I got a chuckle from Crissy Smith's recent letter. She expressed surprise at seeing the new, steeply-increased business license tax and expressed the need to watch the news more closely.
She might recall whether she was in a voting booth about this time last year and, if so, whether she voted for any Republicans. If she did then she really doesn't have much to complain about: she's simply gotten what she voted for.
The Juneau School District is lately dealing with a multimillion dollar budget shortfall. Our schools are habitually underfunded because the Republicans have spent years cutting education funding. Those who voted for Republicans should be glad. Underfunded schools are what they voted for.
Our underfunded law enforcement, public health, safety, disability and child welfare agencies, and other necessary parts of our society, are the result of Republican budget cutting. When you see sensational stories about the discovery of malnourished, abused and neglected children - well, if you voted for Republicans then smile: it's what you voted for.
Frank Murkowski and the Republican Legislature raised the business license tax on working Alaskans by 300 percent. If you voted for Republicans then pay it and smile. It's what you voted for.
Every year working Americans pay hundreds of billions of dollars in federal taxes for debt service on Ronald Reagan's, George H. W. Bush's and the Republicans' multitrillion dollar national debt. And we will be paying many hundreds of billions more in new debt service on George W. Bush's new trillions in debt. But if you voted for Republicans then get out your checkbook and smile. It's what you voted for.
Wealthy Americans, by the way, will not be joining us in writing those tax checks. The Republicans have made taxes on wealthy Americans lower than those paid by working Americans. In the last few years that shift has grown substantially as George W. Bush and the Republicans have given trillions in tax cuts to already under-taxed wealthy Americans while coughing up a few bucks in chump change to the working Americans who carry the vast majority of our nation's and our state's tax load.
Yes, Ms. Smith, being uninformed is a very expensive proposition indeed. At least, if you work for a living.
Donald R. Douglas
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