The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Monday, October 10, 2005

Oh How I Love Roddy Stinson

State Senator Elliott Shapleigh was in town recently at UTSA giving a talk to some students about a possible state income tax. Local curmudgeon Roddy Stinson had this to say about it:

A personal income tax has been examined many times by Texans. It has been repeatedly rejected as a viable state-funding alternative. And there is zero chance that the anti-tax sentiment will change.

Every Austin insider privately says so.

Every credible political analyst agrees.

Even most of Babylon on the Colorado's slugabeds have figured it out.

Texas taxpayers don't want an income tax.

Texas legislators won't support an income tax.

And any serious candidate for a statewide office who even winks at an income tax will soon become a losing candidate.

Of course Stinson goes further, trying to build his case against Shapleigh, bringing forth such damning evidence as his support for stem cell research, calling him a liberal, and rolling out Texas Monthly's naming of Shapliegh as the "conscience of the Senate." Really, all the sort of stuff that should make a difference in arguing about tax and school finance policy.

Then again Stinson's in what I call the Arlene Wohlgemuth/fringe caucus- let's just add a 30% sales tax to everything and we'll be just fine!

Funny thing about this though, Stinson seems to lose sight of his argument at the very end:

"Income tax" has been on the Texas discussion table for decades. And state taxpayers have repeatedly examined it and determined that such promises as "lower property taxes" and "a better education system" are siren songs warbled by politicians skilled at waving yummy tax carrots while hiding very large spending sticks.

Apparently lower property taxes, which everyone has been clamoring for, and a better education system, which everyone has been clamoring for, aren't very good reasons to update our tax code.