Three tax hike proposals went down to defeat in Madison and St. Clair Counties in the last election, but you can bet we haven't seen the last of them.
Tax hikes can be rejected over and over again, but they keep coming back – sometimes in the exact same form, sometimes in disguise. They're almost always touted as being for “the children” or “the schools” or some other “vital services,” but money is fungible and there's no way a citizen can know where it will wind up or what other funds will be diverted from the alleged object of appropriation.
Once in effect, tax hikes are considered sacrosanct and irreversible. Had the three proposed hikes been approved, we might have been saddled with them forever, and how long would it have been before our public servants discovered that the additional funds raised were not enough and that another hike was needed?
Proponents of tax-hike proposals always claim to have our best interests at heart, but are they our interests or theirs that motivate them? And what makes them think that they can spend our money better than we can ourselves, or that their plans and projects are more important than our own?
Has the dismal state of our economy escaped their notice this past decade? Do they not realize what we, their constituents, are going through? That we haven't had raises? That we've lost our jobs? That we're cutting back? That we're doing without?
What on earth makes them think that the laws of economics don't apply to them? They thought now was a good time to ask us to approve tax increases? Are they clueless?
Instead of tax hikes, they should propose tax reductions. They should learn to get by on less, to make sacrifices, to accept reality, to live the way the rest of us live: in the real world.
That's what honest, capable, and caring public servants would do.