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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Superlatives

I have lived for a time in three different states, Texas, Colorado and Washington. In all three, at different times, conservative anti-tax groups in each state have declared that state as the fifth most heavily taxed in the nation. How could that be. Three states, all the fifth most taxed. I figured out the trick when I lived in Colorado, and an article in the Denver Post made the claim. I had moved there from Texas and still occasionally read the Dallas paper, which had made the same claim for Texas. Apparently the tax rate calculation for Texas included the wellhead oil and gas lease payments from public lands, added to the regular property and sales taxes. In Colorado the group doing the figuring was more creative. They counted the taxes not collected on federal lands as a sort of property tax and the state and federal income taxes all as state taxes. The same sort of selective figuring also is done to Washington's tax rate. All this is to relate to my reader that it makes a difference on who is doing the ratings and what their motivations are.

I read that Barak Obama is the most liberal Senator serving. Who figures these things out? I suspect there is a rubber ruler that measures liberalism. I remember John Kerry was the senate's most liberal in 2004. He's still in the Senate. What happened? Wasn't Al Gore the most liberal politician in 2000? Until there is an agreed upon standard, then such ratings are worthless, but we'll hear the claim anyway.

I am the fifth most popular blogger named Bert on the internet, and nobody can prove me wrong!

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