Archive for November 8th, 2022

Most election watchers are focused on whether Republicans will take control of the House and/or the Senate in today’s midterm election in the United States.

That’s an interesting topic, and I’ll close today’s column with my predictions, but I’m going to continue my long-standing tradition (2010, 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) of highlighting the year’s most important initiatives and referendums.

1. Regular readers already know that the class-warfare initiative in Massachusetts is at the top of my list. The left-controlled state legislature has placed an initiative on the ballot to replace the state’s 5 percent flat tax with a class-warfare system with a top rate of 9 percent. The Wall Street Journal recently warned, “A proposed millionaire tax would accelerate the exodus of wealth to New Hampshire and Florida” and National Review added that “The Bay State’s economic future is on the ballot.”

2. It has not attracted much attention, but my sentimental favorite is Proposition 132 in Arizona, which would strengthen the state’s constitution by requiring a 3/5ths vote to approve any ballot initiative to increase the tax burden. This would augment the 2/3rds supermajority that already exists for legislatively enacted tax increases.

3. Speaking of taxes, I can’t imagine that anyone is surprised to learn that there’s an initiative to (further) increase California’s top tax rate. The Tax Foundation explained that, “California Proposition 30 would create a 1.75 percentage point surtax on income above $2 million, which would bring the top marginal rate to 15.05 percent. (Separately, the scheduled uncapping of a 1.1 percent payroll tax in 2024, combined with the passage of Proposition 30, would yield a 16.15 percent top rate on wage income.)” This is so extreme that I’m predicting even California’s crazy voters will vote no.

4. Sticking to taxes, there’s a referendum in Colorado, Proposition 121, to lower the state’s flat tax. The Tax Foundation summarizes what’s at stake: “Colorado Proposition 121 would reduce the state’s flat statutory income tax rate from 4.55 percent to 4.4 percent, effective retroactively for tax year 2022.” Not a huge reduction, but a welcome step in the right direction.

5. For those who follow labor issues, there are two initiatives that merit attention. In Illinois, Amendment 1 would further empower and entrench the power of government bureaucrats. As noted by the Illinois Policy Institute, “Amendment 1 would allow government unions to pass their most unpopular demands at the bargaining table, and voters would have no way to hold them accountable.” By contrast, Tennessee voters will get to vote on whether to enshrine “right-to-work” in the state’s constitution.

6. Last but not least, voters in a couple of California communities will have the opportunity to demonstrate whether they understand economics. To be more specific, an article in Reason explains, “The most sweeping rent control initiative up for a vote next Tuesday is Measure H in Pasadena, California. It would cap rent increases at 75 percent of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index…A handful of other California cities have ballot initiatives that would tighten pre-existing rent caps.”

P.S. My predictions for Congress (which occasionally are accurate) are for Republicans to take the Senate by a 52-48 margin and the House by a 246-189 margin.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: