Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Watch Owen Robinson Fold like Beach Chair in a Stiff Wind of Hypocrisy

Oh, how soon some folks forget...

A couple of years ago, shortly after a tough year for the state GOP, Owen Robinson decided that he would take a page from Grover Norquist's playbook and circulate a "no new taxes" pledge among state legislators. Numerous GOP elected officials took the bait. Here's the key passage:
I am asking each of you to pledge that you will not vote for a budget that includes any tax increases or any fee increases that aren’t directly related to the cost of delivering the service. If this leads to no budget being passed any time soon, then so be it. The Republican Party should be proud to be the party that obstructs tax and fee increases - especially on people who are already overburdened by the cost of their government.
Emphasis in the original. You can read the whole text of the pledge here.

But now that Scott Walker is about to inherit the Governor's mansion and the GOP control both houses of the legislatures, conservatives are quickly realizing that their rhetoric is not compatible with the fiscal reality. Here's Robinson yesterday:

I’m not philosophically opposed to ["hiking the sales tax from 5 percent to 7 or 7.5 percent"]. The nice part of the sales tax is that it is collected from more people thus broadening the tax base. It is also something that people have some control over paying. If I can’t afford the sales tax right now, I can reduce my spending. The down side is that people get used to it, so it’s usually less painful for politicians to raise it.

BUT, or shall I say BUT... the only way I could support this is if the other taxes are cut to offset the increase in the sales tax AND overall taxation and spending are decreased. Tax shifts virtually never work because the politicians always neglect the other side of the equation. Increasing the sales tax can only be done as part of an overhaul of our system of taxation.

The sales tax is in no way, shape or form "directly related to the cost of delivering a service" ... any service.

Almost four years ago Robinson thought so little of taxes he thought a government shut down was preferable to any increase and that GOP legislators should be proud of "obstructionism," but now that Republicans have to contend with the problem he's no longer "philosophically opposed" to the idea of some forms of tax increases now that Scott Walker & Co. have to deal with the problem.

Way to show some iron-spined resolve...

This is as craven a flip flop as they come. Robinson appends his blog post by declaring his sudden bout of tax flexibility as merely a "theoretical discussion," but this is nonsense. His pledge is clear in no uncertain terms, but these days Robinson's all about the ifs, buts, BUTs, maybes, possiblies, etc.

I hope the absurdity in calling this a tax "shift" rather than a "raise" is blatantly apparent to everyone watching this debacle. The GOP isn't even three weeks away from its electoral victory and they are already abandoning the uncompromising rhetoric that got them back in power in favor of equivocating blather they mocked democrats for just a few weeks ago. It should be a blast watching them actually try to govern.


Beach Blanket Stewie said...

Loved the title

I'm no accountant that's for darn sure. but I guess he wants a "tax shift" that puts comparatively more stress on poor people than rich. So I suppose that's okay for a Republican to ask for, because they live in that Inverse Universe where you rob from the Poor to give to the Rich and then go home and tell the tale to the girlish and admiring squeals of their wives. Oh I love it when you evict the orphans at midnight during a blizzard, you big strong man you.

But you know what I's REEEEEAALY like to know! Why is Owen Robinson the high status fucktard that he is among the Righties. I'd like someone to 'splain it to me.
I just do not see the charisma there, I don't see what generates the reverence, I don't get how he as a blogger can go about telling elected officials to follow this or that pledge. You know, calling the shots like that. To even have the sack to think you could expect anyone to give you the time of day. I mean, I imagine myself or any other person calling upon legislators to promise them this or that.
Sometimes Mouthpieces from the Right have that weirdly fascinating thing going for them. Man Coulter, Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, they're all mad but I guess I can see that they speak to some people. I had looked at his blog extensively in the past.and I saw a video of him too... Owen R. is about as exciting as CHEESE. He stays informed but where's the intellectual sparkle? Cheese does not sparkle. People in WI are too impressed by cheese. It's thick, dull, and sludgy. Sometimes it smells bad. When the heat is on, it melts. How are these good qualities in a revered blogger? During the last campaign, at one point La Russ uttered the words "Cheddarsphere" with zero look of irony or anything. Russ! Pleeeze, no cheeeze.
Owen is a big artery clogging block of processed Government cheese like my Grandma used to get.
BTW those were the days your Government was actually useful, giving HUGE BLOCKS of cheese to old ladies. Yup, it's Thursday, I gotta go get mah cheese now. And she goes to the Free Government Cheese For Old Ladies Place in some mysterious street much like Diagon Alley, and there's this big-ass block of Owen Robinson sitting there waiting.
Hey I'm going to write a mandate for all WI politicians to pledge to more Free Cheese. It's time I started throwing my weight as a blogger around...

Turkey Stew said...

Be it known on Ye Olde Day Of Thanks~

Stewie is thankful for The Chief

ta dah!

CJ said...

City Council meeting tomorrow....