Give Voters a Choice on New Taxation

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 13, 2004 | Go to article overview

Give Voters a Choice on New Taxation


Byline: Stephen Moore, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

When it comes to raising taxes, what part of "no" don't the politicians understand?

In the Virginia General Assembly, the bipartisan scheme by Gov. Mark Warner and the state Senate Republicans to raise taxes in the Old Dominion state could be passed into law in the weeks ahead. When antitax Republicans argued any tax hike should be approved by a vote of the people, the governor pouted that this would "turn Virginia into California."

Mr. Warner, the pro-tax Republicans and the liberal media are all deadset against giving the voters the right to choose on taxes.

Mr. Warner is no fool. He knows a ballot initiative on his tax-increasing revenue grab would be soundly defeated. How do we know this? Because tax initiatives have been trounced every time and everywhere voters have had a say. This is why Republicans should stick to their guns: No tax increase without voter approval.

Every ballot initiative in the last two years that has called for taxpayers to make the "sacrifice" of paying higher taxes, voters respond with not just a "no" but a "hell no." That string of victories for the antitax activists was lengthened earlier this month when Californians voted 60-40 against a measure to gut Proposition 13.

In Alabama, Oregon, Virginia and Washington state voters have recently soundly rejected new taxes (see chart). In Alabama even the governor's attempt to draw Jesus into the debate failed to sway voters.

It's particularly striking that the latest rejection of higher taxes comes from the folks on the Left Coast in California.

Now California has always been considered by Americans in middle America to be a little quacky. In many ways, it has pursued policies that would lead one to believe this is the most left-leaning of states. And that reputation has certainly been enhanced in the past few weeks with the same-sex marriage ceremonies that are all the rage in San Francisco. This is a state where the legislature recently approved a measure to give "equal rights" to transvestites.

There is also a movement in Sacramento to unilaterally sign the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, the one that would put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work.

But on taxes, Californians have never wavered in their opposition. The latest rejection of a ballot initiative to make it easier for the legislature to raise taxes, proves that even after 25 Years of the famous Proposition 13 antitax measure, and even after the left's ceaseless attacks against the devastation to schools, public safety and government services it imputes to the tax revolt,the voters aren't buying it. …

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Give Voters a Choice on New Taxation
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