Right Hooks

Unions Just Keep Pushing Taxes

Tax hikes are on the ballot in many states, wringing ever more from citizens.

Political Editors · Oct. 27, 2016

From California to Maine and Oklahoma to Washington, public sector unions are pushing for new taxes and increases to existing ones. In California, a supposed “temporary” tax that’s set to expire is being put on the ballot for extension until 2030 — it’s “needed” to pay public school teachers even as the state’s revenue has grown by 40% since 2012. In Maine, in order to meet Medicaid needs, voters are asked to authorize an increase in the state income tax to 10.15% on households earning over $200,000 a year. This would put Maine’s state income tax rate second only to California’s 13.3%.

The teachers’ union in Oklahoma is backing a constitutional amendment that would raise the state’s sales tax to 9.85% in order to raise public school teacher salaries by $5,000 across the board. This would make Oklahoma’s sales tax rate the second highest in the nation. And in Washington, a carbon-tax referendum is on the ballot. It has been designed to be revenue neutral by lowering the state sales tax in relation to carbon-tax percentage. It’s intended to promote environmentally friendly behavior, but state unions aren’t happy with the referendum because there would be no revenue created from it. They would rather see the new carbon-tax without any lowering of the state sales tax.

What all these public sector unions have in common is the leftist belief that the government is entitled to as much money from the private sector as it wants. These unions promote the concept that citizens work on behalf of the government, not that the government works on behalf of citizens. The concept of patriotic duty done in service to the American people rather than the pursuit of greater power in order take advantage of and control citizens’ behavior should be the attitude and commitment of those in public office. Too often, however, we see the latter and not the former in our elected officials.

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