As promised, here is a follow-up story on the wonderful editorial that the Searcy paper ran this past Sunday.
After ripping off my pre-election analysis and making some incredibly insightful post-election predictions, they admit that their post-election predictions were incorrect…and they’ve NEVER BEEN HAPPIER TO ADMIT IT! Never ever!
We were wrong, and have never been happier to admit it.
Searcy voters passed a 1-percent tax increase this past week, but in reality did much more. By a 7-to-3 margin, voters demanded that Searcy move forward and become the progressive community that the current competitive economic climate demands. Our community has been stuck in a vicious cycle of defeating taxes for the sake of defeating taxes, while scoffing at the long-term economic rewards that would benefit everyone. Those who have said infrastructure creates jobs have been derided, despite clear examples of this being true.
On Tuesday, voters said, “Enough.”
Don’t you find it odd that in the same article, the paper admits that they expected the tax to barely pass, but by the end of the article, the margin was a MANDATE for progress (which is code for ‘more taxes in the future’)? That would be like going on NFL Live and predicting that the Patriots will barely beat Tebow and the Broncos before the game, because the Broncos are a pretty talented team. But after the game, you come back on air, NEVER HAPPIER TO ADMIT that you were wrong, and say that the Broncos are actually awful because they got beat handily, the Patriots will run away with the rest of their games, and no one can hold a candle to their talent. In fact, their victory is a mandate for Patriot victories in the future…(okay, it’s not a perfect analogy, but you get my point)
I’d like to know, voters of Searcy: Did you DEMAND that Searcy become a ‘progressive community?’ Or did you vote for some road improvements? Because I am pretty sure you have rejected attempts to make Searcy ‘progressive,’ like when you voted down the A&P tax in 2010 by a 10-point margin. And I was pretty sure that this tax was just about road improvements…right?
And when did we give the paper unilateral authority to declare a tax increase as ‘progress’ anyway?
This notion that we have been ‘defeating taxes for the sake of defeating taxes’ is an affront to the intelligence of every Searcy and White County voter. As I have documented thoroughly over the past few weeks, this most recent tax was vastly different than the past taxes that have been proposed. Previous taxes lacked transparency, definite sunsets, etc. To say that those taxes were defeated ‘for the sake of defeat’ is outrageous, insulting, and simply untrue.
In fact, in an editorial last month, the paper itself admitted that a lack of trust exists between voters and officials in our county. Are they now saying that voters have had a complete change of heart in the last 4 weeks and are now BEGGING for more taxes, more government stewardship of their money?
If we’ve been defeating tax increases for the sake of defeating them, then why did this one pass? Did the paper stop to think for a minute that this tax proposal was very different than the last few?
Doesn’t the editorial staff of the paper find it peculiar that the last two leading opponents of the last two tax proposals in the county (Scott Biddle, former chairman of Searcy Friends of the Voters, and myself, former chairman of Citizens for Responsible Taxation) didn’t organize opposition to this tax?
And in fact, the former SFV chairman publicly supported this tax? (they do know, because he submitted this letter to them a week before the election) So perhaps it’s not about ‘defeating for the sake of defeating,’ but rather about insuring that our local governments put forth reasonable proposals? Nah, that can’t be it.
Finally, I would like to officially invite the paper to defend their claim that there are ‘clear examples’ that infrastructure taxes create jobs. I know this claim is a direct response to what I have been writing for a while. I have defended my position thoroughly. Now it’s their turn. I would like to know:
- What these ‘clear examples’ are
- How many jobs the Searcy bypass project will ‘create’
- How many jobs the Obama infrastructure stimulus created
I’m more than happy to post their answers here on The Patriot.
It comes as no big surprise that the paper is falling right into the line of thinking that I warned against last week when I said:
If the tax passes, despite the “Jobs” tricks, I hope the city will see their victory for what it is–a temporary loan of trust (and treasure) from the taxpayers to the taxers, not a mandate for increased taxes and pet projects in years to come.
The only mandate that has been issued by the recent tax vote is a mandate for better roads. I trust that our elected officials will not fail to make this distinction as the paper has, because I can assure you: if they propose another tax for ‘progress,’ we will defeat it.