I don't know how many times I've been branded by our Conservative bretheren as "an old hippie". Being cast in the image of the dinosaur left over from the Civil Rights Movement and maybe the anti-war movements of the 60's.
But watching Republican Candidate for Governor Mark Green debate Jim Doyle last Friday night made me understand that we liberals aren't the only party to have "dinosaurs".
Green was playing like a broken record (record = that was a vinyl recording device used before CDs and DVD for those of you too young to know)the lame, tired old Republican Battle Cry, TAXES ARE TOO HIGH, TAXES ARE TOO HIGH, TAXES ARE TOO HIGH! That's the same theme that Howard Jarvis coined in California in the late 1970's that started the so-called Taxpayer's Revolt and consequently the beginning of the conservative movement prior to Ronald Reagan.
Since the days of Howard Jarvis, voters in California, Colorado and most recently, Florida* have found out just exactly what that Republican ploy of tax cuts and tax rebates actually means. .. and they don't like it.
Cutting taxes means that roads don't get paved.
Cutting taxes means fewer "first responders".
Cutting taxes means higher and higher tuition costs for college students
Cutting taxes means larger classroom sizes and less individual attention to students.
Cutting taxes means holding bake sales (in Colorado) to pay the electric bill for the schools
Cutting taxes means libraries closing or cutting back hours
Taxpayers and voters (one and the same really) have come to learn all too well what the actual cost of that $300 state rebate check really is ....
But the "cut taxes" dinosaurs of the Republican party are still hoping to graze at the electoral trough one more time with Mark Green leading the herd....and Mark Green is pandering to those dinosaurs in the worst possible way.
* on edit....One Florida newspaper is reporting a "taxpayers revolt" against high property taxes in the state...mostly because the state isn't funding anything anymore.....the most memorable quote was "It's getting so a respectable redneck can't afford to live here anymore." I read it on Friday and I'll find the link shortly. 2nd edit a link and a snippet:
Floridians are in a foul mood over rising property taxes, and soon they will elect a new governor.
Crowds of sign-waving, fist-pumping taxpayers are packing hearings across the state.
What's fueling their hostility is that cities and counties have reaped a windfall from soaring property values but have not rolled back local property taxes.
In what taxpayers see as a shell game, local politicians promise to hold the line on taxes, but they mean the tax rate, not the tax you pay. There's a huge difference. In Florida, holding the line amounts to a tax increase because the value of property keeps going up.
But county officials note that while legislators have lowered taxes in Tallahassee, they have played their own shell game by shifting a growing share of the cost of government to the local level, especially for schools.