Friday, February 4, 2011

An Ineffective Legislature

I find the discussions in the legislature regarding sales tax amusing. Everyone is wringing their hands over the budget cuts. The minute someone proposes raising sales tax, everyone says it's not time. Well, if the current budget crisis is not time, when will it be time? I agree that sales tax is regressive and that it disproportionately affects those who have less. Figure out a way to restructure sales tax in this state.  The fact is, this state has limited ways to raise revenues since it doesn't have state income tax.

I don't like raising taxes, but education needs funding help. Why can't we look at a 1 cent sales tax dedicated to fund K-12? Why can't municipalities be given the authority to increase a temporary sales tax to fund a specific project as long as it is voted on by the registered voters? Why doesn't the legislature look at reducing sales tax on food and increasing it on other retail and entertainment uses?

What has the state done to identify unnecessary programs to cut? The tendency is to protect one's turf. The first thing to do is cut all discretionary spending. If you can't tell the difference between discretionary and necessary, then this problem will not be solved.

Instead of dealing with tough issues like funding education, this legislature puts forth a bill to mandate gun ownership and a bill regarding abortion, again. Don't they listen to what the voters have said on the issue of abortion rights? What is it with these people who bounce back and forth between the House and the Senate? We continue to elect them. Lazy voters who vote by name recognition or because they have an "R" beside their name. Forget the fact they never accomplish anything. I think "R" stands for retreads. Retreads with no original or new thought.

And what does that get us? An ineffective legislature.

1 comment:

  1. Here is what I don't get Jennifer. From the South Dakota Video Lottery site.

    "Funding Education

    The Lottery has provided more than $400.8 million to the state General Fund. Each year, nearly half of the entire General Fund is used to support local K-12 schools and state universities and technical institutes."

    Why is our school funding under the knife?

    Polly Amalo