Friday, June 12, 2015
How do you handle PR when your idea has smashed into an impenetrable wall? This is a problem for Republican governors who rose to their elected offices with a pledge of "no new taxes." They are facing budget deficits without revenue to offset them. So, they are taking pragmatic action. They are selectively raising taxes and fees to fill gaps. Will voters remember at election time that they broke their promises? The problem with the pledge is that government is often the provider of last resort. It takes on jobs and issues that no one else wants to tackle, such as feeding the poor and providing the destitute medical services. These segments of society are reliant on government to watch out for them. The money for serving these groups comes from taxing wealthier citizens. Republican governors who have cut state services to the bone are learning the lesson that unlike corporations that can fire people, government often can't do that. Societal ills do not disappear when funds are taken away.