Thank the tea party for tax hikes
There’s been a flood of criticism directed toward Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to raise sales and gas taxes. But, in reality, it is the GOP and the tea party that have caused these increases, as well as the increases we have seen (or will see) at toll booths, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, and elsewhere.
For several years, the GOP/tea party has been fighting, with all its heart, to prevent tax increases on millionaires, billionaires, and multinational corporations at the federal level despite the fact that these people and entities are enjoying their lowest effective tax rates and highest share of our nation’s wealth since the 1920s. The GOP/tea party is also opposed to deficit spending.
So, since we cannot tax the super-rich at the federal level, and since the GOP is resistant to federal spending as a matter of ideology, federal aid to the states is drying up.
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Well, guess who is going to pick up the slack? You are. You’re going to pay higher taxes, fees and tolls at the state and local level to protect the super-rich from higher taxation at the federal level.
Let’s be frank. Raising fuel taxes, bridge tolls, and MVA fees — during a time when fuel prices are high and the consumer class is hurting — is very dumb policy. These are all regressive costs, with a greater impact on middle and low-income groups than the rich. But it is also necessary policy when we have the GOP and tea party circling wagons around the super-rich every time federal tax increases are proposed.
And if you think things are bad now, just wait until more tea party members get into Congress next year and start slashing taxes on the wealthy even more. Maybe we’ll start paying $6 for a gallon of gas to protect the $50 billion fortune of the Koch brothers.
Brent McKee, Arnold