Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama: Keep ‘em largely uneducated, ignorant & easy to command

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 30, 2012

Good grief!

Even Mississippi has a better record!

Why are Alabama‘s legislators so utterly clueless?

Oh… wait.

They’re a reflection of the people. Now it’s all beginning to make sense.

(News item follows the lyrics.)

Mississippi Goddam
(1963) Nina Simone

The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it

Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

Can’t you see it
Can’t you feel it
It’s all in the air
I can’t stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer

Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

This is a show tune
But the show hasn’t been written for it, yet

Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day’s gonna be my last

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong there
I’ve even stopped believing in prayer

Don’t tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I’ve been there so I know
They keep on saying “Go slow!”

But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Washing the windows
“do it slow”
Picking the cotton
“do it slow”
You’re just plain rotten
“do it slow”
You’re too damn lazy
“do it slow”
The thinking’s crazy
“do it slow”
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don’t know
I don’t know

Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

I made you thought I was kiddin’ didn’t we

Picket lines
School boycotts
They try to say it’s a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me

Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you’d stop calling me Sister Sadie

Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You’re all gonna die and die like flies
I don’t trust you any more
You keep on saying “Go slow!”
“Go slow!”

But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Desegregation
“do it slow”
Mass participation
“do it slow”
Reunification
“do it slow”
Do things gradually
“do it slow”
But bring more tragedy
“do it slow”
Why don’t you see it
Why don’t you feel it
I don’t know
I don’t know

You don’t have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

That’s it for now! see ya’ later

Alabama’s state, local tax collections per person second-lowest in U.S. in 2010

Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012, 10:02 AM
Updated: Sunday, September 30, 2012, 10:04 AM
The Birmingham News, By David White

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — State and local governments in Alabama collected fewer tax dollars per state resident to spend on schools, police, roads and other services than governments in any other state but Idaho in the 2010 fiscal year, a Birmingham News study of U.S. Census Bureau reports shows.

“They have less money to work with than virtually everybody else,” said Jim Williams, executive director of the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.

“Either we’re not going to have the same caliber of state and local services as everybody else or we’ve got to be more efficient than everybody else,” he said.

“We have to focus like a laser on becoming more efficient,” Williams said. “I think there’s a lot of work to be done.”

States' tax collections -small Alabama’s state government and local governments such as cities and counties collected a combined $2,779 in taxes per state resident in the 2010 fiscal year, which in Alabama ended Sept. 30, 2010, and in most other states ended June 30, 2010.

Alabama’s total was the second-lowest for the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the 2010 fiscal year. The total in Idaho, $2,769 per resident, was lowest.

Among Alabama’s neighbors, state and local taxes collected per person in fiscal 2010 totaled $3,502 in Florida, $3,108 in Georgia, $3,023 in Mississippi and $2,875 in Tennessee.

The national average for combined state and local taxes collected in fiscal 2010 was $4,112 per person, according to the study of the Census Bureau’s latest report on state and local tax collections, released Wednesday, and the bureau’s population totals for 2010.

Alabama’s governments in fiscal 2010 would have collected an additional $6.37 billion in taxes if they had collected the national average.

As it was, Alabama’s state and local governments collected a total of $13.28 billion in sales taxes, individual and corporate income taxes, fuel taxes, property taxes and other levies in fiscal 2010. The state had 4.78 million people in 2010.

In the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 fiscal years, Alabama’s combined state and local tax collections per resident ranked lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In the 2008 fiscal year, it ranked second-lowest, above South Carolina, according to earlier Birmingham News studies.

Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said the low tax rate is good for the people of Alabama.

“While liberals hang their heads in shame at being recognized for low taxes, conservatives like us wear the designation as a badge of honor,” Hubbard said.

But David Bronner, chief executive of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, said the relative lack of tax dollars puts Alabama at a competitive disadvantage with other states in educating students, recruiting industries and most anything else.

“If you want to be competitive with other states, you have to have reasonable revenue,” he said. “We do not have reasonable revenue.”

AL Gov Bentley taxes 8716330-small

Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama’s low tax collection ranking was both good and bad. “The good part about it is, people want to come to Alabama because it is a low-tax state,” he said. “Companies look at that when we’re trying to recruit industry. They look at the tax structure of the state.” (Birmingham News File)

Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama’s low tax collection ranking was both good and bad.

“The good part about it is, people want to come to Alabama because it is a low-tax state,” he said. “Companies look at that when we’re trying to recruit industry. They look at the tax structure of the state.”

But Bentley said the General Fund, which supports prisons, Medicaid, courts and other non-education areas of state government hasn’t been collecting enough money from recurring revenues to provide adequate services. That’s why he recently asked voters to approve transferring money from the Alabama Trust Fund to the General Fund, a vote that was approved.

In fiscal 2010, then-Gov. Bob Riley took $161.6 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to reduce cuts in budgeted General Fund spending. Even if that money was counted as taxes, it would not have raised Alabama’s ranking for state and local tax collections per-person above second-lowest in the country that year.

Henry Mabry, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association teachers’ lobby, said Alabama’s lawmakers need to raise revenue to provide adequate state services, especially for Medicaid, which provides health care for about 940,000 disabled and lower-income Alabamians.

“That could be fees. That could be taxes. That could be closing loopholes,” he said.

“You get what you pay for,” Mabry said. “If the people of Alabama want progress, then they’re going to have to invest more in education. If they want better roads, they’re going to have to invest more in roads. It comes down to priorities.”

But Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, majority leader in the state Senate, said Bentley and the leaders of the state House and Senate oppose tax increases. “I think we’ve made it very plain. We do not see that in the immediate future,” he said.

Waggoner said lawmakers next year will renew efforts to make government “more accountable and more efficient.”

Another study by The Birmingham News was designed to measure how much of a burden state and local taxes put on state residents and businesses.

It compared state and local taxes collected in fiscal 2010 to the gross domestic product in 2010 for each state and the District of Columbia. GDP can help measure a state’s tax base. As figured by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, its components include workers’ wages and income earned by businesses.

The study indicated that the state and local tax burden on Alabama’s people and businesses was relatively low.

Total state and local taxes collected in Alabama in fiscal 2010 equaled 7.80 percent of the state’s GDP in 2010, according to the study. Alabama had the 37th-highest percentage among the 50 states and District of Columbia.

North Carolina, at 7.70 percent; Georgia, at 7.47 percent; Virginia, at 7.43 percent; Tennessee, at 7.12 percent; and Louisiana, at 6.95 percent were among the states with lower percentages.

Nationally, state and local tax collections equaled 8.81 percent of GDP. If Alabama’s state and local taxes in fiscal 2010 had equaled 8.81 percent of its GDP, governments here would have collected $1.7 billion more in taxes than they actually did.

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/09/alabamas_state_local_tax_colle.html

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