To the editor:
The Missouri Republican messages confuse me. I understand they want to cut $800 million dollars in taxes. The logic is that more employers will come to Missouri and this will lead to more jobs. More jobs will lead to a broader tax base so government services will not be affected.
What confuses me is the different TV messages they are running. According to the TV ads, they want us to support overriding the governor’s veto of HB 253 to “cut wasteful spending” so we can “keep more of our hard-earned money.” We have two ways of interpreting their different messages. First we can trust that reducing taxes will improve our economy and not affect government services, even though Missouri already has the fifth-lowest per capita state taxes in the country. Or we can believe the ads that reducing taxes will mean reducing government services. I am inclined to believe the TV ads the Republicans are running.
Before I can support the override of the governor’s veto of HB 253, I would like to know which services are considered “wasteful.” Is the waste secondary education and higher education, which is 46 percent of the general revenue budget? Or, is the waste mental health, Medicaid and children’s programs, which is 30 percent of the budget?
I realize well meaning Republicans who support education and other vital services are under tremendous pressure by their leadership. If they don’t vote to override the veto they will pay a high price. They may lose a committee chairmanship. They may never get another bill passed. They may not receive party funding for the next election. They may have a tea party opponent in the next primary.
But if my representative takes a courageous vote and supports children and those in need of government services, then she will have my vote in the next election.