Posted by Brian at 9:47 AM
And it seems he's still subject to the same disease that has infected the party since the rise of the Grover Norquist wing--no matter the problem, the solution is always to cut taxes.
The Republican governor's goals for the spring lawmaking session include no fewer than four separate tax proposals that would go before voters on the 2010 ballot, when Crist himself would be seeking voters' favor as a candidate for reelection as governor or for the U.S. Senate.Bolding mine, because that's the important thing here (and I'm glad the Herald included it). We've already slashed public services to ridiculous levels here in Florida, we've cut property taxes twice since Crist took office, and the economy is still struggling, but Crist and his buddies in the legislature, never content to stop digging when in a hole, want to do more of the same. Why? Brilliant Republican logic, of course.
The total taxpayer savings -- or cost to all local governments and schools statewide -- could weigh in at roughly $600 million, according to preliminary staff estimates and prior analyses of similar proposals to help homeowners, and cap and limit local-government taxation.
Echoing other Republicans, Sen. Mike Fasano of New Port Richey said Florida would have been in worse shape without the tax cuts. He said people need more.Yes, the old "it would have been worse if we had done nothing" attitude. Funny how that only seems to count for their ideas, huh? If, for instance, the national economy is still struggling in 2010, I doubt that Republicans will accept that reasoning from Democrats. But I digress.
"People are hurting, and it's just unfair to increase their property taxes when their property values fall," said Fasano, a sponsor of the tax-cut measure.
The point is that when people are struggling, it's also a bad idea to cut funding from programs that help them out in hard times. It's also important to remember that the government of Florida is supposed to represent all of us, not just property owners. We all pay sales taxes; we all pay fees; we all pay tolls when we use the turnpike; and we all deserve the same quality of government. If Crist and the Republicans want to spread the pain a bit, I'm all for that--institute a small income tax. That's the most progressive tax in the book. Make it a trade-off--property owners get a little relief and we all share the burden a bit more.
But that won't happen with this set of Republicans, and with Charlie Crist, in charge, because they don't actually want government to work. Oh, Crist will hug the President and stretch his hands out for the billions in aid from the federal coffers, because he'd like to argue that he was able to cut taxes as well as keep services going, but he's no different from the rest of them, except on the optics. Scratch Charlie Crist and you get Grover Norquist, and we can't afford that kind of governor.