In its original form, SB 87 was a great thing. Doing away with a “lie” is always a good thing. The Stelly Bill was never about honest taxation and the good Senator “Buddy” Shaw knew it when he proposed Senate Bill 87 to do away with it.
Enter the “Good Old Boys”.
How could the “tax and spend” Democrats allow themselves to be exposed as the disingenuous social engineers they are by having one of their tax gems repealed?
The fight was on.
In an obviously disingenuous maneuver, Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D-Abbeville, crafted an amendment to SB 87, a so-called “poison pill” that had two main purposes. The amendment was designed to save the ill-conceived Stelly Tax and to make Governor Bobby Jindal look bad no matter what decision he made about it. Whether the Democrats are successful in their underhanded tactics is yet to be seen, and there is no shortage of advice for the Governor in how to deal with his obvious political enemies.
The Democrat amendment to SB87 does away with the state income tax, which is hardly a fixture on the liberal agenda. On the surface, it certainly sounds great (to conservatives) to abolish the state income tax (or any income tax) and makes the Democrats look like heroes to the working class taxpayers. However, the amendment is actually fiscally irresponsible in that it makes no plans for dealing with the reduction in state revenue caused by the phasing out of the state income tax.
The Democrats were well aware of their purposeful omission of “paying for the tax cut”, as it was the key to their devious plan. How could any responsible Governor sign a bill into law that was so negligent by omitting the necessary entries to deal with such an obvious revenue shortfall? The Democrat thinking is that the Governor will be forced to veto the entire bill, thus saving the Stelly Tax and promoting the “Dimocrat’s” socialist agenda.
By making it impossible for the Governor to sign the bill abolishing the Stelly Tax, the Democrats are victorious heroes to their liberal constituents, and as an extra bonus, the Democrats would effectively make the Governor look bad to his conservative constituents, who sometimes overlook how devious the Democrats truly are. Conservatives have long wanted to repeal the Stelly Tax from when it was first proved to be the Democrat lie it is, but with the seemingly golden opportunity to phase out the debilitating income tax, conservatives maybe getting blinded by the shine of “fool’s gold”.
By vetoing the bill, the mentioned scenario takes place, but by signing the bill into law without simultaneously making the needed spending cuts necessary to make the phase out of the income tax truly successful, the Democrats will be setting up the Governor and the Republicans in the Legislature to bear the responsibility for future tax INCREASES to makeup for that certain revenue shortfall.
It is folly to believe the Democrats are going to “play fair” in any scenario. Hoping and praying the Democrats will allow spending cuts in any of their social programs for the sake of making the phase out of the income tax a success is better described as “naïve wishful thinking”. Perhaps Senator Shaw should have amended his own bill to include the necessary cuts needed to allow the income tax to be phased out instead of allowing the Democrats to put our new Governor in the difficult position he is in now, and perhaps some conservatives calling for the Governor to “swallow” that poison pill, should consider how reckless their maneuver could turnout.