The Philadelphia Weekly told us on Wednesday about Mayor Michael Nutter's plans to close the coming budget gap. At least this article admits some light into the discussion -- paragraph 14 fingers no less than three areas where fighting corruption would save the city money. Even better, a Coalition for Essential Services activist gets two entire paragraphs (3 and 18) to herself, unloading this gem: "rather than nickel and diming poor and working class folks with regressive soda and trash fees, we’d like to see corporate loopholes closed, tax breaks ended for big business, and large hospitals and universities pay their fair share." That sounds a whole lot better than putting a gun to the city's head and threatening to blow its brains out, as Mr. Nutter did in 2009.
Meanwhile, Citizens for Tax Justice gives us some good news about Mr. Obama's health care plan: it shifts the burden of Medicare taxes upward a bit. Those Tea Partiers who imagine that Barack Obama is coming to their homes personally to steal what's underneath their mattresses would do well to look at the chart on page one; I'll bet most-if-not-all of them will locate themselves in the rows of people paying no higher taxes at all. (Mr. Obama's scheme applies a payroll tax hike to income over $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples, and also initiates a 2.9 percent tax on dividends/interest/annuities/etc., but only on the portion exceeding the $200,000/$250,000 thresholds.) CTJ also reminds us why we were wise to reject John Edwards's populist shtick.