Perhaps you remember our little band of legislators on the Wall of Shame. They became members by giving Missouri taxpayers and small businesses the figurative finger by agreeing with Governor Nixon that letting those taxpayers keep more of their own money was a bad idea. Why the nerve of Missourians thinking they could possibly spend their hard earned money better than their state government! This past week they demonstrated why they earned their spot on the wall.
Unless you’ve been under a rock – or have a life outside of politics – you are aware that the Missouri legislature has just completed a special session. Governor Nixon called a special session beginning December 2, 2013. It was a bargain special session.
For about $100,000 the legislature and Governor agreed to give tax breaks of $1.7 billion to the Boeing Company. Pretty good work in just a few days considering the legislature was not allowed to see the Request for Proposal from Boeing nor given the inputs used to generate such exhilarating and mind boggling numbers to warrant the $1.7 billion give away.
The Boeing tax package is a prime example of what is wrong with Missouri’s tax policy. It does give us a contrast between those who are consistent in their belief that tax policy does make a difference and those who believe that appearances are more important than reality. Governor Nixon and the Wall of Shame members fall into the latter group.
In fairness, the special session was designed to appear to be about the #1 priority of most Missourians, J-O-B-S. The legislature and Governor quite skillfully orchestrated the proceedings to ensure that the curtain of J-O-B-S was kept in place. As we all know, we are to pay no attention to the goings on behind the curtain!
Earlier this year, the Governor rejected the notion that every working Missourian, our state’s small businesses and corporations should receive broad based income tax relief. He rejected the notion and the indisputable facts that if you let Missourians, small businesses and corporations keep more of their hard earned money government revenues actually increase. He enlisted the education bureaucrats, aka – educrats as they are known around the Capitol, and together they lied and misled teachers and other Missourians about the broad based tax cuts.
Now perhaps we can understand how people who might not have had access to all the information could be misled by the Governor and his educrat cronies. After all, surely the Governor wouldn’t fly around on his $5.6 million taxpayer airplane just to lie to them would he? Yes he would and did.
Surely, legislators could not be fooled by such tactics? Yes they could and were. Well, perhaps being fooled isn’t an accurate statement.
After all, it would take a lot more than being fooled to compromise principle – if your original vote was based on principle that is. No, they weren’t fooled. They just decided they couldn’t take the heat from the false information and were unwilling to tell their constituents the truth about the falsehoods.
Which brings us to the special session. It was all about giving tax breaks to one company not all Missourians. Governor Nixon once again demonstrated his belief that targeted tax cuts for those he believes worthy (winners) is the best tax policy. It’s certainly not letting all Missourians (losers) keep more of their money!
The great majority of those who voted to override the Governor in September because they recognize tax policy does make a difference tended to vote for the Boeing tax break. While I disagree with their thoughts on the package, I salute their consistency.
However, all but two members, who happened to be absent, of the Wall of Shame voted for the package. They demonstrated their ability to be inconsistent with taxpayers but remain consistent in their “government knows best” position.
Bottom line is the Boeing tax break was made “necessary” by the poor tax policy of the state. The data overwhelming shows that by giving everyone; individual taxpayers, small businesses and corporations broad based tax cuts the economic activity in the state will increase. Increases in the economic activity inevitably results in more revenue for state government.
We will be working very hard next session to remind Governor Nixon and members of the Wall of Shame that they have been inconsistent. We do agree with their position on the Boeing tax breaks – tax cuts do make a difference!