Each of pass through the educational system, experiencing some form of history lessons. History lessons are premised on the concept that the experience of the story taught should convey some opportunity to gain perspective and allow us the opportunity to gain knowledge that will improve our potential when we have “real world” opportunities. Every educator hopes, and this is a leap of faith, that the recipient of a lesson will not be required to repeat the mistakes that were part of the history lesson taught.
And so goes “History!” But, Louisiana seems to lead the nation in failures of our leaders to learn from history, and those who place leaders in power also fail horribly. We just cannot learn from the mistakes of history.
The current failure is understanding that raising taxes does not generate money in the manner that the tax was planned: to improve some condition, penalize some bad behavior or improve the playing field for future generations of citizens. Taxes, as in sales taxes designed to provide revenue for the operation of institutions that make our state a more positive environment for the general citizenry, are raise to give special interests money to continue special interest projects. This is true for all sectors of government and all areas of the state.
The governor wants to increase the state sales tax so that income and corporate taxes may be cut or even eliminated. And any educated citizen who can read the numbers in the state budget will quickly see that the arithmetic is all wrong. No reasonable increase of the sales tax will balance the money raised by the taxes that are proposed to be dropped.
The very thought of the burden of taxes being relied on to run the majority of the budget coming from a regressive sales tax smacks of the worst form of attack on the lowest economic level of citizens. The poorest in society, and even most of the dwindling middle class, spend a very high percentage of their money on basic subsistence items that require sales tax on mot items. So those who have the “luxuries” and “investments” would pay the lowest percentage to support the state.
This is only lesson #1 for the taxpayers. Many more hard lessons will follow. So, taxpayers, refresh yourself on the history of the citizens to elect officials who understand economics. And, don’t repeat this error next time.