The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Taxes

Legal Sports Betting Should Be Allowed to Thrive

In May 2018, in Murphy v. NCAA, the Supreme Court invalidated a 1992 law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibited most states from legalizing sports betting.

New Jersey Politicians Argue About Which Taxes To Raise

There is a lesson to be learned from the dispute between political insiders in New Jersey that has unfolded over the last couple of months regarding raising taxes. 

As Other States Thrive, California is a Shadow of Its Former Self

So many iconic images and phrases come to mind when you think of California.  The Gold Rush.  The American Dream.  Hollywood.  The place where anything was possible and big dreams can come true—thanks to the smashing success of capitalism.  “Go West, Young Man.”  It was the pinnacle of American culture, industry, and innovation, and, at one time, a bastion of conservative thought, voting Republican in nine of the ten presidential elections between 1952 and 1988 and producing two famous twice-elected Republican presidents of the twentieth century, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. 

Seattle Soda Tax Not Doing Too Well

While the rest of us were popping champagne to celebrate the arrival of 2018, Seattle greeted the New Year with a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages.  It was needed, former Mayor Ed Murray once said, for a host of noble reasons: to reduce sugar consumption; to raise revenue for important projects like a year of “free” community college for all graduating public high school students; and, to subsidize purchases of healthy foods by low-income f

Connecticut and Pennsylvania Pass Budgets

As we finish our Halloween candy and start preparing for Thanksgiving, each of the fifty states has now passed its required budget.  As forty-nine of the fifty states require a balanced budget, which means the politicians can’t always resort to gimmicks and kick the can down the road like they do in Washington, D.C., the process of budgeting in state capitals takes considerable time and careful deliberation.  This year, for Connecticut and Pennsylvania, passage occurred way behind schedule. 

Cook County Soda Tax Repealed After Only Two Months in Effect

When politicians decide to tax something new, taxpayers rarely see the end of it.  This adage is especially true of so-called “sin taxes,” levies on products like alcohol, tobacco, and, increasingly, soda.  Those in government always appreciate more money, and politicians like beating up on unpopular industries.  It’s a two-pronged argument:  you shouldn’t be buying too many alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, sugary drinks, and the like; and besides, the government needs more revenue anyway. 

Connecticut Legislature Passes a Bipartisan Budget Plan

Faced with a budget deficit of $3.5 billion over the next two years, and three months overdue on a budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, Connecticut lawmakers face a difficult situation and must make tough choices.  In 2011 and 2015, the legislature tried to solve the state’s fiscal woes by passing big tax increases.  That’s why a vote in the wee hours of Saturday, September 16 is so impor

The Needy, Greedy City

Mayor Jim Kenney was elected last year with a promise to bring universal prekindergarten to Philadelphia. With no way to pay for it, the Mayor needed a solution. So now, the City of Brotherly Love has implemented the soda tax.

The FCC Should Keep Its Hands Out of Our Wallets

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be taking a fast and furious ride through America’s pockets lately.  The FCC, under the helm of Chairman Tom Wheeler, announced plans to expand the Lifeline program to give away broadband Internet subsidies to low-income individuals.  What this means for the average consumer is an increase in their telephone bills, by requiring the payment of higher contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Running Down the Clock on Internet Taxes

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to do something important. That is exactly what is happening on the Hill this week. The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is set once again to expire at midnight on December 11, 2015.

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