How’s this? A candidate who admits a tax increase is needed. Not only that, but I’m saying that voters want to raise taxes, even if they don’t know it.
I learned quite a bit at a regional transportation update this morning with area legislators and city officials.
Transportation folks mentioned the disappointing public response to Proposition D in 2018 and their enthusiasm for the governor’s transportation bond project.
Quick backstory: If voters had approved it, Prop D would have raised the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon over the next four years. That money would have gone to improving Missouri’s roads and bridges, which are falling apart because there isn’t enough money.
When that failed, the governor came up with a plan to borrow money to make the needed repairs. It’s great that we can now make some infrastructure improvements, but we’re just kicking the can down the road as far as paying for it.
Here’s the important part, and it’s something no one mentioned this morning:
Prop D, just like all the other propositions that Missouri voters have had to decide on, only came about because our legislators refuse to stand up and do their job.
No one likes taxes, much less tax increases. But sometimes they’re necessary. The state’s gas tax hasn’t increased since the ’90s. And since fuel efficiency has increased, the state isn’t taking in enough money to keep up with demand.
A gas tax isn’t perfect. It disproportionately hits the folks who can’t afford newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. But it’s as good an option as we have right now.
But the legislature – and I’m looking at you, supermajority of Republicans Missouri – aren’t passing on a fuel tax because they’re concerned about the poor in our state.
No, Republicans have spent so much time complaining about taxes that they can’t do what’s necessary without losing an election. And they’re more concerned with getting re-elected than they are about doing what’s best for our state.
Because there are things called economic multipliers. The money we put in makes more money for everyone in the state.
Infrastructure is an economic multiplier. So’s education.
And Medicaid expansion:
And if Republicans were worth the money we pay them in Jefferson City, they’d tell you the same thing.
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