If the amendment fails at the polls on Sept. 18, he would not propose a tax increase to provide money to pay for medical insurance for the poor, to keep the elderly in nursing homes, to keep rural hospitals open, to keep prisoners in prison, and to keep the men and women who work at these agencies on the job.
“I’m not going to increase taxes on the families of this state,” he said.
Problem is, no one has asked him to.
What has been asked is that the tax on tobacco be increased to cover the shortfall in Medicaid. Most Alabama families do not smoke.
What has been asked is that the tax rate for top income earners — certainly not a group that represents the “families of this state” — be increased to bring in the revenue needed to run a modern state.
What has been asked is that the sales-tax exemptions be revisited and those that do not contribute to the economic growth of the state be eliminated.
What has been asked, simply put, is that those who have been protected and enriched by the current tax code be asked to pay more.
But the governor would rather see the poor, the weak, the elderly, the vulnerable and the people who help them suffer.
Apparently, the governor is not alone since the leaders of the Republican majority in Montgomery, according to Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, “don’t see any appetite for any type of tax increase.”
There it is in a nutshell.
Even though the state Legislature could easily override the veto of the governor (it takes a majority vote to pass a bill and a majority vote to override a veto), this heartless legislative majority agrees with the governor.
So it is left to the people of Alabama to show some compassion and help the needy, while at the same time doing the job the Legislature should be doing.
One wonders why the Legislature does not turn the whole process of legislating over to a state referendum. Let the people chose whether they would want to increase taxes, cut critical state services or raid the trust fund.
Of course, such an approach would render the Legislature useless.
Which, in this case, has happened anyway.