Tomorrow we vote on Questions 1 promote by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce’s front group “Our Schools Now”. The initiative will raise the fuel tax which will ripple through the economy (e.g. fuel costs impact the cost of food at the grocery store).
Besides being a bad idea to begin with, especially with the fiscal shell game the Chamber and their political pals plan to use, take a read of this article:
In the middle of the 20th century, when lotteries first started in the U.S., they were sold to states as a way to benefit the American public by providing additional funding for education.
This means that as the jackpots get bigger and people spend more money on lotteries – $223 per year by the average American, in fact – there should be more money in state budgets to spend on education.
But that isn’t happening.
Most state legislatures haven’t been using the lottery money for additional education funding. Instead, they’re using it to fund the basic education budget, and using the money that would normally fund education on other things altogether. As a result, public schools rarely get a budget boost.
With the Chamber’s involvement, I would expect the same here but rather than using lottery money for their shell game, they’ll use the gas tax to fund their other pet projects.
Really, it will be a double shell game: The tax is already a shell game as they use the gas tax money to fund other stuff so they free up money for education but I’m counting on them eventually turning around and using the freed up money for their pet projects instead of education.
Again, please look at my prior post on Question 1 and the prior political game with education money lead to this situation. Don’t fall for the shell game. Like the lottery, it’s a losing gamble but worse – this time you’re gambling with someone else’s money under government force.
Finally, an acquaintance passed an email on to me that also hits the issue:
Please see the attached link of the legislature when they were in the process of passing the “non-binding questions 1” that is on the ballot.
It shows how many of the legislators hold us, the tax paying voters.
Please consider how wise it would be to vote for a lifelong gas tax that cannot go directly to schools, it must be gerrymandered to go to education. Future legislatures cannot be held to switch funds around and every legislator I have talked to say it will only be for 1 or 2 years, but we will pay the tax increase for our lifetimes.
Please use wisdom in voting as we all have to live with the consequences.
The same advice should be applied regarding Proposition 3 (Obamacare-lite Medicaid expansion). Proposition 4 should also be opposed (I have no interest in unelected bureaucrats drawing up/manipulating election lines, it’s ripe for corruption; people doing this should be directly responsible to voters).