Mention the word “taxes” down thissaway, and people immediately start twitchin’.
Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, business taxes tend to be lower, and most of us see a direct correlation between how Texas handles state-level taxation and the (usually) successful economy. Even at the more local level, where one might expect to see things get done (and thus paid for), we still ain’t interested in payin’.
As a result, we end up with Texas-sized shouting matches over everything from school bond issues to police pay. We want “stuff”… we want it to be quality “stuff”… but we really don’t want to have to pay for it, thanks anyway. And if you roll this equation the other direction (to the Federal level), it’s even more intense. Pavlovian, even.
Thus, the “tax and spend Democrats” meme has huge impact here… and I have no doubt that’s exactly what’s driving this:
The polls are showing that Republican presidential candidate John McCain is on a downhill slide nationally, but is continuing to gain ground in Texas — despite having no campaign organization here.
The comments section on that Chronicle blog post is going nuts, btw. Everything from “OMG, I’m so embarrassed to be a Texan” to “I can’t believe anybody’d support Hussain [sic] Obama” is there… but one comment jumped out at me. Someone calling him/herself “TexansAgainstSocialism” wrote, in part (my emphasis):
Nice state bashing out there, everyone. I for one am glad that most people in Texas realize that a vote for Obama is a step towards socialism, and realize that socialism doesn’t work. Bigger government = more taxes. You can’t argue with that.
Hold on just a sec, there, Pardner.
Maybe folks haven’t noticed, but just lately the government’s managed to grow itself to a pretty danged outrageous size, and they did it without raising taxes. Pretty astonishing sleight of hand, actually… but it wasn’t Obama at the helm.
How’s that magic trick been workin’ out for us lately?
Not only that, but if you’re gonna argue that Obama’s a step toward socialism, then maybe you haven’t noticed that the government switched your Ten Gallon Hat for more modest headgear this morning.
The U.S. government is dramatically escalating its response to the financial crisis by planning to invest $250 billion in the country’s banks, forcing nine of the largest to accept a Treasury stake in what amounts to a partial nationalization.
Neighbors, by the time January rolls around and an Obama administration begins, we’re likely to be still further down this road.
However you prefer to think of it, those horses have left the barn. Cowboy time is over. It’s time to ride in from the range.
This isn’t the world you think it is.