VCG Strikes Again
The only thing related to the tax increase that Speaker Howell can be blamed for is letting a vote happen. He asked Del. Louderback among others to not attend the committee meeting so that the budget vote could get to the floor. Then it was out of his hands. The 17 who voted for the increase did so based on their personal beliefs that the state needed it, or that they would lose re-election if they helped shut the government down. I would also point out that 5 of the 6 primary challengers lost, so obviously those winning delegates must have done what their constituents wanted (not to mention the rest who weren't even hated enough to draw a challenger).
Folks, I was not in favor of the tax increase. Even so, it turns out that people don't care. The problem is our media relations. Had the GOP shut the government down, the media would have savaged us on it, even though nothing happened (remember 1995?). It is very possible we could have seen massive seat losses in the House had we shut the government down, but we will never know. I would also point out that it is somewhat hypocritical of the rest of the GOP attacking the tax raisers while spending the money from the increase. If we really hate the tax raisers (and the increase), how about we overturn the tax increase that they passed to start with?
One point of kudos to Phil and the VCG, they are trying to advocate reduced spending. That is the key to this all. If we reduce spending, the dems will have no leverage or reason to raise taxes. I would point out that on the list of things to do for the HOD this year, there is only one spending cut on there (Medicaid reform). Everything else is tax cuts (back-to-school tax holiday and death tax elimination) and increased spending ($500 million to clean up the Bay, more transportation money, and combating Meth with more law enforcement). I think the VCG has the right idea, I am just not sure why they have attacked the GOP at every turn for their fiscal irresponsibility, but give the dems a free pass. Does the VCG really think the state is better off with a GOP majority that saw one tax increase rather than a dem majority that will raise spending and taxes constantly?