Editorial: We need good roads, not 'soak the rich' rhetoric
Friday, January 06, 2017 8:01 AM
Indiana Republicans want to increase taxes and fees on motorists in order to pay for infrastructure improvements across the state. It’s a continuation of a trend, says The Associated Press, “pushed by the GOP in recent years that critics argue is shifting the tax burden away from the wealthy and onto the middle and working classes.”
Come now. Let’s be specific and call those critics what they really are: Democrats. Having too few members of the General Assembly to be able to influence legislation, let alone create it, they have to fall back on the “soak-the- rich” rhetoric that represents the only economic policy they have ever had.
The poor Democrats “are befuddled,” sympathizes the AP, that a party which has historically championed tax cuts now wants a sizable increase.
“This is going to be the first session I remember coming into that the Republicans are advocating for tax increases,” said Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson. “... At the same time, we’re continuing to give tax breaks to corporations and businesses. How are they going to explain that?”
Maybe Katie Smith can explain it to him. Or maybe he’d like to hear from her Hoosier employees. She sold her stores in Bourbonnais and Monee in Illinois and opened up ones in Chesterton and LaPorte in northwest Indiana because Illinois regulations were driving her crazy and it is so much cheaper to operate in Indiana. She estimates it is $40,000 dollars a year less annually in business insurance costs alone.
She’s just one entrepreneur benefiting from Indiana’s policies, which, as House Speaker Brian Bosma notes, “have set the right tax atmosphere here for employers, for entrepreneurs. ... It’s better jobs, it’s higher wage. That tax cut formula has worked well.”
It has been said a million times, but it never seems to soak in for Democrats: Those awful corporations do not pay taxes. The customers of those businesses pay them through higher prices for goods and services.
The specific fees Republicans will be seeking for the state’s infrastructure needs are a 10-cents-a-gallon increase in the gasoline tax and an additional $15 a year vehicle registration fee. That means the people using the state’s roads will be the ones paying for the state’s roads. How in the world can anyone argue that’s not fair?