference, to keep those services running at some level, probably because I live in Hennepin County, which when the Republican fail to do their job, is in dire need of finding a means of funding. That comes in the form of raised property taxes and there is no system of balance in who pays what. It is a % of the house value so the person with the million dollar house pays the same %.
 
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The other side of the unregulated Texas utility market


SAN ANTONIO — As millions of Texans shivered in dark, cold homes over the past week while a winter storm devastated the state’s power grid and froze natural gas production, those who could still summon lights with the flick of a switch felt lucky.

Now, many of them are paying a severe price for it.

“My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.”

Mr. Willoughby is among scores of Texans who have reported skyrocketing electric bills as the price of keeping lights on and refrigerators humming shot upward. For customers whose electricity prices are not fixed and are instead tied to the fluctuating wholesale price, the spikes have been astronomical.
 

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