Incrementalism 101, Part 2
Utahns living north of Lehi would be surprised that Utah's most fiscally liberal newspaper is actually based in conservative Utah County.
Not surprisingly, The Daily Herald (aka Provo Daily Herald or Pravda Daily Herald) is also the biggest promoter of incrementally increasing our tax burdens by trivializing the impact of tax hikes and tax cuts.
We've searched their online archives and found several examples. We highlight a few examples here.
- A $130 annual property tax increase for an owner of a $200,000 home in the Provo School District was described as costing "36 cents per day." -- June 26, 2006
- An income tax credit was dismissed as a "[buying] a night on the town" and a "measly $75 refund".-- January 17, 2006 and January 20, 2006. Note: Despite the Herald's use of the term "refund", legislators were not talking about refunds.
- A 0.25% point increase in sales tax rate for roads was described as "a few cans of soda a month" -- May 19,2004
- The impact of a new statewide restaurant tax was "fairly small . . . most of us, we hope, leave a lot more than that as a tip when eating out. . ." -- March 8, 2004
- A sales tax increase for arts was "practically painless" and "diminutive". -- March 2, 2004.
- Increasing Utah's state corporate income tax from 5% to 6% was described as a "1% increase". Actually, it's a 20% increase, but calling it a 1% increase makes it look smaller. -- November 13th, 2001
- An increase in sales tax was described as "a tiny one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax" and a "practically painless tax" and "parting with a penny on every $10 is insignificant." --August 6, 2002. Similar comments appeared on August 16, 2002.
- A 0.6% point increase in sales tax rate was described as "painless". -- October 28, 2002.
- Nebo School District's tax increase to fund a $140 million bond was reported as "23 cents a day, less than the price of a can of soda.'' -- February 3, 2004.
- A 0.1% point sales tax increase was reported as "painless, virtually invisible". -- October 23, 2005.
- An $83 annual increase in property taxes in the Nebo School District was described as "one hamburger per week at the fast-food joint." -- November 9, 2003.
-Tax cuts during the 1990s were dismissed as "enough to take your family to a fast-food restaurant, provided nobody supersizes their french fries." -- November 27, 2005.
This is just a glimpse of the tax increases the Daily Herald has supported over the years as well as the tax cuts they've opposed. On November 10, 2003, the Daily Herald advocated for a 30-cent per gallon gas tax increase, but such an increase cannot be possibly passed off as a couple of cans of soda per month so the Daily Herald didn't even try.
The dangers become very apparent when these attempts to incrementally increase our tax burdens are viewed collectively. The Herald's unhealthy obsession with fast food and soda is something we should all be concerned about.
No one out-liberals the Pravda Daily Herald. We'll have more on them later.