Reacting to the Otter plan to raise vehicle registration taxes, Adam Graham writes that the Idaho Republican Party isn't representing the middle class. He writes:
I think Butch Otter cares about the rich, I think he also cares about the poor as evidenced by his grocery tax credit plan to bring the grocery tax credit to the extremely poor, and he cares about the rich and big business. But the middle class? Not so much. It’s the poor, the rich, and then special interests. Middle class not even on the list.
This is the big problem for the Idaho GOP, particularly on taxes. We’ve got an income tax code that makes no sense and hits middle class workers with high rates and is extremely complex. We have some of the highest gas taxes in the nation already and on top of this, Otter’s going to add a $155 vehicle registration fee. By my count, that’s about $118 extra per year for me.
Of course, the Democrats are more better. All we hear from them is that we need more taxes for more services and more government.
My response, in the comments at his post:
Adam, you say that all we Democrats want are “more taxes for more services and more government.”
You are right. More services and more government - for the middle class (and the poor, of course). It takes taxes, which Democrats believe aren’t some communist plot but a sound investment in a society that works for everyone, but especially “the least of these.” Unfortunately, in our free market society, the least of these include not just the most poor, but middle-class Americans, whom you and I agree are struggling mightily.
I’d argue that the Democratic Party - which has been fighting to take the tax off groceries for years, but especially since (Jim) Risch increased it by 20 % in 2006 - advocates every day for the middle class. Someday, Idahoans who reflexively vote GOP are gonna wake up and say, “Wait a minute …"
At the start of our biggest weekend of the year until Election Day - this Frank Church Weekend of party-building activities and camaraderie - it helps to know that even stalwart Republicans realize (and will publicly declare) that the status quo in our state is not working.