On the topic of SB509 and the legislature’s override of Governor Nixon’s veto, I endorse what Michael Bersin said. Ditto what Blue Girl said. In my own words: yesterday GOP dimwits (and one Democrat turncoat) voted to deprive a low-tax, low-service state and its vulnerable citizens of vital revenue; they did it because they’re retrograde ideologues or because they’re so well paid by folks like billionaire Rex Sinquefield that they just don’t care about the consequences for the rest of us.
It’s true that Republicans are mainly to blame for a tax policy that will ensure decades of mediocrity and worse for Missouri, but they’ve haven’t tried to hide their druthers and the folks who put them in office probably deserve what they get. But that doesn’t hold true for the rest of us, particularly the rank-and-file Democrats who voted for Rep. Keith English (D-68), the lone Democrat to vote for SB509 and, hence, the guy who tied the bow on the legislature’s gift to Sinquefield and other wealthy Missourians. English, a union electrician tried to claim the high ground:
“I have many co-workers within the electrical industry, residents in my district, they’re looking for jobs,” English said. If not a tax cut, “I don’t know what else in the near future we can do to get the state moving.”
Just like cutting taxes got Kansas moving:
Last week, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Kansas’ credit rating, noting its sluggish economic recovery compared with other states. Kansas revenues declined in April. Among other things, Moody’s said the income tax cuts were putting pressure on the budget and creating risk for the state’s financial future.
English either didn’t read the Governor’s well-reasoned veto statement attentively or he can’t process complex reasoning very well since he evidently believes that the Governor must have had a perverse desire to stifle SB509’s magical economic benefits which led him to lie about the bill’s
“The governor told us things about it that, after doing my homework, are not 100 percent true,” English said. “We have to generate a ton of money before those triggers happen.”
Too bad English didn’t work a little harder at his research. As the non-partisan Missouri Budget Project pointed out:
Although supporters of SB509’s tax scheme maintain that the so-called “trigger” would protect education and other services, the trigger is just a smokescreen. State revenue needs to grow by around $250 million each year just to keep up with current services. Moreover, because the trigger fails to account for already depleted services, recession-era cuts will become Missouri’s new normal. That will make it even harder for us to compete as other states invest in their infrastructure and education needs. SB 509’s triggers would have even allowed tax cuts to go into effect during the midst of the last recession.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialist suggests that maybe English’s motives weren’t totally disinterested:
Mr. English, a wiry wireman from IBEW Local 1, is getting a lot of attention for betraying his party, his union supporters and his working-class North County constituents. Nonetheless, the bet here is that he won’t have any trouble raising money for re-election this fall.
So English sold us out or he’s just butt-stupid. Doesn’t make much difference which. Every Democrat in the state needs to make sure that nobody forgets what English did when election time rolls around. Even if it means that the seat goes to a Republican. What he did is that bad.
The other thing that everyone who is either raging or in mourning for Missouri’s lost future can do is send a donation today to the state Democratic party. The real Democrats deserve our support.