19 April 2007
I'm not trying to whip a dead horse.
Life can throw a few curve-balls at you - some of which open eyes to a different viewpoint, a different paradigm. I think my mind's been in Florida a bit lately, especially with reports coming in about my wife's uncle who is in the hospital down there. I guess you mix that with David Podgursky's blog and an event that happened a few minutes ago, and for me, an idea akin to an epiphany moved to the surface of my mind.
The catalyst to the new viewpoint came from a very simple comment from Michael Fooladi, who comments in my Would You Trade SALES TAX for PROPERTY TAX? blog. Michael simply wrote, "Absolutely. Raise the sales tax and do away with property taxes." I then thought of the "old timers."
Wouldn't it be something if our Older Adults (the PC form of Senior Citizens) - which are our current Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas right now (and will be us some day) could actually LIVE on their social security, savings, and retirement funds!? With NO Property Tax they could even truly OWN their homes. Completely! Currently, if they don't pay property tax, they could lose them. But imagine a situation with 100% ownership, no property tax, and maybe even no insurance! Full ownership. What a novel idea!
If the burden were switched to Sales Tax, the older adults - who are in their low consumption years - would really get a break. Would this turn Florida into a gigantic retirement home (insert pun here) filled with semi-destitute retirees? I doubt it - real estate prices a too high for that to happen. There would be changes, but I don't think insurmountable ones.
The more well-heeled retirees could throw more money (and sales taxes) into the economy as they'd have more to spend. And the wealth from inheritances - which could be greater - could churn the economy, too. It'd mean less financial burden on the middle-aged children who sometimes supplement their parents living, so again more money for other things.
Of course I'm thinking ideally here for one segment of society. But our aging citizenry - many of whom have given to society for decades and decades - could really benefit from my simplistic observation. After paying for school and government for 50 to 70 years, might someone say, "Stop. Thanks - you've done your part." at some point?
It is quickly becoming nothing short of a crime to grow old in America. Does Florida have a solution, even if only as a side effect?