One would think that Rex Sinquefield would look at his win-loss ratio (he pretty much always loses) and just pay his damned taxes. He does, after all, live in Missouri, which manages to be a low-tax state even though it does some decent things for low-income people, like matching SNAP funds if those funds are spent at farmer’s markets where the recipients can buy fresh, local fruits and veggies and natural, free-range meat from small, family farmers in our state. Kansans within five miles of the state line make the trip to Missouri if they have a big grocery-store run to make, because Missouri waives a significant portion of the state sales tax on groceries. But instead of looking at the decent services we manage to buy for our tax dollars and just paying his damned taxes, he spends millions trying to buy the state government – only to lose, and have to pay his damned taxes anyway.
I tried to discuss the veto being upheld with the Speaker of the Missouri House when he tweeted this:
#MOHouse Floor, deep philosophical debate: Who spends your money best, you, or the Government?
— Tim W. Jones (@SpeakerTimJones) September 11, 2013
…and I tweeted this in response:
Honestly, it depends on what it's being spent on. || MT @SpeakerTimJones Floor, deep philosophical deb8: Who spends ur$ best,u,or the Govt?
— Blue Girl (@BGinKC) September 11, 2013
Funny how neither the Speaker nor any of the members of the peanut gallery chiming in with “Me!!!” and “I do!!!!!” had anything to say in response to that.
Still, something tells me that the country folks who live on a paved road and were chiming in on twitter agreeing with the speaker wouldn’t want to be responsible for the upkeep of that pavement that runs through or in front of their property all by themselves.
Five will get you ten that the country folks know that the school is the life-blood of the community, and if the state funding went away entirely then the school would close and the town would die.
Taxes also pay the salaries of lawmakers like the Speaker, the utilities for their offices and the rest of the capitol, the salaries of their staff members, the salaries of the rest of Missouri’s elected officials like the Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, Lt. Governor and Governor, and all their staffs.
We get roads and bridges from the DoT and our highways and waterways are as safe as they are thanks to the hard work of the law enforcement professionals of the Missouri State Patrol. We live in a state that has a stellar public health record that boasts high immunization rates, low rates of infection of communicable diseases, including STDs. (We’re not quite sure what to do about St. Louis. That place has whorehouses that predate the first trading post where KC now stands.) Anyway, we have a comprehensive public health system, and taxes pay for it.
We also get courts and a criminal justice system that are sometimes cited as models for the nation. There are no for-profit prisons in this state, and not a single federal or state prisoner in Missouri is being held in a private jail; those unconstitutional apostasies are prohibited by state statute. Given the scandals that have come to light that involve private prisons, the legislators who passed that law seem ahead-of-their-time. I like that our prisons are humane enough and our prison population low enough that we don’t get sued for violating the civil and human rights of our prisoners.
I want state boards to keep tabs on physicians and nurses and teachers and mental health providers and pharmacists. I want the state to make surprise inspections of nursing homes and medical clinics, and that, too, is something that only the government can do.
I guess it’s obvious by now that I’m really quite sick of the false dichotomy that the “who do you trust to spend your money, you or the government?” trope represents. It’s nonsense and I’m not going to roll my eyes and go about my business and ignore the offender any more. Instead, I’m going to call it out.
Never mind that if the General Assembly wanted to really enact tax reform that would matter, they would raise taxes slightly on the wealthiest people in the state, and they would cut the regressive sales tax by half-a-cent to a cent, giving us all an extra fifty cents to a dollar to spend in our communities for every hundred bucks we spend on essentials of life like clothing and toothpaste and toilet paper.
I like the things I get for my tax dollars as a Missourian, so I don’t even mind the sales tax that hits me much harder than it hits the richest Missourians. Funny how the reforms that would give average Missourians more money to spend in Missouri businesses is never discussed by the bought-and-paid-for ALEC and Rex Sinquefield shills like Speaker Jones, isn’t it?