If Satan’s best trick is to make us believe he does not exist, his second best trick is to convince us that one more taste of sin will satiate our desire.It is the same with the politician and the crackhead. The crackhead holds the pipe in his hands and thinks, “Just one more hit and then I’ll get clean.” It is never really enough. He gets his fix. It wears off. And then . . .”Just one more . . .”It is the same with politicians and our tax dollars. “Just one more penny is all we need,” says the politician. But one more penny is never enough. The devil is always in the details.
In Georgia today, voters around the state are being asked by Republican politicians and the Chamber of Commerce to support the largest tax increase in Georgia history — a 16% increase in taxes. The tax increase will fund infrastructure spending. The Chamber of Commerce and Republican politicians are using Ronald Reagan’s image in a desperate appeal for the tax.”Just one more penny,” the politicians say. The Chamber of Commerce, which also supported Barack Obama’s stimulus plan in 2009, is selling this tax increase, called a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or “T-SPLOST”, as curing everything from traffic congestion to jobs to erectile dysfunction. Polling suggests the effort will fail and the tax advocates are already beginning to whisper about the next effort to pillage pockets.”Just one more penny.”Georgia has the 18th highest gas tax in the nation and is 48th in infrastructure spending per capita because its Democrat leaders who are now the Republican leaders could not restrain themselves. The Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, on Atlanta radio yesterday, said that Delta creates jobs — the tea party does not. Therefore, people should listen to Delta, not small government advocates.That contempt for smaller government is shared at state levels and national levels. Politicians want just one more penny to solve all problems. Like a crack head resenting intervention, the politician resents those who would deny it money.At the national level, politicians want just one more penny from the rich, not from you. Steny Hoyer, the Democrat Whip in the House, gave away the game a few weeks ago when he admitted the Democrats would come for the middle class after the election.But Republicans are no better. After years of claiming they would starve the beast and necessitate spending cuts, the Washington GOP has decided the path of least resistance is to just borrow from China to fund the leviathan. Instead of asking taxpayers for “just one more penny,” the GOP in Washington is asking China.Even now Republicans in Congress are trying to impose a national sales tax regime for the very first time to help Republican Governors who cannot get enough of your pennies. The next logical step, already being proposed by some Democrats, is to take this new national sales tax regime and use it to tax iTunes and Amazon downloads. Hey! It’s just a penny.The similarity between the crackhead and the politician is that the crackhead looks at his crack pipe and thinks he can get clean after just one more hit — assuming he has any self-awareness left.The politician looks at the taxpayers and does not see them as a source of a high and really does not even see them as a cash cow. The politician, unlike the crackhead, looks at that which fuels his addiction and gives him his fix and views it, the taxpayer, with absolute contempt — “why don’t they shut up and just do as they are told.”Actually, truth be told, a cleaned up crack addict once told me that she viewed crack that way too — a contemptible evil that served a useful purpose for her. So there really isn’t much difference between the two. One is in the gutter of a major metropolitan area and the other is in a swamp on the outskirts of Northern Virginia.Today, in Texas, if all goes well the voters will nominate Ted Cruz for the United States Senate. Cruz is, like Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Jim DeMint, committed to reducing Washington’s influence in our lives. They are not there to figure out a way to get one more penny or rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. They are there to upend the established order.Today, in Georgia, if all goes well the voters will reject their Republican legislature’s bid for just one more penny to solve problems the very act of this tax referendum shows the legislature lacks the testicular fortitude to solve.