If these last few months have shown us anything, its that people are shouting out across the nation for servant leadership, not political management. Why? What’s the difference?
Political management is a role in which people make decisions for you based on their ideas, and government grows larger. Servant Leadership is a role in which you are empowered to decide for yourself, and government gets out of the way. Management wants results no matter what the cost and will violate principles for results. Servant Leadership stakes itself on the principles knowing that following principles will naturally lead to results.
Why was Scott Brown elected in Massachusetts? Because people were rejected having their decisions made for them. Why is Marco Rubio leading Charlie Crist in Florida? Because Crist is part of a management mentality (results trump principle); Rubio is part of a leadership mentality (principles naturally lead to results)
Think about it like this: conservatives all say that they are led by principles. So if I look at a chair, for example, I can say all day long that I believe in it and it will hold me up. But until I sit in it and pick up my feet, I haven’t “put it on the line.”
Let’s bring it home to Texas and a big issue: property tax.
Principle: Human nature is fallen, so objective and fair taxes are better than subjective and unequal taxes.
Property Tax–The property tax is subject to an appraisal, a subjective “estimate” as to the value of a home or business.
Sales Tax-The sales tax involves no “estimate” and is straight-forward: percentage of cost.
When we stake ourselves to that fundamental principle and believe in its results by “picking up our feet,” we find out that:
1. It creates jobs. By eliminating property tax overhead, businesses hire more people.
2. It protects families. People with low or fixed incomes won’t be taxed out of their homes, especially if they are right before retirement.
3. It creates housing opportunities. It makes housing cheaper because (1) it lower the price of home ownership, and (2) it lowers rental rates because the property tax is not passed along; therefore, more people will move to Texas both to buy and to rent.
4. It keeps county appraisal boards accountable (by removing them). Less people will be able to skirt taxes by a lack of transparency in the appraisal process; it’s fair.
5. It doesn’t oppress the poor. We don’t tax necessities.
6. It rewards good decision-making. It doesn’t punish people who save, work hard, and then buy a lot of land or a large home. This particularly protects agricultural areas with large amounts of farmland.
7. It builds the economy. Business will move here rather than leave here because they can operate with less overhead in the absence of a property tax.
8. It saves individual taxpayers money! You will never see your sales tax increase the same amount you pay in property tax; the overall tax burden per person goes down and you have more in your pocket to do with what you want at the end of the year.
9. It saves the group of taxpayers money! The administrative costs are far less so your tax burden goes down.
10. We begin an upward spiral of creating jobs, people moving in and settling, more purchase, more revenue, better economy for business (repeat), creating jobs, people moving in and settling…
Several people have said, “But won’t the transition and future workings of it be unknown?” Over 200 years ago our Founders did the same thing. They wrote a document called the Declaration of Independence, which also inspired the founders of Texas. It was a document of principles. The Constitution hadn’t been drafted yet (the nuts and bolts of those principles), but they wrote that upon those principles alone they pledged “to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Do we believe enough in limited government, the free market, the fallen nature of man, private property, the rule of law, and our inalienable rights enough to make this change? The Declaration of Independence was a document of principles from which they launched forward, creating something entirely new. And we’re a leg up with the sales tax. We have the evidence of the sales tax working better. Are we willing to be as brave? Will we just talk about how we believe the chair of conservative principles will hold us, or will we sit in the chair and pick our feet up? Will we “put it on the line?” It’s a case of servant leadership, which will stake itself to principles, versus political management, which won’t. We need the former.