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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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In the scramble to find something, anything, to generate more revenue, states are considering new taxes on virtually everything: garbage pickup, dating services, bowling night, haircuts, even clowns.
“It’s hard enough doing what we do,” grumbled John Luke, a plumber in the Philadelphia suburbs. His services would, for the first time, come with an added tax if the governor has his way.
Opponents of imposing taxes on services like funerals, legal advice, helicopter rides and dry cleaning argue that this push comes as businesses are barely clinging to life and can ill afford to see customers further put off by new taxes. This is especially true, they say, in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, where some of the most sweeping proposals are being considered this spring.
But this is also a period of economic gloom for states. Pension funds are in the red, federal stimulus help will soon vanish, and revenues from traditional sources like income and property taxes are slumping ever lower, with few elected officials willing to risk voter wrath by raising them.
“This is born out of necessity,” said Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat. His proposed budget, being debated in Harrisburg, would tax services including accounting, advertising and data processing.
Read it all from the front page of Sunday's New York Times.
Next entry (above): Charisma Magazine: Study Shows Pentecostal Generation Gap
Previous entry (below): The Florida Times Union Profiles Episcopal Priest Deborah Jackson
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