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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gov Jay NixonJust a day before a veto session begins, Democratic Missouri governor Jay Nixon has managed to turn his state against the deep, GOP-backed tax cut that he vetoed this summer.

For the last decade, Republicans have held the majority in the state’s General Assembly. As a result, the governor, who ran as a moderate on his way to re-election last November, has steered clear of any serious confrontation with Republican lawmakers.

Now serving his final four years, Nixon says he has an “opportunity to get things done,” even if it means butting heads with the GOP.

Among the issues he has taken up is a proposed tax cut that Republicans argue would generate new businesses and jobs, eventually boosting Missouri’s revenue. The bill would cut the corporate tax rate in half, as well as halve the income taxes business owners declare on personal returns. It would also increase sales taxes.

Nixon vetoed the proposed bill this summer, and has since turned much of his state against it.

Rather than arguing over the bill’s ability to boost state revenue, Governor Nixon has shifted the focus to how the bill would affect public resources, primarily education services.

Nixon says that passing the bill – which came after neighboring states, such as Kansas, passed similar tax reductions — would put several thousand teachers’ jobs in jeopardy, resulting in larger class sizes and less effective schools.

“We cannot move the economy forward by dramatically defunding education in this state,” the governor argued, according to Reuters.

He added: “When I sit across the table from business folks, they are not saying ‘I need a break on my taxes.’ What they are saying is we need trained workers and we need people with degrees.”

The governor is no longer alone in the fight against the tax cut; he is now joined by over a hundred of the state’s school boards that also believe the state’s education standards would decline as a result of tax cuts that could force schools to lay off teachers and cut various programs for students. The many school boards have now passed resolutions supporting the veto and are joined by The Missouri National Education Association, a teachers’ union, which is using money to block the bill.

After having made 29 appearances since July 15 to defend his veto, Nixon’s argument seems to have also resonated with several Republicans. As of Monday, House Republicans still had not gathered the 109 votes they need to override the governor’s veto.

Representative Elaine Gallon (R), a former teacher, cited “the years that we [teachers] had our salary frozen” and had to “do the best job as educators with what we had” as the reason behind her stance against her party’s bill.

“There’s ways that our districts could improve more if they had more access to funds, and the last thing we need to do is take away from what we’ve already got,” she added.

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  • Sand_Cat

    Yeah, sure the repubs want to commit political suicide by funding education.

  • Lynda Groom

    It is about time that a Democrat stand up to the nonsense and explain to the citizens of his state that the screwing of the public in the name of political ideology must be stopped. I salute you sir.

  • charleo1

    All this is about, is putting more money into the corporation’s pocket. That’s it.
    It’s not about jobs. Jobs become available when, through increased taxes at the
    top, allow more discretionary money at the base of the State’s economy. More
    money there translates to higher sales, and that creates jobs. If Corporations
    actually said great, we got a 50% cut in our taxes. So, finally we’ll be able to hire
    all those employees we’ve needed, but couldn’t afford to, because our taxes were
    so high. But, that’s not how it works, it never has, and they know it. When taxes
    are cut at the top, the money to make up that hole in the budget must come from
    somewhere. And where it comes from, is those same folks that would have been
    a lot better customers, if they had the money. But, now that Mr. Corporate, Money Bags has his tax cut, and the State now has a budget problem. Well, let’s raise sales taxes, and drivers licenses, and car tags, and, business licenses, “fees,”
    note, never ever, do they call it a tax. And fees for building permits, and construction inspection fees, Another dollar or two on your phone, internet, and cable bill each month. And, every business who’s fees went up, tacks it onto your bill. Your State,
    if it’s like most, share revenues with municipalities. And that gets cut, so your property taxes go up. The funds sent to State Colleges are cut, so higher tuition rates fill in the shortfalls. Okay, now taxes are effecting the State’s economy.
    People are being laid off, it’s become so slow. So what happen? At least in FL.
    where I live, they just gave away hundreds of millions of dollars, with no strings
    attached, to some of the biggest outfits in the Country. I call it living in a Republican
    manufactured poor house.

    • Independent1

      You make a lot of good points. In addition, GOP legislators are so caught up with trying to figure out every angle they can come up with to funnel money to corporations in a way that they think will create jobs, that they pay little or no attention to how what they come up with will affect other parts of the state’s economy and well being of its citizens. That’s why Rep Berry could say: the “argument that Republicans are against public education and we don’t care about kids…is garbage.” He and his colleagues were so caught up with shifting the tax structure around, they had no idea that what they had set up was going to create a problem for schools. That to me is what has become the major problem with the GOP – the party has become one dimensional – all it thinks about is supporting business, supposedly to create jobs, at the expense of everything else in the economy.
      I really think we need more Democrat Governors to stand up in their states like Gov. Nixon. And all of them, including Dems running against a GOP opponent, should create handouts showing the disaster that Rick Perry has created in Texas doing just what the GOP reps in Missouri are trying to do.
      Rick Perry has shifted the Texas revenue structure such that Texas is creating jobs like crazy but the state ranks in the bottom five in the nation in virtually every comparison you can make in comparing states:
      Here is a list of just the comparisons where Texas ranks worst in the nation:

      – Texas ranks 50th in the nation in what it pays its teachers
      – Texas leads the nation in having the fewest people with a HS diploma
      – Texas leads the nation in having highest percent of high school drop outs
      – Texas leads the nation in having the most people without health insurance
      – Texas leads the nation in having the most unaffordable homeowners ins.
      – Texas is ranked as having the worst government administration in America
      – Texas has the worst healthcare services and deliivery in the nation
      – Texas leads the nation in having the highest Teen birth rate
      – Texas is ranked as having the most polluted environment in the nation
      There are 12 other comparisons where Texas ranks within the bottom five; some of those include, police protection, overall health of the population, the 3rd most political officials convicted of a crime, the lowest percent of a state’s population that vote, and on and on.

      • charleo1

        TX is a very good example. In that the State has been, 100% GOP controlled for more than 20 years. In addition, TX also demonstrates, that even with all the advantages of having a huge oil, natural gas,
        and refining industry, being a sun belt state, with a thriving port, and shipping business. With, Dallas, and Houston, home base of
        scores of multi national corporations. Yet, the majority of the states’ inhabitants continue to endure the kind of deplorable stats you listed
        in your comment. I would also add, for all the Right Winged nuttery,
        the Republicans like to launch at the, “evil,” Federal Government.
        The states’ combination of having the largest percentage of it’s
        people living at or below the poverty line of any state. Add the
        trillions in subsidization dollars that flow from Washington to the various corporations’, TX receives more Federal tax dollars than any other state. With a good percentage of it unnecessary, if the politicians required these immensely successful large businesses to pay their share of the state’s tax burden. And didn’t constantly pass legislation that promotes, and produces 10’s of thousands of low pay, no benefits jobs. So, TX is an excellent petri dish, of what the Country can expect, if the GOP rides into town, and takes control.
        As I see it, Republican, or Right Winged corporate, economic philosophy, is at it’s heart, irresponsible, predatory, and over
        time, unsustainable. Consistently taking more out of the
        state’s economy than it replaces. So education suffers, public
        services suffer, necessary public investments in infrastructure
        are neglected for lack of funds. Because the State is in effect,
        acting as a proxy adjunct of the collective corporate entities.
        And in this respect, all revenues to the State Government are
        considered first, and foremost, profits to these entities to be disbursed at their discretion. In other words, The Corporate State.

  • John Pigg

    This actually isn’t that surprising. State Legislatures are waking up to the idea that Nationally tax cuts sound great but at a state level the cuts to goods and services is drastic.

    Indiana with an extremely Republican Legislature barely granted Pence his tax cut. And even then only gave him half of what he wanted.

    National politics will remain steeped in rhetoric and false data but states know that tax cuts do not affect job growth.