[FoRK] Bush's tanking approval ratings

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Tue Apr 12 10:04:59 PDT 2005


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Stephen D. Williams writes:
> To some extent you can look at the lifecycle of a person relative to 
> infrastructure and say that it is ok for those making less to pay less 
> (say while they are young) because they'll pay more (in taxes) when they 
> are older (generally).  If you were to charge the same user fees to a 
> starting-out 19 year old, they would be stifled compared to 40 year old 
> mid-career professional.  That is one kind of regressive pattern, even 
> if it lets lifetime low wage earners off the hook in some sense.

Dude -- did I hear you just make an argument for funding this stuff from
income tax? ;) Seriously, that's the canonical left-wing point of view of
taxation w.r.t. user fees, iirc -- pay according to ability to pay.

One reason these "user fee" forms of taxation have been creeping in is
because raising the income tax rate is now far from popular.

A couple of years ago, the Fabian Society (a UK leftie think tank)
proposed hypothecated tax -- splitting income tax into normal income tax
(unpopular) and a new "health tax", funding the NHS (popular).  Both would
come from what is now income tax.

  http://www.progressives.org.uk/magazine/default.asp?action=magazine&articleid=266

PS: on another part of the thread, it was noted that one reason people say
they buy SUVs is because they're "safer for the children".  Possibly,
except when they increase the number of kids being reversed over by their
own parents, due to their high ground clearance and larger blind spot.
Oopsie!

  http://www.sundayherald.com/print38681
  http://www.kidsandcars.org/statistics/statistics.html

Other good stats in that article, btw:

- - '4.5% of pedestrians struck by a car died, the figure rose to 7.8% when
  they were hit by a small SUV, and 11.5% when hit by a large one.'

- - 'That off-road vehicles also pose a danger to pedestrians in Europe is
  confirmed by safety tests performed on behalf of the UK and four other
  European governments. The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro
  NCAP) rates vehicles on the damage they would inflict on pedestrians in
  a 25 mph crash by giving them up to four stars for safety. Of the nine
  large off-road vehicles so far tested, one is so bad it earns no stars,
  seven earn one star, and one earns two stars ... Their designs are
  variously condemned as offering 'poor' or 'dire' protection to
  pedestrians.'

- --j.
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