So Governor Rick Perry of Texas is visiting Missouri and has Governor Jay Nixon in a tither. Governor Perry will be in Chesterfield Thursday night to speak. The Governor is also on the campaign trail to promote Texas jobs. In a recent radio ad on KTRS, Governor Perry expressed the economic boon of lower taxes and highlights Nixon’s recent veto of HB 253, the income tax reduction the Missouri Legislature passed this year. In the ad, Perry then touted Texas’ low taxes and good economic climate and invited the hearers to come to Texas. KTRS pulled the ad. GrowMissouri, United for Missouri, Americans for Prosperity, and The Club for Growth are sponsoring the event along with several township republican clubs.
Earlier this week, Governor Nixon wrote a letter to the members of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, a member of GrowMissouri. In it he implied that Perry was attempting, with the Chamber’s help, to undermine the strength of Missouri’s economy. He asserted that, “Engaging in a respectful debate about the appropriate tax policy for our state is one thing,” but “campaigning to take jobs from hardworking Missouri families is another.” Supporters of the event are generally defending Perry’s message as an open dialogue on tax policy and healthy competition between the states.
These events are salutary for two interconnected reasons. First, an open and honest debate on tax policy is healthy. Second, it is time for a more confrontational and substantial dialogue. It is time for an open and forthright debate on tax policy. Our taxes are too high in this nation and they are charted to increase with all of the schemes the federal government imposing on the people. Scripture expresses that a ten percent tax rate makes a countries’ citizens its slaves. We are well beyond that figure in this nation. It is time for one of the states to buck the trend of ever increasing taxes and show what can be done with in a low tax state.
We Americans value transparency in our government, at least we say we do. Open and honest debate on matters of liberty and justice supports liberty and justice. Governor Perry’s invitation is putting our public policy decisions on taxes and economic development on a pedestal. Our elected officials are taking notice and responding. Shutting down Perry’s challenge would diminish the debate over our tax policy decisions and reinforce our path to serfdom.
It is also time for the debate to become more confrontational and substantial. During the years of the War Between the States Robert L. Dabney pointing out the flaws in conservatism. He wrote:
[Northern Conservatism] “is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader.
Is it too harsh to claim that Dabney believes conservatives are cowards? Our national conservative leaders shirk their responsibilities because they are afraid of backlash. They navel gaze over how the nation will react to a hard stance on defunding Obamacare. They are afraid that taking a strong public stand on issues will hurt them and the party at the ballot box. This is self-interest and not statesmanship. In doing so they accept the march down to perdition. It is time for the political right to take on a mantle that has some substance.
People rally behind a flag. They jump to a cause. They engage in new ideas and battle for principle. They do not get passionate about maintaining the status quo. Ronald Reagan was a perfect example of this principle. Reagan stood for substance. He stood for a change in course. And he changed the course of the nation.
Governor Perry’s actions are confrontational. They are engaging the public dialogue in a new way. They are proposing a new direction in the nation that cannot be ignored. For Missouri to ignore this message would be tantamount to a breach of trust by our state legislature. It would mean ignoring the challenge of people fleeing the state for greater opportunity in Texas. When people leave a state for greater liberty and justice in another state, it is a good thing. The Missouri Legislature’s challenge is to move the state of Missouri to more liberty and justice. It can do that by overriding Governor Nixon’s veto on HB 253. Hopefully, these events will galvanize the Missouri Legislature to action.
- Texas Gov. Perry’s visit is shaking up Missouri tax fight (stltoday.com)