Friday, May 10, 2013

High on Taxes in Colorado – if you can smoke it – Colorado can Tax it! – Marijuana Tax Passes Legislature

The State of Colorado has passed a sales and excise tax on recreational marijuana. (NPR) According to NPR, the excise tax will be set at 15% and the sales tax at 10%. The laws regarding taxes will go to the ballot for the voters to decide as it is Colorado State law (NPR).

Compared to Beer, the Mile High State ranks 46th overall in beer taxes at .08 on the dollar, or 2 cents under the proposed weed tax(Tax Foundation).

On the other hand, once can see marijuana heading in the direction of tobacco – with Colorado setting a tax on tobacco products of 4.2 cents per cigarette and an additional 40% of the manufactures list price. (Colorado Department of Revenue.)

One can see a “cash crop” for states that are legalizing the use of marijuana and taxes on recreational or medical marijuana are sure to become part and parcel of those users’ costs. Colorado set the bar, so to speak, with marijuana sales now in the Massachusetts Legislature (having passed a ballot measure); one can see those users who were previously celebrating, now looking at the Massachusetts version of taxing anything that moves. Compared to Colorado, Massachusetts in kind to the beer drinker with a tax rate of 11 cents on the dollar (Tax Foundation) ranking 44th, however, on cigarettes, Massachustts grabs $3.01 per pack, that’s not in addition to Federal Taxes. (WWLP)

Those who fought to see marijuana legalized may be paying more in the end than they bargained for,

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Massachusetts ranks 47th for Business – Texas #1 - Will Massachsuetts Lose Yet another Congressional Seat in 10 years?

The rankings for the best states to do business in have placed Massachusetts in the bottom ten, according to Chief Executive Magazine, while Texas remains at number one. Massachusetts ranks with New York, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Hawaii and Maryland – states with the highest corporate tax rates and business regulations. Texas continues to maintain its first place ranking, with Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, Virginia, South Carolina, Nevada and Georgia rounding out the top ten.

From Mass Live The Springfield Republican website, one could detect a bit of concern. Apparently,
The key metric listed in the ranking showed that gross state product in Massachusetts from fiscal 2010 to 2011 had grown at 2.2 percent, a faster clip than the national average of 0.7 percent. Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Massachusetts also had a lower unemployment rate than the national average and a state-local tax burden of 9.3 percent, more than half a percentage point lower than the national average.

The publication suggested that the Magazine “catered” to CEO’s and that it was fodder for political points: The Republican’s seized” on the news. (Masslive). See Comments by readers for entertainment value

It is probably no wonder that an exodus which cost the state a Congressional Seat in the last census finds many of its former residents moving to the Lone Star State, over the border to New Hampshire or where business friendly environments, with low tax rates, offers individuals a bit more economic freedom. One may find the Democrat Congressional Caucus down by one more after the next census, unless of course, the trend to tax anything that moves in Massachusetts is reversed.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Rick Perry – You can always Count on Him to Shoot from the Hip – Obama to Texas to Talk Job Creation - ROFLO

Texas Governor, Rick Perry, prepares to welcome President Obama - image ksdk

Dallas Morning News: Governor Rick Perry has welcomed President Obama to the State of Texas, and hoped that he would take something from what Texas is doing, and share it with the rest of the country. (Dallas News)

Perry, ever gracious, suggested this in light of the fact that the President was there to talk about creating jobs. Apparently, there is a difference of opinion on how to get that accomplished. On the one hand, you have Perry’s Texas – where the unemployment is low, taxes are low, business is booming, housing is affordable, and everyday there are refugees from California, Massachusetts, Illinois, and similar stats, moving in.

From those that had moved years ago from a state such as Massachusetts, they insist on two things: one, Rick Perry can be Govenor for Life (and they are former Democrats) and two, no way would they return to the northeast or Chicago. The driving force behind this transformation has been the ability to find a job, and the ability to have a home, without breaking the bank. There’s more about Texas that’s attractive, but suffice it to say, those that move there, stay there.

The President has a different philosophy on how to create jobs, and as the slow monthly jobs reports file in, one gets the feeling that 100,000 jobs per month re just not enough to put the twelve million individuals out of a job, back to work – those jobs, are based on “stimulus” and “green Industry” and whatever forward thinking project the President thinks up next. Unfortunately, it’s a slow process, and by the time the unemployment rate is under what it was when Bush left office, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or who knows who else will be the next president. (The similar unemployment rate was the reason Bush was summarily shown the door with declining favorability ratings – of course that has changed a bit since Obama took office, it has helped Gorge W. immensely.)

Therefore it is extremely ironic that the President would go to Texas and taught his job plan, unless of course, those Democrats think that they stand a chance in taking the state of Texas from those gun toting, bible loving, and free spirited Texans. One might suggest hell will freeze over, but the good news for the rest of the country – the more time they spend in trying to overturn Texas in some sort of Progressive Coup, the less time they will have to spend annoying the rest of the country. Thanks in advance to Govenor Rick Perry for keeping them busy!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

MA Special Election Update – Unions Semi-Endorse Markey – Markey “Grassroots” Spooks Neighbors, Land on Police Blotter!

Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez (right) - Gomez has something to smile about - image KTIV News 4 Sioux City IOWA

How special is the Massachusetts Special Election between Ed Markey (Democrat) and Gabriel Gomez (GOP)? Markey manages to continue to deliver headlines that both amaze and amuse. Firstly, the ACLU has endorsed Markey, which is a given (as he is a Democrat), however, it was “grudgingly” – not wholeheartedly, according to the Boston Globe, who’s headline phrased it as politically correctly as possible: “AFLCIO Despite Some Concerns, Endorses Markey for Senate” The concerns arise in the fact that a good percentage of the unions under the AFLCIO Banner supported Lynch in the primary. Lynch was not the Al Gore of Massachusetts, who would, with tons of regulations, and his affinity for Global Warming, cost some unions in the Bay State their jobs.

Markey is making it easier for those union members who just can’t get excited about the Congressman, to perhaps cross a party line and vote for Gabriel Gomez – who actually looks like he worked a day or two in his life, and is most likely in favor of supporting businesses that would have a greater impact on the economy in Massachusetts and beyond – one – the Keystone Pipeline.

One might even go so far as saying, without a gaffe, without so much as sticking his foot in his mouth, by the very nature of his personality and his beliefs, Markey is handing traditional Democrats to Gomez – Scott Brown must be wondering how Gomez could get so bloody lucky!

On the lighter side of campaigning, the Bedford Patch police log has the following reports of “several Ed Markey Campaign Workers

Monday, April 22

10:25 a.m.- The Bedford Police Department received an alarm activation for 386 Davis Road. The responding officers reported an open door to the garage, but no access could be gained to the house. There were no signs of a break in. 1:37 p.m.- An officer responded to reports of a possible solicitor near 100 Old Billerica Road. The officer reported the individual was out seeking votes for Ed Markey, not soliciting.

2:52 p.m.- Police received multiple calls reporting a car crash at 2 Great Road. No one was transported to the hospital with injuries.

3:22 p.m.- Police received a call from 6 Overlook Drive reporting a suspicious black SUV drove up and down the road several times. The responding officer reported the individuals in the vehicle were campaigning.

4:19 p.m.- A caller reported a suspicious individual peeking in the windows at 23 Neillian Way. The responding officer spoke with the individual who reported he was handing out literature for Ed Markey.

One can’t make this stuff up!! How frightening are these campaign workers anyhow? One has to hand it to whoever hired the staff – or fire them – as one normally does not campaign and get votes by peeping through windows. Mace maybe, votes no. The Black SUV cruising by is more reminiscent of drug dealers than enthusiastic voters – what about Markey’s fresh faced younger supporters? Oh, that’s right, with Gomez!

Time to look at the next reliable national poll as June draws closer, and the TV and Radio commercials start. Down by 4 points, with a margin of error of 2-12, out of the gate, (PPP), Gomez appears to have the edge. He is also a relentless campaigner, and one wonders if Markey was up to the task. There was a poll during the primary that pointed out one salient fact: Steve Lynch was the only Democrat that would get the votes necessary to win – Markey lost to everyone in that poll – but the DNC, in its infinite wisdom, became the GOP and pushed Markey along. That may end up costing them a Senate Seat.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Trouble in Beantown! MA 2013 Senate Race - Markey up by Only 4 Points over Gomez – Michelle Obama to Boston for Markey Fundraiser on May 29th

Markey (left) and Gomez (right) - image AP via Politico

Ed Markey, the long-serving Democrat Congressman from the Massachusetts 5th District, is up against some narrow odds against newcomer, GOP candidate, Gabriel Gomez. A national poll from PPP (which is a Democrat leaning pollster), has Markey and Gomez only 4 percentage points apart – with a margin of error of 2.5%.

Gomez is starting out as a pretty popular candidate, with 41% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. Beyond having good numbers with Republicans he's at 42/24 with independents, and actually seen narrowly positively even by Democrats at 33/32. Voters meanwhile are more divided on Markey, with 44% holding a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. He's at 31/50 with independents.

For a Republican to be competitive in Massachusetts they need to win independents by a hefty margin and get a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats, and right now Gomez is doing both of those things. He's up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters. Both those numbers suggest that some folks who supported Stephen Lynch in the primary are being a little reticent about supporting Markey in the general.

The pollster goes on to note that the good news for Markey is that Obama is very popular in Massachusetts. However, that did not work out so well for Martha Coakley who ran against Scott Brown in the 2010 special election.

Coakley was considered to have made mistakes, gaffes such as being unable to name a sports team; however, one might also point to the fact that in yet another high profile race, Markey is nowhere near the 15 point lead that Coakley had out of the gate. Coakley was known statewide, while Brown was little known. In this instance, Gomez had been working the state in person for months, as well in advertising buys introducing himself during the primary, to households throughout Massachusetts. Markey on the other hand, is not that well known, and his advertising amounted to little more than Al Gore like claims and the usual pro-choice messaging. Social issues are not a pivotal issue in this particular race, as Gomez is the candidate the Democrats wish they had.

Gomez is young, Hispanic, smart, successful and a former Navy Seal – compared to Markey, who looks like a great-grandfather of NARAL.

How much trouble is Markey in? Given the popularity of Obama in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe is reporting thatMichelle Obama will be headlining a fundraiser for Markey on the 29th of May – the ticket is priced at $37,600. The Globe goes on to note that the White House is prepared to do anything to help Markey – a reliable progressive voice in the Congress. The problem with Markey is he won by a margin of 58 to 43 percent.(Boston Globe) which sounds like a solid Democrat lead, however, those Lynch Democrats, and the Republican’s, and Independent's that voted for Lynch as a Blue Dog Democrat, will, in all likelihood, end up in the Gomez column.(See PPP Poll for Verification.)

Again, as a reminder, Obama personally came to Massachusetts to campaign for Martha Coakley in 2010, and that did not work out as well as expected. (Politico) That may necessary again, considering the circumstances – Gomez is not Scott Brown, he is extremely aggressive, out of the gate, with in-state and out-of-state ground troops that came in during the primaries. Brown did have ground troops, but that came weeks before the special election. There isn’t justification to compare Brown to Gomez (yet, so many articles in the news are dubbing Gomez, the next Scott Brown), they are in no wise similar, the only link is that they both are – Republican’s in Massachusetts, and Gomez is, of all things, an Hispanic Republican.

While Markey represents everything that is wrong is Washington – the status quo.

The only attributes that would make Gomez even more dangerous to the Democrats – if he were a woman and African American, making him a representative of the three “guaranteed Democrat voting blocs”, but one, being Hispanic is dangerous enough. What next? With Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, making a dent in the Democrat “owned” demographic,

Democrat heavyweight William Blaine "Bill" Richardson III has openly questioned the legitimacy of Texas Senator Ted Cruz's Latino heritage based solely on the Texas senator's politics

(On ABC This Week – Richardson stated :)

"I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic. He’s a politician from Texas, a conservative state...."

Perhaps Richardson ill need to make a trip to Massachusetts with Michelle Obama to remind the base that Gomez isn’t really Hispanic, he’s a Conservative….

Of course, as the progressives try and paint Gomez as “Tea Party”, which is laughable, they may indeed attempt to lump Gomez, with Cruz, Rubio, Martinez – all Hispanic Republican’s – who, despite some Tea Party support for the later three, those Hispanics that are conservative are no different than anyone else who finds that defending their political points of view, comes with labels, some of which have overtones of racism. Democrats (national) for all their party of inclusion hype, are starting to sound a lot like the narrative one hears about the counter-party – racist, angry old white men.

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