The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A modest proposal

When I met with Governor Rick Snyder shortly after his election, he asked for my recommendations on the reform of Michigan's tax structure. Now that the legislature has passed the version he presented (more or less -- they dicked around with it a bit,) I can reveal the suggestions I made, which were not included in the current bill. Snyder has promised that if the economy of the state doesn't improve by this time next year, he'll resign and move back to North Dakota consider a new bill that would include my proposals.
  • The Pay to Play Business Tax: Any corporation doing business in Michigan, reporting over ten million dollars in annual revenue, and showing a profit is required to increase its employee headcount, in Michigan, by a proportionate amount of the profit in the subsequent calendar year. In other words, instead of paying tax to the state on profit, you are required to hire more residents of the state, who will then presumably pay income taxes, buy property and pay taxes on that, etc., etc.
  • The Think Twice About That RIF Plan Tax: Any corporation doing business in Michigan and reporting over ten million dollars in annual revenue is required to pay any savings realized from reducing headcount directly and promptly to the persons affected by said reductions, for a period of five years after severance, including maintenance of health care insurance and other benefits. This tax is only waived if the corporation can show evidence of having made good faith efforts, over a period of five years prior to the reductions in question, to increase revenue from existing or new operations.

    Note that both of these measures should be popular with all sides of the reduce government (Republican) / maintain middle class standards of living (Democrat) / take everything out of the hands of the government and don't give it to anybody (Tea Baggers) debate. In each case, instead of the proposed tax being paid to the State of Michigan directly, it's paid to individuals who then, at least in theory, pay it to the state (the trickle-up theory, first proposed by an eminent economist (me) in 1972 ("Destroy the fascist economic stranglehold of the Friedmaniac crypto-fascist bastards! Riot, riot, riot!," McLuggage, 1972, Econ 201 mid-term paper, unpublished.)

  • The Don't Be A Damn Fool Tax: Any corporation doing business in Michigan, reporting over ten million dollars in annual revenue, is required to pay the State a tax of ten percent on the cost or savings of any of the following moronic activities undertaken:
    • Outsourcing software development or customer support to any foreign country except Ireland
    • Responding to profitability shortfalls by cutting training, IT, or advertising budgets without equivalent investment in new product development funding (the going-quietly-out-of-business tax)
    • Entering into any form of strategic agreement with Apple, Adobe, North Korea, Newscorp, Fiat, Facebook, or the Hutaree Militia
    • Proposing or investing in the development of a convention center in Ann Arbor
  • The Are You Out of Your Flippin' Mind? Tax: Any corporation doing business in Michigan, reporting less than ten million dollars in annual revenue, showing a profit, providing its owners and employees decent livings, and generally enjoying a level of success and prosperity that adopts a program or programs to grow beyond that level and subject itself to the other taxes described here shall be required to demonstrate that its management has been examined by a panel of qualified psychologists and declared sane to the extent possible under current mental health methods and technologies.
It is my sincere hope that, after the current measures have been shown to be the hollow sham they are given a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate their success or failure, we will be able to move on to implement my program of business-friendly (as long as you're not a very large business, anyway) tax policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment