It seems time after time, the left’s go-to solution for budgetary issues is to “increase revenue streams” (ahem) raise taxes. More curious is that these “solutions” keep coming from the leadership team assembled by House Speaker Joe Straus.
The latest in the litany of tax-hike gimmicks comes from Rep. Garnett Coleman (D- Houston). Rep. Coleman plans on pushing for a temporary increase in sales taxes to close the budget gap. This is the typical ‘solve a problem by growing government’ approach we can expect to see from a legislator who has refused to protect taxpayers, scored and abysmal 25% on the Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index, and is a staunch supporter of government run healthcare.
What are his major selling points for this proposed new tax? 1) It’s temporary, and 2) because it’s increasing a consumption based tax, conservatives are more likely to sign on.
First of all, let me assure you that the Texas budget is not facing a shortfall because it isn’t taxing people enough. That’s a notion dreamed up by those seeking to justify tax-hikes. The state’s problem isn’t too little revenues or taxes; but rather too much spending justified by available dollars. Prioritize and cut, don’t tax.
Second, consider the premise of the ‘temporary’ tax-hike… ‘Temporary’ tax increases are never all that ‘temporary’. For example the federal telephone tax imposed to fund the Spanish-American War lasted a century past the war’s conclusion. Taxes, like prices, are sticky. Temporary as they may seem, once incorporated into a budget, they find their way to being renewed time and time again, ‘business as usual’.
This past November, Texans did not resoundingly call for their state leadership to advance a policy of tax to spend. On the contrary, the voters called for a state government dedicated to fiscal responsibility by reining in of unnecessary spending.
Another Straus Appointed Committee Chair Champions Tax Hikes
The news that another tax-hike proposal is coming from a liberal Democrat isn’t something that stops the presses. What is more curious, and what we should take note of, is that Rep. Coleman’s tax-hike “solution” is just one of several pro-tax/anti-taxpayer positions championed by Speaker Straus’ leadership team, not to mention positions the Speaker himself holds.
While Speaker Straus is in the middle of a messaging blitz selling himself as a stalwart fiscal conservative, he has declared that property tax protections and tax rate caps are “bad public policy”. Additionally, three of his appointed chairmen have embarked on extreme fiscal irresponsibility.
Straus appointee to chair the powerful Ways and Means Committee Rep. Rene Oliveira has gloated about ensuring no tax-payer protections make it out of his committee.
Now there’s Chairman Coleman’s ‘temporary’ tax-hike…
For someone who swears up and down on his credentials as a fiscal conservative, one may want to wonder why Joe Straus surrounds himself with such fiscally irresponsible liberals.