In 2008 Democrat Carol Kent picked off incumbent Republican Tony Goolsby to win House District 102. This year there are two Republicans vying to retake that seat Geoff Bailey and Stefani Carter. On the campaign trail you can recognize Bailey pretty easily; he is the sporting a “I want to raise your gas tax!” bumper sticker — and is proud of it.

As backwards as it sounds in the midst of a conservative ground swell that can produce a Scott Brown win, Geoff Bailey and others in the Dallas area are running on a platform of raising taxes.

Bailey wants to start by indexing our current state gas tax. The Dallas Morning News says that “Hard anti-taxers” call indexing a creeping tax. It escapes DMN writer Rodger Jones that even the “hard pro-taxers” would say that. That is the nature of an indexed tax it creeps or maybe or might dangerously leap with a measure.

What’s most bizarre about Bailey’s position to raise the gas tax by indexing is his claim that it is the “mature” approach. Tax now, before reforming and end diversions is not a mature approach.

Mature? The 25-year-old Bailey can be forgiven having graduated from high school in California earlier this decade; but it’s much harder to stomach his rash adoption of the tax-first agenda. (Or maybe he brought it with him?)

Contrary to the opinion held by Bailey, Sen. John Carona and the DMN, Texas does not have a funding problem, we have a spending problem. Instead of taking the fiscally responsible approach of serious lawmakers, wet-behind-the-ears candidates like Bailey are misleading voters about what is actually happening in transportation taxation and spending.

It should come as no surprise that Bailey is taking his cues from Carona. What is shocking is the feigned surprise from the Dallas Morning News on having a pro tax and spend Republican gracing its pages. For some time now the DMN, while claiming to be a legitimate news source, has been advocating for higher taxes and bigger government.

Bailey’s opponent in the primary Stefani (someone needs to make the DMN aware of her first name) Carter has the right idea; do the responsible thing and end diversions. In addition, address the factors at TxDOT and elsewhere that have cost/lost the state billions in real money and lost opportunities.

Only after the alternate avenues of appropriately spending collected funds, and realizing savings in tansportation agency transparency, should a tax increase be discussed.

It is clear that Bailey does not yet have the chops to be at the big table with mature lawmakers when adult discussions are held about the future of the Lone Star State.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.