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Question of the day

Thursday, May 12, 2011

* As you all know by now, Sen. Shane Cultra created quite a stir with some comments he made in committee this week

“I think you need to make the parents responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s the parents’ responsibility that have obese kids. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deduction away for their child if he’s obese. And in poorer families, they actually get money for their kids. I’d take that money away.”

Sen. Cultra later said it was a “tongue-in-cheek comment taken out of context - and should not be taken seriously.” To me, the video doesn’t appear to show any intended irony on Cultra’s part

* Warner Todd Huston disagrees

The tenor of the debate was that Republicans were mocking the [soda pop] tax and saying it would do nothing to solve childhood obesity. In light of this, it is easy to understand that Cultra was merely being sarcastic with his tax exemption removal proposal.

To back up the idea that Cultra was not seriously proposing this idea we can also note that he’s introduced no legislation to remove the tax exemptions nor begun any process to do so.

This misreported story is a perfect example of how bad our Old Media establishment really is. They look for sensation, not truth. Cultra’s joke was turned into “news” by reporters that didn’t bother to discover the real context of the remarks. Makes one wonder how often this happens, doesn’t it?

Drudge and Bill O’Reilly linked to it, Rush commented on it and Cultra’s been quoted all over the place. The New York Times’ Economix blog took it seriously, as did the, um, Big Fat Blog. And I can’t quite figure out what Kass’ column meant.

For true “tongue-in-cheek,” though, it was tough to beat Gawker

Perhaps Sen. Cultra can offer up a better explanation during his next People’s Law School class.

* The Question: What other ideas can you come up with for the state seizing income tax deductions and government aid? Explain.

Snark is heavily encouraged, of course.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - bored now - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:07 pm:

    we should have a hefty tax on revolutionary war costumes. also, “don’t tread on me” flags. oh, and american flags! surely anyone who is patriotic enough to purchase an american flag is patriotic enough to pay their taxes…

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:09 pm:

    We’re not talking about a new tax. We’re talking about losing deductions and aid.

  3. - JN - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:11 pm:

    If your child doesn’t get an iPhone by their 9th birthday, no tax deduction. cuz txts hlp readin skilz

  4. - Easy - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:12 pm:

    pretty clear that Sen. Cultra is in the back-pocket of the Big Weight Scale lobby.

  5. - titan - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:19 pm:

    deductions should be inversley proportional to IQ

  6. - Bigtwich - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:20 pm:

    I think you need to make the Legislators responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s the Legislator’s responsibility that we have obese budget deficits. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deduction away for Legislator’s if the budget deficit is obese. And for the Leaders, they actually get more money for their leadership. I’d take that money away.”

  7. - OneMan - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:22 pm:

    If you buy lite beer than the state withholds you tax refund because lite beer is nasty…

    If you are a professional sports team and not won your sports championship in the last 100 years you do not get to write off your property taxes since it is obvious you must not be trying.

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:24 pm:

    It’s gonna be hard to top Bigtwich.

  9. - God's Country - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    Take it away from Cubs fans. They’re used to losing.

  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    “I think you need to make the parents responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s the parents’ responsibility that have Cub fan kids. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deduction away for their child if he’s a Cub fan. And in poorer families, they actually get money for their kids. I’d take that money away.”

  11. - Highland, IL - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:26 pm:

    Obviously this is another Breitbart BigGovernment video that was taken out of context..

  12. - A-Noni-Mouse - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    Perhaps we could increase the taxes parents pay to local schools if they have “dumb” kids! Obviously, these kids require more effort and resources, so let their parents pay.

  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    GC, great minds think alike!

  14. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:30 pm:

    Take deductions away for legislators (and governors) who introduce the same bills year after year after year and never do anything about them after the press release goes out.

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:31 pm:

    @Easy - I think Cultra’s position has more to do with the fact that Archer Daniels Midland is the world’s largest supplier of corn syrup.

    Back to the QOTD:

    Let’s eliminate the tax credits for newspapers that plagarize from Capitolfax.

    ALL Corporate tax credits should be reduced by the amount of their CEO’s salary and other compensation.

    And we should end mortgage tax credits for anyone buying a home in a flood plain — because taking out a 30 year loan on property that floods every 20 years is just kind of silly.

    I nearly suggested this yesterday, but the average American kid will see 8000 murders on t.v. before they finish 6th grade. Cultra could score a two-fer if he went after Tater Tots (copyrighted) and eliminated the income tax deductions for parents who let their kids watch more than five hours of t.v./video games a week.

    But I think we should ADD a tax credit for parents who buy their kids bicycles.

  16. - A-Noni-Mouse - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:32 pm:

    Oh…and what exactly is a “tonge” and how does one get in his/her cheek?

  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:35 pm:

    LOL. Fixed. I’m having a bad day.

  18. - Fed up - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:36 pm:

    In the new nanny society you lose tax deductions for not having your child potty trained by 24 months, not having the required vaccines lose deductions, schools that offer free breakfast and lunch will now be required to have after school fitness classes for the fat kids or no grants, parents will need to document that they read to their children 60 mins a week on their state tax forms until Jr can read or no deduction. And every year all children will have to know the answer to when was the last time the cubs won the world series and be able to do the math to tell the auditor how many years ago that is.

  19. - Shore - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:37 pm:

    the war on obesity is not a bad thing. there are plenty of stupid ideas that I read about on this blog and this is certainly in the hall of fame, but the issue is right to take on.

  20. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:37 pm:

    Take deductions away for every shell bill introduced. Some members would actually owe the state…

  21. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:38 pm:

    “I think you need to make the parents responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s the parents’ responsibility that have kids who wear ridiculous baggy pants showing their drawers. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deduction away for their child if he’s sagging. And in poorer families, they actually get money for their kids. I’d take that money away and use it to buy mandatory suspenders and mom jeans.”

  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 12:44 pm:

    On a slightly more serious note, here is the Comptroller’s most recent report on tax expenditures a.k.a. tax breaks or tax loopholes.

    The single largest expenditure is $1.6 billion a year — the sales tax break on food, drugs, and medical equipment.

    I’m actually surprised no one has proposed eliminating the Viagra tax break yet. So I’ll be the first.

    In fact, any drug that can afford to be advertised on t.v. is clearly doing well enough in sales that ALL of them should be subject to the full sales tax.

    And of course Spam. Which shouldn’t be exempted from the general sales tax because it doesn’t fit the definition of “food.”

    BTW, the sales tax exemption for newspapers and magazines I refered to earlier totalled $37 million. Is the Chicago Tribune going to threaten to move to New Jersey, Tennessee or Texas if we take away their tax break? LOL. Get rid of it.

  23. - Pat Robertson - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:03 pm:

    “I think you need to make other parents responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s other parents’ responsibility that have other peoples’ kids. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deduction away for their child if it’s not my kid. And in poorer families, they actually get money for kids who are not my kids. I’d take that money away.”

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:07 pm:

    No deductions for parents with needy little overachievers, who by the age of 18, have not yet figured out how to start their own lucrative government consulting businesses.

  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:14 pm:

    “I think you need to make the parents responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s the parents’ responsibility that have congressional children with freakish abs the size of genetically modified eggplants, tiny heads and arms down to their kneecaps. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deduction away for their child if he’s so proud of his mutant appearance that he appears shirtless on the cover of a national men’s magazine. And in poorer families, they actually get money for their kids. I’d take all that money away no matter what.”

  26. - Fed-Up - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:15 pm:

    Bad Driving - two or more tickets in a year
    - no deduction

  27. - Little Egypt - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:24 pm:

    Good one Rich.

  28. - MrJM - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:38 pm:

    Failure to vote: If you don’t cast a ballot, you’re likely a bad parent as well as a bad citizen, so you don’t get a deduction. (And political cover is baked into the scheme!)

    – MrJM

  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:40 pm:

    No deductions if your child runs for Student Council and loses because s/he ran a clean campaign. Obviously not reading the paper or watching the news enough.

  30. - Colossus - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    I actually like the idea of reducing a corporation’s deduction by the size of its CEO’s pay/benefit package.

    And Rich, glad I’m not the only one that noticed my Congressman’s mutant monkey arms. He looks like he was drawn by Joe Maduriera.

  31. - Exhausted - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    Commonsense in Illinios:
    I have suggested your thought a little differently for years. Pay every legislator about $150K oer year. They get to introduce two bills a year, plus one more if budget related for free. After that they pay 10K for every bill they introduce. I bet you that gets rid of a lot of the crap. :-)

  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:52 pm:

    Heavy tax penalties if your child likes math AND puppies.

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:59 pm:

    And my all-time favorite: No deduction if your child doesn’t try to fix a test grade at least once a year by telling the teacher that s/he “simply misremembered it wrong”.

  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===I bet you that gets rid of a lot of the crap.===

    Nah. They’ll just introduce more omnibus bills.

  35. - Exhausted - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 2:02 pm:

    Just my kind Rich!

  36. - jt - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 2:04 pm:

    A bathroom use tax. Obese kids also could have a per flush tax.

  37. - Statewide - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 2:18 pm:

    “I think you need to make the GOP state senators responsible… I think you need to look at a bill to take their state salary away if the counties in their district receive more money from government programs than those counties pay for in taxes. And in the most hypocritical instances, where anti-big government rural Republican state senators’ from those ‘net-positive’ districts point the finger of blame at poor urban folks, the senators need to lose their state-paid health insurance, too. I’d take that money away.”

  38. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 2:21 pm:

    completely off topic, but did you ever think that Speaker Madigan eats an apple a day under the belief it really will drive away the teachers unions?

  39. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==the war on obesity ==

    Seize the income tax deduction of people who when discussing public policy debates use the word “war”.

    War on: Christmas, Medicare, Terror, Drugs, the Rich, the Poor, the Middle Class, Women, Old People…etc, etc, etc

    The State would be flush by year’s end under my proposal.

  40. - confused Kass - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 2:48 pm:

    “And I can’t quite figure out what Kass’ column meant.”

    I feel you, Rich. Its been so long since Kass made any sense that I had to quit reading him.

  41. - Wensicia - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 3:17 pm:

    Any parent who can afford to buy their children smart phones and $200+ Air Jordans, yet fail to provide simple school supplies (like pencils and notebooks), should lose this deduction.

  42. - the Cardinal - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 3:22 pm:

    Soylent Green all the dumb fat ones that will solve all the problems..and be motivation not to lose the deduction

  43. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 4:29 pm:

    It looks like Sen. Shane Cultra hasn’t missed very many meals. I wonder if the fat tax would apply to him.

  44. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 5:01 pm:

    Just a note that the last Anon post wasn’t from me. I don’t attack people based on their appearance. (Anon 4:29: is your font a little “bolder” or “thicker” than mine?)

  45. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 5:25 pm:

    Members of the Rebel Alliance shall lose their tax breaks because of the additional cost of Storm Troopers the Galactic Empire is required to keep to enforce martial law.

    All Jedi Knights will be required to have a concealed carry permit, only issued on alternate leap days where the Forest Moon of Endor is waxing. The fee shall be 75 Imperial Credits. Levitating remains untaxed.

    Banthas will be inoculated for rabies and shall wear a tag around their necks at all times. Fee: 25 Imperial Credits.

    All Wookies will be required to shave, although there will be a new income tax deduction for depilatory cream.

    Malt liquor taxes are waived for Billy Dee Williams, however, Lisa Madigan may still launch an investigation into their effects, especially if shiny labels are involved.

    The current tax structure will be revamped to include medical devices and droids (unless they aren’t the ones your looking for, in which case you may move along).

    The death penalty will be re-instituted for anyone who likes Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

    Springfield will be renamed Death Star, which looks a mess, but is fully operational. Darth Pat shall be retired at the next election.

  46. - jerry 101 - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 5:43 pm:

    Kind of in the vain of bigtwitch’s (but I thought of it before reading his comment!):

    “I think you need to make the legislators responsible. You’re looking at every other avenue. It’s the legislators’ responsibility that they introduce stupid bills. I think you need to look at a bill to take the tax deductions away from legislators if they introduce a clearly stupid bill. And legislators, they actually get campaign contributions for this job. I’d take that money away.”

  47. - Zoble21 - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 7:19 pm:

    “If Mayor Bloomberg can ban the use of foot stamps to buy sugary soft drinks, certainly Cultra’s suggestion makes about as much sense?”
    This is an idea for the senator…a bill to ban junk food and soft drinks from the link card purchased. Health is one factor and the other is if you have to be on link buy healthy food, other foods are treats when you can afford them.

  48. - Anon - Thursday, May 12, 11 @ 7:23 pm:

    They should tax everyone who has raised, clothed, fed and nurtured law-abiding, tax paying children to adulthood. They should give that to parents whose childrens’ housing, food, etc is already supplied and let them spend it on liquor and drugs. Ahh, never mind

  49. - Colossus - Friday, May 13, 11 @ 9:44 am:

    Cincy wins!

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