Let me start out by saying that I am not opposed to taxes, having moved irrevocably beyond John Locke’s State of Nature — taxes in a civil society are a necessary evil. As a conservative, I want my government to collect the necessary and sufficient taxes to competently and efficiently perform the functions mandated by the Constitution or allowed by the Constitution and mandated by the people as voiced by their legislature.
I also agree that our transportation infrastructure needs work. It is crucial to the economic health of this state to have a robust system of roads and highways.
The problem is that if the Jeopardy answer is: ‘Competent, Efficient, and operating within the Constitution’
Nobody would ever believe the question is: ‘What is government?’
I have written on the gas tax before. While I was a vocal critic of former RPI Chairman AJ Spiker (I never get tired of saying that), one of the good things that RPI did under Spiker’s leadership was speak out and advocate for issues in our platform (life, 2nd Amendment, gas tax). I did take issue when under Spiker, RPI spoke out on issues not in our platform like medical marijuana or random traffic stops — not because I disagreed, rather because I believe that the party leadership should advocate for things the party has actually (through the platform) agreed upon.
I also spoke out when in 2014, all four district platforms opposed a gas tax increase, yet the State Platform Committee felt that they should ignore the strong message sent by the grassroots and add support for a tax increase to the State Platform. Fortunately, enough pressure was applied to the committee that they changed their position before the convention. Unfortunately, the platform adopted at convention does not address the gas tax.
So in answer to those who ask why RPI Chairman Jeff Kauffman hasn’t publicly voiced opposition to the gas tax — it is because the platform does not address it. Since I criticized Spiker for speaking Ex Cathedra (even on issues I supported) — consistency demands that I support Kaufman’s decision not to unilaterally speak out against the gas tax.
On the other hand, as I say on the about page for this blog:
… all of the commentary on this blog is my own and does not represent the position of the State Central Committee or the Republican Party of Iowa.
I do not speak for RPI. As a conservative, as a Republican, I am disgusted that my guys would support a 45% in the gas tax or any other tax! I went to a lot of events, heard many candidates speak, received their flyers, and saw their commercials. Funny thing is, I can’t remember any of them (I’ll concede that there could have been a few) who made raising the gas tax a cornerstone of their campaign.
Some may say,
Dave, be realistic, you want to have your cake and eat it too!
No, the government wants to take more of my cake and eat it too!
If I believed that our state government (no matter which party controlled it) were competent, efficient and acting within the Constitution, I could probably be convinced to support a modest increase in the gas tax. However, if the state government were operating in that way, we would have all the money we need for roads!
What’s the solution? If I may make a modest suggestion — MAKE CUTS IN THE BUDGET ELSEWHERE!!!!!
Recently my daughter criticized me for not listening to any music from this century — I told her that it’s OK because I don’t own any cars from this century either. It is time to replace our vans.
I think I’ll follow the lead of our state government and as my boss for a 45% raise!
Probably not a good plan, I guess I’ll have to put some money aside until I can afford something newer.
But when the state is getting ready to ask me for a 45% increase — a number of my (Republican) guys are willing to go along, in fact, in this case they are the ones doing the asking 🙁 It was no secret that the a gas tax increase would come up this session. Most of us knew that it would be the defining measure addressed by this session of the legislature.
To the Republicans in Des Moines I have this to say (I am going to be gentle and use my inside voice.)
If you didn’t campaign on raising the gas tax and you support it now: you are a hypocrite, a liar, or a coward!!! At least the Democrats are honest about wanting to take more of my money!