This morning I was a little worried when I saw a post from the John Hanger for Governor blog that looked like Hanger might appeal to anti-tax politics to attack Tom Corbett’s transportation funding proposal. Now there is a new post up taking what I think is the correct position:
In breaking his no-tax promise and raising a gas tax, Corbett shows that the extreme right-wing anti-tax ideology just does not work in the real world. The no taxes doctrine is the centerpiece of the Tea Party identity and the driver for their policy agendas and style of governing.
When the real world necessities of fixing our roads and bridges collides with the magical Tea Party worldview that we can have good roads without paying for them, the right-wing no-tax pledge ends up wrecked at the side of the road.
Everybody hates taxes, and would prefer to pay less for gas than more, so clearly there’s an opening for a Corbett opponent to hit him on raising the gas tax. I hope Democrats will pass up that particular political opportunity.
Democrats do themselves a disservice when they adopt Republican anti-tax rhetoric. Barack Obama’s “no tax increase for income under $250K” position is arguably a cousin of the Republican position. He’s basically saying “taxes suck, and only rich people should pay them.” The better argument is “taxes pay for useful public services, and we all have a patriotic responsibility to chip in for the good of the country.”