Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hold the pickles, hold the taxes...

A few days ago, my wife and I finished our evening deliveries before dark. It was nearly 60 degrees in January, and our New Years resolutions were going pretty good, so we decided a celebration was in order.
We pulled into the local Whippy Dip and ordered a couple of chocolate shakes. When the young lady behind the counter inquired "What size?" I said that I would like a medium, and Susan said that she only wanted a small. To which the young lady replied, "We don’t have medium or small. We only have large, super-duper, and gargantuan."
A bit taken back, I said, "Okay, give us two of the smallest you have." She punched the cash register and shouted, "Two large chocolate shakes! That’ll be eight dollars, please."


I had the same frustrated feeling when I watched Governor Daniels give the State of the State Address Wednesday night. You see, I grew up believing that Republicans were the party fiscal responsibility and small government. For the second year in a row Governor Daniels has used this speech to call for tax increases. Last year he called for higher income taxes on just the wealthy. This year, under the guise of "home rule and local autonomy", he called for higher taxes on everybody. He wants to allow local governments to adopt revenue options including local sales tax, which is at least limited to 1%. Other proposed taxes, such as the Supplemental Income Tax, Food and Beverage Tax and the Innkeepers Tax, are without limits. And these new taxes aren’t replacing property taxes. That might make it a little easier to accept. Instead, they will be added to our existing taxes and, if at some time in the future your local government decides it has more money than it knows what to do with, they might choose to give certain citizens a property tax break. The legislation calls for "targeted tax relief to classes of taxpayers". Somehow I get the feeling you and I won’t be in that "targeted class".

Governor Daniels also seemed awfully proud of his efforts to save the Crane Naval Station. I guess that is doubly important because by retaining those taxpayer-supported jobs, the federal government remains the biggest employer in Indiana. If those jobs are lost, the state of Indiana would be the biggest employer in Indiana, and the federal government would drop to number two. But either way it goes, I would think it would be hard for him to talk about small government with a straight face.

We have a Republican Governor, a Republican controlled House and a Republican controlled Senate here in Indiana, just like we have a Republican President and a Republican controlled House and Senate in Washington. We also have this year, from both Washington and Indianapolis, increased budgets, an increase in the number of departments and agencies, and a decrease in the protection of our property rights. And the Democrats are complaining that the Republicans aren’t spending enough.

Hungry for a smaller government? Sorry, but if you don’t have a Libertarian on the ballot, it’s not even on the menu.

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