The military academies and war colleges try to prepare attendees for conducting a successful battle strategy.  This preparation includes employing deceptive measures and techniques designed to throw the enemy off the trail of the truth.  The opponents of the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act (MTRA) tax reform proposal should apply for teaching the courses on deceptive techniques and their application. They certainly utilize deception quite frequently!

The opponents of the MTRA have recently deployed white papers that allegedly show the devastating impacts of the proposal. If the white papers were based on the facts – they would be devastating. Unfortunately for the opponents, when they feed their contractors garbage inputs, they get garbage output.

Take for example their white paper allegedly showing the drastic impact on seniors on a fixed income.  They once again use false assumptions such as healthcare being taxed under the MTRA. As we explain in Gone With the Wind and the Missouri Broadcasters Association, healthcare won’t be taxed for anybody, much less seniors.

The best way to battle false and deceptive information is of course with the truth. The following information is a real-life example of a low-fixed-income senior. I know this lady well – I’ve been married to her daughter for quite awhile.

Let’s first take a look at the income and expenses of this senior.

As you can see, this senior makes very little and spends nearly all her income.  However, most of what she spends is not subject to the consumption tax in the MTRA.  Her rent, insurance, gasoline and healthcare including prescription medicines are not taxable. So how will this senior be affected?

Food will be taxed differently than it is today. The opponents always want to point to the increase in state sales tax rate on food and always ignore the fact that local tax rates will be reduced because they will also be collected on the same broader base as the state sales tax.  This results in the average increase of $.03 per $1 on food.

They also generally ignore that used goods, such as clothing or furniture from a consignment store, would also not be taxed. For this senior, that eliminates most of her miscellaneous purchases. But, in order to take a worst-case scenario under consideration, we will assume all her miscellaneous purchases are taxed. This is the impact of the MTRA on this senior:

This low-fixed-income senior will be paying $3.72 more per month when the MTRA is fully implemented. And that is worst case. If she continues to shop at consignment shops, etc., she can further reduce that amount.

As the saying goes, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” The opponents of the MTRA are pulling out all the stops to distort the facts regarding the proposal. Our responsibility is to supply those pesky details called “the truth.”

Tomorrow, we will talk about how they can’t even agree amongst themselves!