RE: Re: [RLC-National] FW: Google Alert - Mark Sanford
- You know, the reaction I'm hearing from people really startles me. I went
back and reread the article and the comments here... and I'm still very
concerned, but I'm growing more concerned about the RLC, not just about Gov.
1) To the notion that it's a libertarian perspective because "it's a sales
tax rather than an income tax," I would point out that a tax targeted to
specific products because of their ill effects is not a sales tax, but a sin
tax. Funny, I thought we were against taxes that attempted to manipulate
society based on specific ideas as to which products are healthy and which
are not... and if you really think this isn't one of those, I suggest you
are incredibly naïve. Note this quote: "The proposal to hike the cigarette
tax has sparked support from health advocates who think steeper prices will
force adults to cut back and discourage kids from getting hooked, as well as
backlash from cigarette companies and tobacco retailers who have an economic
interest in keeping prices down."
2) The state doesn't apparently need more tax revenue; they're running at a
SURPLUS, for crying out loud! How many states can SAY that? It worries me
that someone the RLC National Committee has actually approached not only
endorsing for President but actually attempting to RECRUIT to run for
president -- and also has endorsed for re-election to his gubernatorial
office -- is proposing an increase of ANY tax when his state's running a
surplus. And there have been other news articles recently about Sanford
embracing bigger government. I think, as an Alternate Member of the RLC
National Committee, I have good reason to be concerned.
3) To the notion that this is part of a move to lower other taxes, the
article simply says, "Sanford said he's generally opposed to raising taxes,
but a cigarette-tax increase could be offset by a tax decrease elsewhere,
like property or income tax." It doesn't say that such is a part of this
proposal or that such a proposal is even on the table. Does ANYONE here
think that most politicians are going to give up taxes they've already got
passed just because NEW tax monies are being proposed, without it being a
direct and MANDATED trade-off?
4) My final response to the oppositions to my concerns mentioned here is to
suggest that if Gov. Sanford proposes tax increases, they gain new
respectability. Read the following, from the article:
[House Speaker Bobby] Harrell [R-Charleston], who previously opposed raising
cigarette taxes, said once the House turns its attention to the state
budget, he expects the cigarette tax to get discussion. But he's unsure if
the measure would have enough support to pass this year.
"It's not a simple issue for me," Harrell said. "Raising taxes is the power
that the General Assembly has to use very carefully. The only reason I'm
even considering (raising taxes) is if it decreases the likelihood that
children will start smoking. That's the only merit to this situation that
requires our attention.
"The bottom line is, most of our taxes are the lowest in the country -- our
gas tax, our income tax on seniors ... . We're a state that's generally
hesitant to tax people."
This, pure and simple, is a sin tax. And people we endorse as
wholeheartedly as we've endorsed Gov. Sanford should stand foursquare
5) And finally, Guy... the reason this didn't get posted to the
Republitarians list is two-fold: a) This is an issue that directly affects
the RLC (because we've been so vocal in our support of Gov. Sanford) & thus
I felt it very important to post it to the RLC lists and b) because I can't
post to Republitarians from the same e-mail account as I do to the RLC
lists, and thus I forgot after having sent it to the RLC lists.