The Democratic Party likes to tout itself as the party representing the poor, the disadvantaged, and the downtrodden. If true, then why is it trying to tax them out of existence?
The latest example is Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who wants to impose an excessive fee on anyone wanting to exercise his constitutional right to possess a firearm for self-protection.
Murphy wants to increase the Garden State’s gun licensing fees by a factor of 20 to 25:
- Firearm IDs would be raised from $5 to $100;
- Gun registrations would increase from $2 to $50; and,
- Concealed carry permits would rise from $20 to $400.
This would take New Jersey’s gun-related fees from being very modest to among the highest in the country.
In addition to the fee hikes, Murphy proposes an additional 10 percent tax on ammunition and 2.5 percent tax on firearms, over and above New Jersey’s 6.625 percent sales tax.
The governor’s requests were made a part of his state budget proposal, which is required to be approved by the legislature on or before June 30.
The New York Times reported that the governor’s intent is to “expand efforts to tackle gun violence and reduce the flow of illegal firearms.”
“There’s no war on responsible gun owners,” Murphy said in an interview. “We can support the efforts of the attorney general, state troopers, county and local law enforcement, to do the stuff we need to do: track crime, track gun violence, combat trafficking of illegal guns.”
However, increasing fees on legally purchased firearms would neither curb gun violence nor reduce the influx of illegal weapons into the state. If anything, it would reduce the purchase of legal guns —particularly among the poor.
The proposed fee hikes are little more than a regressive tax, one where everyone pays the same, regardless of income level. Accordingly, the fee represents a larger percentage of the income of low-income individuals.
Ironically, it’s those very individuals who may have a greater need for self-protection due to their neighborhood crime rate.
Regressive taxes have been a growing trend in states lately — especially those run by Democrats.
The 2020 budget proposed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, another Democrat, includes a 45-cent gas tax increase from the state’s current 26.3 cents per gallon. The 45-cent hike would be applied in increments and would eventually bring it up to 71.6 cents per gallon on October 2020.
This would dwarf Pennsylvania’s 58.7 cents per gallon gasoline tax, which is currently the highest in the nation. Alaska taxes its residents the least, at 14.7 cents per gallon.
In addition to the gasoline tax, Michigan is one of the few states in the country that also charges a sales tax on fuel purchases.
Just like Murphy’s proposed fee hikes on firearms, Whitmer’s 45-cent gasoline tax increase is regressive — it hits hardest the very constituents Democrats profess to care about the most.
While Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., calls for a tax on the assets of America’s wealthiest individuals, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., pushes for a 70 percent marginal tax rate on America’s top wage-earners, they know it’s all bluster.
It’ll never happen. So they pass regressive taxes instead that affect lower-income levels the most.
Many long-time Democrats are beginning to open their eyes to this, however, which in turn has led to the #WalkAway (from the Democratic Party) movement, followed by #Blexit (Blacks exiting the Democratic Party) and #Jexodus (Jewish exodus from the Democratic Party).
While these movements will help Republicans running in 2020, they won’t do much for New Jerseyans and Michiganders — unless each state legislature stands up to their governor.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.
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