"The more state government tinkers will our daily lives, the more difficult they become"
It's deja vu all over again in Jefferson City. Not enough money for education? Raise taxes! That seems to be the routine solution in government these days. Rarely are there calls for cutbacks on non-productive programs or plans to reduce duplicate programs. The solution always revolves around tax hikes.
A plan approved in Jefferson City this week would do just that. Casino operators will pay higher taxes to help fund a shortfall in education. Of course those casino operators will pass much of that increase along to customers. But at the same time the legislature has made little mention about eliminating the phony loss limit in Missouri. Go figure!
In a narrow victory for the education plan, Gov. Bob Holden gained approval Wednesday for the higher gaming tax and the elimination of some small business tax incentives. A new keno-style game in Missouri is also expected to add revenue to the education budget. When the dust settles, about $150 million will be raised with the new, higher taxes.
Part of Holden's plan also calls for troubled schools to development improvement plans to continue receiving state funds. This seems foolish because these school already have ample levels of improvement plans that are already not working. So why add to a failure with more of the same?
The more state government tinkers will our daily lives, the more difficult they become. The state consistently refuses to examine each and every program and judge it on the basis of accountability. If that process were done we might not have this budget crunch that Holden holds up to our faces daily. You and I both know that there remains fat in our state bureaucracy and the programs we fund. What is so sorely missing in Jefferson City is not more tax revenue. What's missing is leadership.