My 2017 budget proposal already includes more than $1 million in across the board cuts as part of the solution to an $11 million budget shortfall for 2017--much of which was caused by either inflationary pressures or continued underfunding by the state. My budget, for example, brings the sworn complement in our Police Department to an historic high of 620, up from 576 when I took office.
The Council majority voted yesterday for a maximum property tax levy increase of nearly 9%. I vehemently oppose this. The $3 million gap caused by the State's inaction is already a tough pill for property taxpayers to swallow. Going above my budget's amount is misguided.
A: No, our answer is a temporary flat tax, reduction in spending, pay down the deficit. Our leaders need to learn to operate within a set budget just like every household that they claim to represent. Additionally, libertarians would like to see a tax model for limited government expenses, which incorporates choice from citizens in how they are taxed and for what they are taxed. We'd consider contracts or tax insurance models. The wealthy, like all citizens deserve equal representation under the law. Taxing some people more than others is not equal representation. However, as a libertarian I also don't believe that large companies deserve special favors either.
For Bills, what to do about taxes is simple: a flat tax. He favors a solution that would tax every person and business 17.1 percent of their income, with just one or two deductions. That would allow tax returns to shrink to postcard size, and he said it may force some wealthy Americans to pay more.
Congress has three choices to reduce the debt, Bills said: grow the economy, reduce government or raise taxes. He said that cutting government would help the economy grow and could end up bringing in more taxes, even without a tax rate increase.
KLOBUCHAR: Our debt is approaching $9 trillion. This administration and this Congress took a $200 billion surplus and turned it into $250 billion deficit. One out of 12 of the federal tax dollars that Minnesotans are paying goes to interest on this debt. And this is my solution: First of all, letís look at those $70 billion thatís being sheltered in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda for multi-millionaires. Get rid of those shelters. Next, look at capital gains. Not changing the rate, but having a third-party validator like brokerage houses post those because thereís underpayment. That brings in $17 billion. Roll back the tax cuts to the Clinton levels, to the top 1%. That brings another $56 billion in. Get rid of the no-bid contracts so we have competitive bidding, $10 billion.
KENNEDY: We have had six million new jobs. The economy was flat on its back after 9/11. We passed tax relief to reward people--to let them keep more of their hard-earned money. Families, small business, those that take risk and create jobs. Six million new jobs have been created. We cannot be raising taxes, putting this economy back on its back, and also not growing jobs.
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