Deduct This!

Austin-American Statesman: House passes sales tax write-off – Bill also includes tax cuts for businesses, $9.6 billion in tobacco subsidies:

Four dozen House Democrats, including six from Texas, provided the winning margin Thursday for a Republican bill that would cut corporate taxes, offer $9.6 billion to tobacco farmers and let Texans deduct sales taxes on their IRS forms. […] The sales tax write-off, suspended since 1986, could save the average Texas household almost $300 a year. […] “This is a huge economic boost for Texas, where taxpayers will save approximately $1 billion a year, and it’s also an issue of fairness for states like ours,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, who led efforts to reinstate the sales tax deduction.

State income taxes may be deducted on federal tax forms — but that doesn’t help residents of Texas and six other states that finance government largely with sales taxes. Texas doesn’t have a state income tax.

First, who says the average Texas household will save this much? I have become a bit suspicious of these unattributed estimates, since even the attributed ones on a few other issues have been…well, let’s say, a pack of lies.

Oh look, this new statement is a pack of lies too! This strategy doesn’t benefit anyone who doesn’t itemize (read: low-income).

Second, since when is it the federal government’s job to make it “fair” for states who are using unstable and regressive strategies to fund state government, especially by making their tax systems more regressive?