I wonder how many times the Fay-O’s editors warned state budget writers to be “careful” about ratcheting up state spending as the budget more than tripled in 30 years – even after adjusting for inflation.
Showing their allegiance to the State over its subjects, the Observer’s editors advocate for an extension of the “temporary” billion dollar plus tax hike enacted last year:
It’s the mission-critical services we’re worried about. Education – the biggest single budget category – already has been pushed to a point where continued improvement is imperiled. Others, such as medical care for the poor and mental-health services, already may be incapable of meeting the population’s needs.
That’s why we question the governor’s stated intention to allow a temporary 1 percent sales-tax increase to expire next year. The tax is expected to generate more than $1 billion this year. With budget shortages expected to increase next year, choosing not to keep the tax a little longer seems more directed to the governor’s political concerns than toward the preservation of essential services.
Funny how they recognize the political self-interest in play in the Governor’s intention to allow the tax increases to expire, but overlook the political self-interest at play in how our tax dollars are spent through the state budget. Indeed, the actual largest single budget category is the state workforce, represented by a powerful and deep-pocketed special interest group.
Also overlooked in this recommendation is the harsh irony that the “population’s needs” for government redistribution programs is made worse by the “temporary” taxes, which removes more than $1 billion from the state’s economy. How many more (and better paying) jobs could be created if that money were left in the private sector for productive investment – the key to economic growth?
It comes down to a trade-off: economic growth to provide jobs and higher living standards or government dependency and economic stagnation. Sadly, the Observer chooses the latter.