Hanger Blog: Corbett Gas Tax Increase Shows Tea Party Anti-Tax Doctrine Doesn’t Work

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This morning I was a little worried when I saw a post from the John Hanger for Governor blog that looked like Hanger might appeal to anti-tax politics to attack Tom Corbett’s transportation funding proposal. Now there is a new post up taking what I think is the correct position:

In breaking his no-tax promise and raising a gas tax, Corbett shows that the extreme right-wing anti-tax ideology just does not work in the real world. The no taxes doctrine is the centerpiece of the Tea Party identity and the driver for their policy agendas and style of governing.

When the real world necessities of fixing our roads and bridges collides with the magical Tea Party worldview that we can have good roads without paying for them, the right-wing no-tax pledge ends up wrecked at the side of the road.

Everybody hates taxes, and would prefer to pay less for gas than more, so clearly there’s an opening for a Corbett opponent to hit him on raising the gas tax. I hope Democrats will pass up that particular political opportunity.

Democrats do themselves a disservice when they adopt Republican anti-tax rhetoric. Barack Obama’s “no tax increase for income under $250K” position is arguably a cousin of the Republican position. He’s basically saying “taxes suck, and only rich people should pay them.” The better argument is “taxes pay for useful public services, and we all have a patriotic responsibility to chip in for the good of the country.”

This entry was posted in Budget, Elections.

2 Responses to Hanger Blog: Corbett Gas Tax Increase Shows Tea Party Anti-Tax Doctrine Doesn’t Work

  1. Ed H. says:

    There’s only one problem with the criticism against Obama’s rhetoric. Obama is the principle Executive dealing with the fallout of a national recession. His position is sound in avoiding tax increases on middle and lower income earners because they make up the vast bulk of the consumer base the economy needs for growth. Taxing top income earners doesn’t harm demand/consumption as much.

  2. Ed H. says:

    That said, Tea people are naive and unrealistic. And that includes the Governor and elected Republicans who foolishly took the Norquist pledge and now find themselves breaking it. The math never works out for them. They need to realize that there are two sides of of the Laffer curve, and that there’s a point where taxes can be too low.