Upstate New York Is Becoming Detroit With Grass

How high taxes and regulation are killing one of the most prosperous states in the nation

Upstate New York is becoming Detroit with grass.

Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it’s a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.


“Basically what you’ve got in New York is a state tax code and regulatory regimen written for New York City,” says Joseph Henchman, vice president for state projects at the Tax Foundation in Washington. “Legislators say, `Look, New York is a center of world commerce. Businesses have to be here. It doesn’t matter how high we tax them.’ I hear that a lot. But when you apply that same logic to upstate, the impact is devastating.”

The exodus

The lives of Bill and Janet Sauter, brother and sister, sum up the sad story of upstate New York. They grew up in the Long Island suburbs. He went to Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y., near the Canadian border, studied software and enjoyed a highly successful career in Texas’ oil industry.

Janet went upstate too, marrying a minister and settling in rural East Chatham, 30 miles south of Albany. In 1999, she and her husband wanted to move to Texas to be closer to their daughter. But they couldn’t sell their home. Months passed without a single inquiry. For Janet, there was no escape from New York. Her neighbors had similar experiences, she said.

Bill is now retired and living in Steamboat Springs, Colo., where he skis at every opportunity — while Janet and her husband Bob are trying to eke out a living in what has become one of the poorest regions in the country. “There just isn’t much work around here,” says Janet, who supplements her husband’s income by working all night in a home for the elderly. “I’m lucky to have this job.”

Industry has fled upstate New York. “In 1988, Kodak employed 62,000 people in Rochester,” says Sandra Parker, president of the Rochester Business Alliance. “Today it employs 4,000. Xerox has moved most of its people out while Bausch & Lomb, which was founded in Rochester in 1858, has left entirely.”

As a result, Rochester is now the fifth poorest city in the country, with 31 percent of the population living in poverty. Buffalo is right behind at No. 6 (30 percent).

Syracuse was devastated when Carrier, the nation’s largest manufacturer of air conditioners, General Electric and auto-parts manufacturer Magna International shuttered their last manufacturing plants in Onondaga County. A Wall Street Journal survey of the nation’s 2,737 counties, shows that only nine other counties have suffered greater job losses per capita than Onondaga County since 2009.

Bob and Janet Sauter were not alone in their desire to leave New York for more prosperous parts of the country. New York state has lost 350,000 people in the past three years, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy, an Albany-based research group. This is the largest out-migration of any state.

New York was the most populous state in the union in 1960, with 45 representatives in Congress. By 2012, New York fell to third place and its congressional delegation plummeted to 28. The 2020 Census will likely cost New York even more congressional seats. Without the hundreds of thousands of immigrants moving into New York City, the state’s depopulation would be even greater. A remarkable 36 percent of New York City is foreign born — twice the percentage in 1970….


The city of Buffalo tried to disincorporate itself in 2004, so it could shift its Medicaid burden onto surrounding Erie County. The state wouldn’t allow it. It’s probably just as well, say county officials. “Our entire property tax goes to supporting Medicaid,” says Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz.

States generally have three potential sources of revenue: the income tax, the sales tax and the property tax. “Usually a state will concentrate on one and go low on the other two,” says Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation. “New York is in the top six states for all three.”

The Tax Foundation rated New York dead last among the 50 states for business climate in 2013.

The Tax Cheats At MSNBC Lecture the Common People

Gateway Pundit points out that the above people lecturing us on “paying your fair share” are themselves tax cheats. Here are just a couple excerpts on what they owe:

  • “Today, Mr. Sharpton still faces personal federal tax liens of more than $3 million, and state and federal tax liens.”
  • “Last month, New York filed a $4,948.15 tax warrant against Joy-Ann Reid, who serves as managing editor of and until earlier this year hosted MSNBC’s The Reid Report
  • Earlier this year, the IRS slapped Perry and her husband with a $70,000 bill for delinquent taxes from 2013.
  • “In September 2013, New York issued a state tax warrant to [Touré] Neblett and his wife, Rita Nakouzi, for $46,862.68. Six months later, the state issued an additional warrant to the couple for $12,849.87,” National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior reported on Wednesday.

See also HotAir

From the above Rush video description:

Rush Limbaugh (4/22/15): “Toure Neblett owes the IRS $59,000. Joy-Ann Reid owes the State of New York $5,000 in back taxes. Melissa Harris-Perry owes the IRS $70,000, she and her husband together. They’re actively not paying their taxes. Of course, the Reverend Sharpton’s tax bill is upwards of $3 million to $4 million.” 4 MSNBC Hosts Owe IRS Back Taxes, Not Paying “Fair Share”

Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share? (UCLA Professor Lee Ohanian)

Do the rich pay their fair share of taxes? It’s not a simple question. First of all, what do you mean by rich? And how much is fair? What are the rich, whoever they are, paying now? Is there any tax rate that would be unfair? UCLA Professor of Economics, Lee Ohanian, has some fascinating and unexpected answers.

$Ringing$ In the New Year With Higher Gas Prices

In total, Exxon makes about 8 cents on the dollar for everything it does, soup to nuts: Its profit margin for the past 20 quarters averages 8.26 percent. That is, it is worth noting, a good deal lower profit margin than Wired parent company Conde Nast generally achieves, according to the company’s CEO, Charles Townsend. Apple’s profit margin runs about three times Exxon’s. Chip-maker Linear Technology’s profit margins routinely run four times those of Exxon. Energy is a high-volume business, not a high-profit-margin business. (National Review)

This comes by way of Breitbart:

Effective January 1st, drivers in California will be in for a shock as gas prices jump.  This overnight price increase has nothing to do with the fluctuations of the market, nor will drivers be getting a better grade of gasoline.  It’s simply the price of supporting a government that wants to control your every move.

Under complete Democrat domination, Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointee to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Mary Nichols, has decreed that every driver must pay for another level of government control.  As California singlehandedly attempts to combat the ever-elusive “global warming”—now conveniently renamed “climate change”—CARB is putting gasoline and diesel fuel under the Cap-and-Trade scheme authorized by AB32 (known as the Global Warming Solutions Act).

It doesn’t matter that theres no evidence that raising the cost of fuel will do anything to alleviate a problem that is rooted in llaklitics instead of science.  By requiring refiners to buy a permit, this unelected board is doing nothing more than confiscating capital from ordinary Californians. Even though the cost is passed on at the pump, it will be paid by more than just drivers: the cost of every product that must be transported on California roads will cost more.

And for what?  The only clear beneficiary of this hidden tax on fuel are the bureaucrats whose ranks will increase, and the Democrat politicians whose socialist programs will be funded, further solidifying their control over every Californian.  This is how government continues to grow faster than the economy at large—and the never-ending growth of government is the greatest threat to our future, and our freedom.  Tomorrow, 900 new laws take effect, many of which limit our freedom or raise the cost of living in the most oppressed state in the union….

…read more…

So let us recap some of the taxes imposed on California drivers per gallon of gasoline (a sorta update to an older post):

  • State Underground Storage Tank Fee: The state underground storage tank fee is currently 1.4 cents per gallon.
  • State and Local Sales Tax: An average state sales tax rate of 2.25% percent is used in the calculation of the distribution margin although the actual sales tax rate does vary throughout California.
  • State Excise Tax: The California state excise tax is currently 35.3 cents per gallon.
  • Federal Excise Tax: The federal excise tax is currently 18.4 cents per gallon

That adds up to roughly 55-cents per gallon, not including state and local sales tax. This new tax will add a minimum of about 10-cents to this… meanwhile “Evil Big Oil” makes out like a bandit! with their 8-cents a gallon profit margin. Here’s an old 2007 Neil Cavuto discussion about essentially the above… lackluster profit margins for evil oil companies (my 2nd ever uploaded video onto my YouTube channel):

And as Fox already pointed out, these taxes like others will go to pet projects. Now, Jerry Brown’s pet projects versus covering the 500-billion dollars in un-subsidized retirement promises to California workers.

Reforming Tax Rates & Obama-Care Will Boost Domestic Investment

Via IBD Editorial, “American Companies Think The Unthinkable — Leaving The U.S.

Taxes: Walgreen, America’s venerable drug-store chain, is thinking the unthinkable: relocating to Europe. Not because it sees growth and opportunity there, but because of onerous taxes here in the U.S. It’s an ominous trend.

The Financial Times of London calls it “one of the largest tax inversions ever.” That is, a company seeking to avoid punitive taxes in one market by moving to another.

No doubt the FT is right. And after its recent $16 billion takeover of Swiss-based Alliance Boots, it would be easy for Walgreen to remake itself as a Swiss company.

If it did, the Democratic Party’s liberals would no doubt call Walgreen unpatriotic for wanting to lessen its tax burden. In fact, they are responsible for an economic environment so hostile to capital and investment that companies now find it intolerable.

As we’ve noted, corporate tax rates in the U.S. are the highest among the developed nations. The average rate in America in 2013 was 39.13%; for all of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, it stood at 28.2%.

In short, being headquartered here is a major competitive disadvantage for American firms.

According to an analysis by UBS, Walgreen’s U.S. tax rate is 37.5% — compared with Alliance Boots’ rate in Europe of about 20%. That’s a huge gap, worth billions of dollars a year.

But it’s even worse than that. A recent OECD study says the “integrated tax rate” — taxes on capital and income — for U.S. companies is a nightmarish 67.8% vs. 43.7% for the OECD….


A total of 547 companies — including Apple, GE, Microsoft and Pfizer — have dramatically expanded their so-called foreign indefinitely reinvested earnings overseas, which let them avoid the punishing rates here at home.

“The new numbers … certainly highlight what is one of the key challenges for tax reform,” said Wyden. No kidding.

Wyden and his fellow Democrats will try to raise taxes even higher or gut foreign tax exemptions. If so, it will backfire. Companies won’t invest here if government takes more of their money; they’ll just find new ways to put it out of reach.

And why shouldn’t they?

Not only are taxes too high, but also new laws such as Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare, a vast expansion of regulation, debt and the size of government, the federal takeover of entire industries, the bullying of Wall Street and demonization of CEOs, and forced CO2 cuts that will hammer manufacturers have made this the least pro-free market U.S. government in generations….

…read it all…

Pacific Legal Foundation and House Members Sue the Obama Administration

Remember I said this in July of 2012:

Obama-Care will be overturned… no worries [Roberts Knows This!]:

a. The HHS mandate will be coming down the pipeline… it will be overturned on this basis (this may demand one more conservative judge);

b. The “Exchanges” between states being an impossibility both Constitutionally (the majority opinion eviscerated this concept), and Republican governors [like Jindal for instance] have said they will not implement them.

c. Since this is a direct tax, via the Court, this has another Constitutional ground to lose on or for Congress to overturn on. That is this:

Article 1, Section 3, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution [Apportionment of Representatives; Direct Taxes]: Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union…

Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 [Bills of Revenue Originate in House]: All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

d. BECAUSE it is a tax, reconciliation can be used to repeal the law.

e. The Affordable Care Act made a one-word mistake in the 2800-page bill that [c]ould demolish the entire law.

Read more:

“We are grateful for this powerful support from Congressman Franks, a leading authority on the Constitution, and from many other key lawmakers,” said PLF Principal Attorney Paul J. Beard II. “This support from members of the House is especially significant because PLF’s lawsuit defends the constitutional authority of the lower chamber, the legislative body that is closest to the people. We argue that Obamacare was enacted in a way that deprived the House of its authority to ‘originate’ new taxation. By extension, taxpayers were deprived of a core constitutional protection against reckless and oppressive use of the federal taxing power.” (see more)

 Via Gateway Pundit:

In addition to Representative Franks, House members who have joined the brief as amici in support of PLF’s Obamacare challenge include: Michele Bachmann (MN); Joe Barton (TX); Kerry L. Bentivolio (MI); Marsha Blackburn (TN); Jim Bridenstine (OK); Mo Brooks (AL); K. Michael Conaway (TX); Steve Chabot (OH); Jeff Duncan (SC); John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN); John Fleming (LA); Bob Gibbs (OH); Louie Gohmert (TX); Andy Harris (MD); Tim Huelskamp (KS); Walter B. Jones, Jr. (NC); Steve King (IA); Doug Lamborn (CO); Doug LaMalfa (CA); Bob Latta (OH); Thomas Massie (KY); Mark Meadows (NC); Randy Neugebauer (TX); Steve Pearce (NM); Robert Pittenger (NC); Trey Radel (FL); David P. Roe (TN); Todd Rokita (IN); Matt Salmon (AZ); Mark Sanford (SC); David Schweikert (AZ); Marlin A. Stutzman (IN); Lee Terry (NE); Tim Walberg (MI); Randy K. Weber, Sr. (TX), Brad R. Wenstrup (OH); Lynn A. Westmoreland (GA); Rob Wittman (VA); and Ted S. Yoho (FL).

Seeking Low Taxes if Rich is Now a `Lifestyle Choice`

“I love this country but I’ve had enough” ~ actor Ray Winstone

Daily Mail on Richard Branson and Daily Mail on Ray Winstone

…Sir Richard Branson has had to defend his tax arrangements after a spotlight was cast on the billionaire’s decision to move to his luxury island in the Caribbean.

The entrepreneur, one of the most public advocates for British industry across the world, has not paid taxes on non-UK personal income since moving to Necker Island in 2007.
The founder of the Virgin empire has sold or transferred property he owned in the UK to his grown-up children, Sam and Holly.

A report in The Sunday Times highlighted the lack of British tax being paid by Sir Richard, who is frequently pictured with Union Jacks and has been reported to talk disparagingly of tax exiles.

Sir Richard said, in a blog post on Sunday, that he moved to the island seven years ago for lifestyle reasons….

Another article makes the point that “Critics of Sir Richard jumped on comments he made this year that Britain’s tax system was ‘reasonable’ compared with France’s. Responding to the actor Ray Winstone’s claim that he could see himself leaving Britain because the country was being ‘raped’ by high taxes…”

`Scrap Obamacare and Start Over` ~ Warren Buffett (2010)

Via Money Morning:

When asked, “Are you in favor of scrapping [Obamacare] and going back to start over?”, famed investor Warren Buffett said on CNBC March 1, 2010, “I would be — if I were President Obama.”

Buffett insisted that without changes to America’s health system average citizens will suffer.

“We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,” he added. “And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.”

Three debate-ridden years later, millions of Americans still agree.

But now Obamacare is only weeks away from kicking off.

The government program, slated to begin in earnest October 1 when the exchanges go live, is one of the most hated bills in history.

Ask millions of Americans what they think about the new law, and chances are they’re ready to pop a jugular.

Critics heavily oppose the mandate requiring them to purchase health insurance. They’re also furious at all the new taxes, fees, and higher premiums they’ll be stuck paying, thanks to Obamacare. 

Yet, while millions of Americans loathe every facet of The Affordable Care Act, as it’s officially titled, another group of Americans see it as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to get rich: Investors.

According to most Wall Street experts, Obamacare will create unheard of fortunes for investors who tap into the right companies.

That’s because the U.S. will spend billions, even trillions of dollars implementing, regulating, and enforcing Obamacare.

Select companies and their investors are set to make a fortune in the next several months – and years – as the full Obamacare plan gets underway.

…read more…

This comes via Weekly Standard and it:

You know things are bad for President Obama when even Warren Buffett has soured on Obamacare and says that “we need something else.” Money Morning writes:


“Buffett insists that without changes to Obamacare average citizens will suffer.

“‘What we have now is untenable over time,’ said Buffett, an early supporter of President Obama. ‘That kind of a cost compared to the rest of the world is really like a tapeworm eating, you know, at our economic body.’

“Buffett does not believe that providing insurance for everyone is the first step to take in correcting our nation’s healthcare system.

“‘Attack the costs first, and then worry about expanding coverage,’ he said. ‘I would much rather see another plan that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill.'”

…read more…

 And in another story, “Obamacare Hurts Michigan Businesses,”

Kalamazoo-based, medical-products maker Stryker Corp. says Obamacare’s 2.3 percent medical device tax will cost the company $100 million this year, reducing its research and development budget by over 20 percent — meaning a loss of 1,000 workers. The Fortune 500 company is just one of many Michigan employers being negatively impacted, making the state a witness to the national economic harm that Obamacare has wrought, even before state health exchanges mandated under the health care law open Oct. 1.


Stryker is concerned with the “medical device excise tax and its negative impact on jobs and innovation,” says CEO Kevin Lobo. At his 10 Subway sandwich shops, Michigan businessman Ken Adams has switched to hiring part-time workers to avoid Obamacare’s expensive, employer health mandate. He added 25 part-time workers this summer while reducing other employees’ hours. “We won’t start hiring full-time people,” Adams told The Wall Street Journal, even with the delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate until 2015. Cities like Dearborn have alarmed unions by also planning reduced employee hours. Meanwhile, the General Accountability Office has warned of the “potential for implementation challenges going forward” for Obamacare exchanges. Translation: They won’t be ready come October.

No wonder some of the Obama administration’s biggest allies are rebelling.


Tea Parties Not Only Target, Conservative Donors and Candidates

Via Libertarian Republican:

“Ms. O’Donnell, this is Dennis Martel, special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury in Baltimore, Md. … We received information that your personal federal tax info may have been compromised and may have been misused by an individual,”


Additionally, from AllFiredUp radio, “Delaware officials admit tax snooping; won’t identify Christine O’Donnell as target”:

The director of Delaware’
s tax-collection office said Friday that his agency accessed the federal tax records in 2010 of an unnamed taxpayer, believed to be former GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Patrick Carter, director of the state’s division of revenue, would not identify Ms. O’Donnell as the taxpayer but said he approved the inquiry “for routine purposes.” 

“A state Division of Revenue investigator accessed records on or after March 20, 2010 following information that came to the attention of the division,” Mr. Carter said in a statement. “The record access led the state revenue investigator to conclude there was no basis for further state investigation of a taxpayer and no action was taken by the state Division of Revenue against the taxpayer.”

Politiva blog writes:

Who knows what the damage was to Christine O’Donnell’s Senate campaign from leaked IRS information on her that was both false and misleading? One thing for sure is that it didn’t help her. As she says, for someone running on tax reform and fiscal responsibility to have the media talking about your tax problems both real and made up was devastating.

So, how then does Christine get her election back? Republicans should begin calls for Coons to resign his office. Again, he was County Executive for New Castle (Wilmington, Newark), the largest county in the State. Does anyone honestly believe he didn’t know what was going on down in Dover?

…read more…

The bigger the government gets, the smaller the individual gets.