LIVE WITH QUIN HILLYER: HEALTHCARE FOLDS

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:56
Jindal's Pension Reform Opponents Make Taxing Argument
Written by 

us debtAs the debate over changes to the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System, one particular red herring has come up in an attempt to stymie this legislation and avoid argument over the merits of an increased contribution of three percent employees would have to make. Unfortunately, it gained credence because of political reasons, and now must be batted away as a distraction from the real issues.

 

Some opponents to the increase claim that it is a “tax” and point to a ruling made last year by then-Speaker Jim Tucker concerning a bill that asked for the same increase that it was a “fee” or “tax,” in order to rule whether it needed just a majority or two-thirds vote to advance. No doubt a similar choice looms on the horizon for current Speaker Chuck Kleckley, with two other considerations also thus in the balance: this being an even-numbered-year sessions, tax increases are prohibited, and in any year they cannot originate in the Senate, as the current bill is.

It was a politically-motivated decision for the term-limited Tucker then had his eye on higher office, so seeming to cut off any increase might win him favors among state employees who voted (apparently not enough, as he subsequently lost a bid for secretary of state). As it was, the legal reasoning behind his opinion was exceptionally shoddy.


Besides the argumentation that decimated Tucker’s conclusion, the fact remains that federal jurisprudence specifically defines a Louisiana state government employee in LASERS as receiving deferred compensation, deductible when contributed but taxable when distributed as income, which is standard treatment for qualifying plans under the Internal Revenue Code. Put simply, you only can tax income even if deferred, not tax a tax itself, nor can an amount be both a tax and tax deduction simultaneously. And in any event, Tucker also then noted he would not consider the hike either a tax or fee if the additional money raised was put into funding the system, as the current legislation does.

Regrettably, this tendency for knee-jerk opponents of bill backer Gov. Bobby Jindal to try to rally against this and any bill that affects state government’s revenue stream has become more common, at witnessed by intellectually-deficient claims that tuition increases at state universities, for example, are “tax increases.” This bad trend impoverishes debate, and, on this issue, the public is served better by focusing on the merits of whether the generous nature of compensation for state employees generally means they should pay more of their share of their future benefits, rather than get hung up on sorting through dishonesty in term definition.

by Jeffrey Sadow, Ph.D.

by Jeffrey Sadow, Ph.D.Visit his daily blog at Between the lines

Retiring Jindal Chief Deputy Nichols Facebook Post


zimmermanHow is race and politics impacting the Martin, Zimmerman case?  Discuss this topic by clicking here.

 


DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS COLUMN? Click LOGIN WITH FACEBOOK (You will be logged in) AND TELL US BELOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THESE ISSUES. YOUR COMMENTS WILL APPEAR ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE. ALSO, IF YOU LIKE THIS COLUMN, PLEASE HIT THE RECOMMEND BUTTON BELOW AND/OR USE THE SOCIAL MEDIA BUTTONS


 

Join Our Email List
Email:  

 

Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Comey's Russia testimony was bad omen for Trump
  • Contenders to succeed N. Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson, at starting gate
  • JBE spending governance leads to Louisiana's lower credit ratings
  • Will distorting RussiaGate backfire on Trump and Company?

watergateEven the Russians are talking about the impeachment of Donald Trump. The L.A. Times reported on Monday, March 20, 2017, “Sergei Markov, a Moscow-based political analyst and a former lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party, claimed the hearings into Russian meddling in the 2016 election are ‘related to an attempt to impeach Trump.’”

Read More

mike johnson2by Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net
Saturday is election day
    The race for the District 8 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives highlights election day this Saturday, March 25.
    It is a special election called to fill the seat of Rep. Mike Johnson, who was elected to Congress.  The winner will serve out the remainder of his term.

Read More

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Louisiana has endured adverse credit rating changes since edwards midDemocrat Gov. John Bel Edwards assumed office, completing a downgrade trifecta last week.

Read More

backgunThe post-mortem on the Donald Trump-Comey-House Intelligence Hearing Monday continues.

On the extreme right, from the jowls of someone who knows a thing or two about investigations against a President, Pat Buchannan, there is still “nothing there, there”.

 

Read More

latter-blum2

TRUMP TALK

Trump Talk: Ryancare, Russia, Investigations, Travel ban--with Jeff Crouere

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1