Saturday, June 20, 2009

For Nebraska Democrats, Higher Taxes are ALWAYS the Answer

He's only been in office 12 days and Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle has made it clear that increased taxes are part of his agenda. Rather than looking first to cutting wasteful spending, Suttle succumbed to the custom of his Democratic party to look first to tax increases.

Before he embarks down the traditional Democratic road of higher taxes, I would encourage Mayor Suttle to visit with Governor Dave Heineman. This past legislative session Governor Heineman and the Republican-led Nebraska Legislature passed a budget that result in about a 1 percent increase in state spending with NO TAX INCREASES. The last time I checked the state budget was a tad bit larger and more complex than the City of Omaha's.

No one will dispute that Suttle is off to a rough start. He had to rescind the hiring of his co-chief-of-staff, and recently it became public that he decided to lease an expensive new vehicle at taxpayer expense to the detriment of Omaha taxpayers (for what it's worth, Suttle has told some City officials that he needed a car that was "red" in color--for this vanity Omaha taxpayers are footing the bill). The clock is ticking on what may be the shortest mayoral term in Omaha history.

Suttle's proposed tax increases are only a start. On the horizon is his proposal to increase Omaha's sales tax, which will require approval from the Nebraska Legislature.

Question: Senator Tom White--Are you in support of a sales tax increase for Omaha?

Speaking of Tom White, it appears that he's no longer just dipping his big toe in the proverbial waters, but now is up to his ankle. It's a poorly kept secret that White (or at least White's sycophantic staff) may challenge Congressman Lee Terry in 2010 (see this interesting article in CQ Politics). But it's clear that White has some work to do as even Omaha Democrats don't think he can win:

"Even when voters elected Democrats in the 2nd District, it has always been
a ‘leans Republican’ district, which means that Terry is in a solid position to
continue on for as long as he cares to,” said Paul Landow, a political
science professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who specializes in
local politics.

* * *

But his political track record and that of district Republicans — at least prior
to 2008 — likely will give Terry the early edge for 2010 even if he draws
competition from Democrat White. “The last election against Esch was closer, but
Terry still won, convincingly, both times, and against huge Democratic tides
nationwide,” political scientist Landow said. “What more could you ask for from
a congressman?”

I agree--what more could you ask for from a congressman. Yes, folks, that's Democrat Paul Landow. Landow knows the district since he was the top aide to former Second District Congressman Peter Hoagland.

2010 is a mid-term election, and there needs to be a check-and-balance on the nonsense coming out of the White House and Congress. Congressman Terry is just that. Tom White is the most divisive, partisan member of the Nebraska Legislature. Looks like even his fellow Democrats like Landow realize that and are putting their money down on Congressman Lee Terry.

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