Speaking About Fair Taxes
My name is Cory Jane English, senatorial candidate for Legislative District 4. As the political season gets underway, there is a lot of talk about taxes. For example, the Republican candidates for governor are trying to out-conservative one another by talking about ever greater and deeper cuts to taxes. Don’t get me wrong, we all appreciate more money in our pocket. Yet this race to the bottom fails to consider its impact on the quality and stability of our communities and our state. Therefore, I would like to share my thoughts on this critical issue.
Fair Taxes Support the Public Good
There’s one thing I know for sure: It takes money to build the type of community we all want to live in. Furthermore, we need fair taxes to distribute the cost of expanding and maintaining our community services and common infrastructure. Currently, our tax policy is unfair. Every loophole and special consideration given to one interest group shifts the financial burden onto the rest of us. That is why I am speaking about fair taxes.
Demanding the Best from our Government
It is also universally understood that good quality costs more than low quality. We all know the difference between a Lexus and a Yugo. Yet, it seems that the ultra-conservative approach to government spending is that we can get good stuff on the cheap. They wish us to believe that we can continue to cut the budget without sacrifice. For example, they believe that effective public education can be delivered with a shrinking investment in resources and infrastructure.
Offering the Greatest Benefit for the Common Good
Our Republican friends also like to use the term ‘income redistribution’ as a way of demonizing the purpose of taxation and government spending. This is silly. Yes, taxing and spending is ‘income redistribution.’ The question is how it is redistributed. It can be redistributed broadly or narrowly. I believe your tax dollars should be used to deliver the greatest benefit to the most people. It should also align with fiscal and social priorities that serve the common good.
Putting the Public Before Politics
Another aspect of tax policy is putting the public interest ahead of political interests. For example, why does our Republican legislature insist on scoring political points by resisting the return of federal money to Idaho? Medicaid expansion would help Idahoans who need healthcare. Federal funding for the expansion is on the table and the long term financial benefits to Idaho are significant. Yet they argue that we shouldn’t be dependent on the federal government. This is just plain wrong. Those federal dollars came out of our pockets! Why wouldn’t we want to invest them in here in Idaho?
I also believe good governance includes doing big things that cost big money when it serves the people to do so. But the cost should be shared fairly by everyone. Schools, roads, hospitals, infrastructure: these are shared benefits and they require a shared commitment to sustain them. It is time to be honest with ourselves: Idahoans deserve value for the money we spend, and we deserve a tax policy that doesn’t shift the financial burden to hard-working Idaho families. When elected, this is how I will serve. I will fight for fairness. Most importantly, I will spend your money cautiously to avoid unnecessary waste and inefficiency.
Finally, we must stop wasting public funds on political policies that are clearly illegal and indefensible. Idaho can’t afford the waste in time and money fighting them in court. Our elected officials should know better. They have no right to waste our money! As your senator, I will work to hold them accountable.
Article written by Cory Jane English, 2018