MCJ – Editorial: Lower taxes, less government

There were reportedly more than 1,000 Tax Day Tea Parties across the country on April 15, including several Mississippi cities, from Hernando to Gulfport, from Greenville to Hattiesburg, also Grenada, Columbus, Pontotoc, Tupelo, Picayune, with a thousand participants in Laurel and nearly 3,000 in Jackson.

The root of the issue is that government taxes, spends, and borrows too much.

Gov. Haley Barbour has often told the legislature that Mississippi doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

With this downturn in the economy, we may have a revenue problem now as well.

But, we still have a serious spending problem and a solution to our budget challenges can be found in cutting government spending rather than raising taxes on Mississippians – any Mississippian.

The government should take less; Mississippians should not give more.

The answer to already high taxes – like our car tags – is not additional higher taxes, such as on cigarettes.

Cigarettes are unhealthy. The tobacco industry pays billions a year to states, including Mississippi, to compensate for healthcare cots. But cigarette taxes are another regressive tax, hurting the pocketbooks of one in four Mississippi adults who choose to smoke and retailers who sell them.

In this economy we are taxed enough already and that includes cigarettes.

But cigarette taxes for car tags is not a tax swap, it is a tax hike. Rather than raise taxes to offset car tag costs, the Legislature should be talking about cutting spending like most American households.

Madison County Journal
4/23/9