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Alternate universe

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006

You know how you hear the complaint from voters that the Republicans and the Democrats are basically alike? Well, here’s some evidence from our neighboring state of Indiana.

House and Senate Democrats have been calling for immediate relief from high gasoline prices as an addition to energy proposals.

“While we appreciate all of these long-range plans, the fact remains that it’s increasingly difficult for Indiana families and small businesses to restart their engines with gas at $3 a gallon,” said Sen. Vi Simpson, a top Senate Democrat from Bloomington.

House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, wants Daniels to suspend the state sales tax on gasoline. Bauer has said that House Democrats would push for a permanent repeal of the tax during next year’s legislative session.

“The governor is looking at people drowning in a sea of high gas prices and offering up only the chance to build a boat for them on shore,” Bauer said Friday. “What he needs to do is send them a life raft now.”

Sound familiar? The Illinois Republicans are demanding the same thing.

The party in power won’t cut the tax because they don’t want to give up the revenues. The minority parties in both Illinois and Indiana know this but continue with the harangue because it sounds good to voters, who are fed up with incumbents.

Still, it does sometimes feel like we live in an alternate universe here in Illinois. For instance, I chuckle every time I read a comment from an obviously partisan Republican blasting Gov. Blagojevich for allowing the budget situation to get out of hand. Not a word has been uttered by those same people about the national budget situation. And, by the way, I have yet to see any Republican plan here in Illinois (or Democratic plan in Indiana) to either replace the lost tax revenue from a reduction in the sales tax on gasoline or provide for budget cuts to offset the impact.

UPDATE: Topinka has now proposed funding for her idea.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Budget Watcher - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 5:54 am:

    First observation - suspension of the gas tax will save the average motorist less than $25 over the course of a year. It’s a gimmick that doesn’t translate into much in my pocketbook.

    Second observation - these are windfall revenues for states. There don’t necessarily have to be budget cuts if a state’s budget hadn’t budgted for gas tax windfalls.

    Final observation - when posters discuss national issues they’re usually reminded by the blog owner that discussions should center upon state issues. Now we find that the blog owner chuckles at people when they don’t talk about national issues like the debt. I agree that partisan posters rarely provide find balance in their thoughts, but it’s a little unfair to claim hiprocisy when discussion of national issues are discouraged.

  2. - Leroy - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 6:34 am:

    My only hope is that the state has budgeted in this windfall permanently, so when the revenue is lost due to declining prices, they will have to raise taxes to make up the shortfall. Then we all win.

  3. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 6:40 am:

    I’ve said it before and here it is again, Rich. Our state government sucks and so does the federal. They are all a bunch of self-serving crooks and liars. I don’t know which one will put us in the poor house faster. It will be interesting to see how many votes the Green Party candidate gets in this gubernatorial election in Illinois.

  4. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 7:43 am:

    Want to know how alike these two parties really are? Take a look at this.

  5. - anon - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 8:41 am:

    The plan to pay for this “sales tax holiday” is simple. The state is taking in more revenue from this sales tax on fuels so suspending it for awhile will be revenue neutral.

    As for the republicans budget proposals…perhaps everyone would know what the plan was if they were invited (and allowed) to participate in the budget talks. They were shut out of the process and thats a fact and everyone knows it.

  6. - moderate - half way between crazy and crazy. - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:25 am:

    I agree with Budget Watcher, if you want to hear Republicans grip about the national budget incourage it instead of discouraging national talk…

  7. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:53 am:

    I’m just sick of hearing people whine about gas prices. I wish they’d just accept that for the foreseeable future, gas prices are going to be high. Even once Iraq gets back fully online, the economies of India and China are going to be increasing their consumption too. Too little supply (it IS a finite resource) meeting too much demand equals high prices. We don’t try to come up with gimmicks to soften high beef prices, we shouldn’t do anything regarding high gas prices.

    And because the state has to buy gas too (cop cars and Minutemen trucks don’t run on air), the higher gas sales tax revenues pays for that.

  8. - Sound Reasoning - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 11:56 am:

    Another poster in agreement with Budget Watcher’s final observation.

    This blog concentrates on state issues, not national issues. I for one am appalled at the deficit spending at the national level on the part of both Democrats and Republicans but that doesn’t make it right for our governor to do likewise in our state.

    This upcoming election for governor centers around our state and what has been done or will be done to make it a better place not the entire United States.

  9. - Hoosier dady - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    It’s just a shrewd political move by whichever party is out of control. It’s not their budget, why worry about replacing the revenue? They’re too busy sticking up for the poor schlubs who could really use that extra $3 a week.

  10. - Lovie's Leather - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 12:33 pm:

    Both the state and national budgets are out of control. Whether it’s a Republican or Democrat, I am disgusted. I am disgusted with Bush, who is the biggest spender since LBJ. What is the deal with big government Republicans??? Were they all democrats before 1972? As the “fiscal conservative” Republican, I don’t see anything going in the right direction… almost makes me pine for Gingrich… yeah, that’s how bad things are!

  11. - Lovie's Leather - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 12:39 pm:

    Yeah, just checked out that “real difference” thing. What a load of crap. The greens are pretending that Dems are Republicans. Quite honestly, it is blatant lies… leave it to me to defend the democratic party… but third parties are always full of lies. The Greens are try to find one democrat that holds a Republican position on any issue and then say that the GOP and Dems are exactly alike. So all the Greens hold the same opinion about anything??? The party slogan must be, “Don’t think, just do what we tell you.” What a bunch of commies….

  12. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 1:24 pm:

    Notice that Lovie’s Leather failed to debate any specific points raised at The Real Difference. We’re not talking about isolated Democrats here. Consider the following:

    Who Spoiled the 2000 Election: When the Black Caucus challenged Bush’s election victory back in 2001, not one Democratic Senator stood up in support; and Senate Democrats failed to push for an investigation of the Florida vote debacle. For many years, Democrats never objected when officials removed African American and other voters from the voter rolls in Florida and other states. Why didn’t the Democrats sue when 90,000 Florida voters were disqualified earlier in 2000? Why were Democrats (including Gore) silent about disqualified votes in the weeks after the election?

    We had more of the same in 2004. Despite hundreds of thousands of unspent dollars in his campaign warchest, not only did John Kerry refuse to spend a dime for a recount in Ohio; but he didn’t even request one, despite widespread reports of election problems. To pay for a recount, the Green and Libertarian parties had to step in and successfully raise over $100,000 in a mere four days!

    If you want to talk about lies, let’s talk about the so-called spoiler argument. Al From, chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, wrote in Blueprint Magazine (1-24-01) that according to their own exit polls, Bush would have beat Gore by one percentage point if Nader hadn’t run in 2000. Nader energized NEW voters, who would not have otherwise voted, and who would certainly not have voted for Gore. This didn’t stop the Gore campaign from perpetuating the spoiler lie.

  13. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 1:40 pm:

    Of course in areas, there’s not a lot of difference between Dems and Gops. That’s because they compete for the voters. No one gets elected by having radically different viewpoints from the bulk of the constituencies. Danny Davis is not going to compete well in Melissa Bean’s district and she likely wouldn’t compete well in his. Like Mark Kirk and Jerry Costello. For any third party to actually win consistently, it too would have to develop the flexibility to have its members adopt the political viewpoints of their constituents.

  14. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Aug 23, 06 @ 9:23 pm:

    Either that or don’t go for the swing voters–focus on that growing number of eligible voters who aren’t participating because they’re “not interested” in politics (i.e. Democratic and Republican candidates. This is certainly a much larger base than those swing voters.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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