Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Red meat day in the AZ Republic

Wednesday's edition of the AZ Republic featured a number of articles that were sure to tweak the radars of AZ's Republicans (the Nativist, anti-all taxes, and the white supremacist branches, anyway).

- There was an article concerning AZ's income tax rates, and how they are among the lowest in the country.

From the article -
Today is not usually a day for which taxpayers are grateful.

But, for Arizonans, there is some comfort to take on April 15, the deadline for filing income-tax returns: Among the 41 states and the District of Columbia that assess individual income taxes, Arizona charges less than all but a handful.

The Arizona Republic used income-tax rates collected by the non-profit Tax Foundation to see how Arizona stacked up with other states at three taxable-income levels: $50,000, $150,000 and $1 million. At each level, Arizona had lower tax bills than all but three to six states.

- Next up in the hit parade was an article about how the percentage of blacks as part of America's prison population in custody for drug offenses has fallen while the percentage of white drug offenders making up the prison population has risen.

From the article -
For the first time since crack cocaine sparked a war on drugs 20 years ago, the number of Black Americans in state prisons for drug offenses has fallen sharply, while the number of White prisoners convicted for drug crimes has increased, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Washington-based Sentencing Project reported that the number of Black inmates in state prisons for drug offenses had fallen from 145,000 in 1999 to 113,500 in 2005, a 22 percent decline. Over the same period, the number of White drug offenders rose, from 50,000 to more than 72,000, a 42 percent increase. The number of Latino drug offenders was unchanged at about 51,000.

- Then there was the piece de resistance - a piece on a study showing that 73% of the children of undocumented immigrants have been born in the U.S., meaning that the children are citizens.

From the article -
Nearly three out of four children of illegal immigrants are U.S.-born citizens, a growing trend that could complicate the national political debate over how to deal with millions of undocumented migrants now in the country, a comprehensive new report suggests.

An estimated 4 million children of illegal immigrants, or 73 percent, are U.S.-born, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center.

Now, each of the articles mentioned above generated dozens of comments from visitors, but the one that generated the most furor, and a blog post (from the ever-reliably nativist Seeing Red AZ - not linking to it; use Google if you really want to read it), was, of course, the last one concerning undocumented immigrants and their children.

Seeing Red AZ's post (and the comments on it) could be summed up thusly - "immigrants bad, immigrants' babies worse, 14th Amendment worst. Real Americans would get rid of all three."

Of course, as loud and prolific as the responses to these articles were, it could have been worse.

All the really extreme GOPers were out protesting President Obama's tax cuts for better than 95% of Americans at grassroots-based astroturf-based "tea parties" around the country.

...One comment on the drug/prison article - guess what could inspire real reform of our country's overly harsh and woefully unfair drug laws?

More white people facing prison because of those laws.



Thane Eichenauer said...

I don't know about the Tea Party. I was having fun waving my "" sign at the folks dropping off their federal income tax returns at the post office.

Eli Blake said...

Well, Thane,

Maybe they should have blown you a kiss since they were dropping them off (presumably together with their state returns) at a post office in Arizona.

Not only are they paying low Arizona taxes, but they live in a state that gets back $1.19 worth of federal spending for every dollar in federal taxes that we send to Washtington (source

Thane Eichenauer said...

If I am robbed of $5,000 a year by the federal government plus $950 (the $1.19 factor) from a guy in some other state and uses that money to buy bombs and other military gear from Raytheon and General Dynamics, that helps me (nor any other Arizonan who isn't employed by a military contractor) out not one whit.