Yesterday, more than 71,400 people lost their jobs. CNN called it Bloody Monday.
Just 26 days into the new year and already 207,120 people have gotten pink slips. Big companies. Small companies. And those in-between. They're all cutting jobs out of economic necessity. White collar. Blue collar. University educated. Union trained. No worker seems safe right now.
Why, then, are there governors and legislators proposing, or considering, tax hikes on middle-class families during such dire times? Yes, states and cities face budget deficits. But struggling families shouldn't bear the burden, or pay the price, of excessive government spending.
We again mention New York Gov. David Paterson's proposed 137 tax and fee hikes totaling $6 billion on everyday middle-class products and services. It includes a stark 18 percent sales tax hike on regular soft drinks and fruit beverages. Collectively, all of the proposed tax increases could cost 600,000 New Yorkers their jobs, according to one analysis from former New York chief economist Stephen Kagann.
Staggering. Even if it turns out to be only one-third that amount. (Then again, let's hope these taxes never come to pass.)
Still, you read and hear about other politicians across the country looking to hike taxes too; some anxiously waiting to see if Gov. Paterson can "get away" with his tax increases.
Well, families get it. Tax hikes will mean more job losses and a greater burden on their checkbook. In New York, they're rising up in unique ways to oppose the plethora of tax hikes in the midst of a recession. Their anger is also manifesting itself in the polls, blogs and citizen letters to newspapers. One would expect similar opposition in other states that try this. After all, politicians across the board promised to ease the middle-class burden this past fall, not add to it.
The question is will government leaders get it? Or will they still try to kick families when they're already down? What's your bet?