The republic is falling! The republic is falling!

Governor Nixon has vetoed the bill that would have protected me from paying a sales tax on my purchase of a Permanent Seat License—an economic development measure that would have allowed me to contribute to economic growth by paying for the opportunity to pay more to buy season tickets in a particular part of a stadium.
Governor Nixon has vetoed another bill that might have prevented my local Subway restaurant from cutting its prices for its toasted Black Forest Ham and turkey breast sandwich which would leave me–a taxpayer–with more money in my pocket so I can spend it more wisely than government can. How did he inflict such a terrible wound on commerce and take money out of my pocket? He vetoed a bill that would have exempted that Subway restaurant from paying sales taxes on the electricity used for its microwave ovens.
Well, actually, the bill excluded sales taxes on electricity used to “process” food. Maybe that actually means turning a live chicken into something in the frozen food case, but I contend toasting my ham and turkey constitutes “processing.”
He should have signed that bill and let an activist judge decide whether Subway or Tyson–or both– would benefit. Regardless, we all know that the end result would have meant more jobs because–well, just because, according to legislators.
Think of how much you could have saved the next time you took some clothes to the dry cleaners if he had not vetoed the bill removing sales taxes from the electricity and the materials used to dry clean those clothes. And from the machinery too. Why, your dry cleaning bill would have plummeted, I tell you! Plummeted!! And you would have had more money in your pocket to spend on, well, more dry cleaning, which would have meant the dry clearner would have employed a lot more people. Clearly, Nixon has crippled the economy again.
And poor us. We won’t be able to buy a graphing calculator during the back-to-school sales tax holiday in August because of these vetoes. The homes of thousands of Missourians will be incomplete because they’ll have to pay sales taxes on those devices, machines, tools–whatever they are. And certainly no graphing calculator manufacturer is going to build a big new plant and employ hundreds, nay, thousands of people in a state that still charges sales taxes on graphing calculators.
Have you seen the latest study from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis? It says Missouri’s economy grew by only 0.8% last year, ranking Missouri 45th in economic growth. How in the world does Jay Nixon expect Missouri’s growth record to come anywhere close to the economic improvement of North Dakota (which led the nation) if he’s going to discourage construction of graphic calculator manufacturing plants in Missouri by forcing people to keep paying sales taxes when they buy one of the things Missourians should be making at one of those plants?
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce clearly recognizes the disaster than is ahead if these vetoes are not overridden by the legislature in September. The Chamber says they were passed to “create a better business climate and invest in some of tomorrow’s most promising employment sectors,” (such as dry cleaners and sellers of permanent seat licenses) and accuses Nixon of wanting to “stand in the way of economic progress.”
Damn right!!!
Oh, we’ve seen the Missouri Municipal League’s statement that the vetoes are life-savers for local governments that face cuts in “essential local services” if the sales tax cuts go into effect. Cities and counties have increasingly become reliant on voter-approved sales taxes and naturally they don’t want some businesses that finance those services exempt from helping to pay for the services they enjoy. Don’t local governments understand that eliminating these taxes will bring about an economic boom that will more than make up for that income loss? It’s clear that our cities and counties have accountants who don’t understand how the world works.
His vetoes have badly damaged the Personal Seat Licensing industry that contributes more jobs than we can count to our economy, will keep our local dry cleaning industry–that little building next to the grocery store–from hiring more people, will take money out of my pocket that could instead be spent improving the economy when I have my sandwich toasted, and will kill hopes of Missouri for attracting a major graphing calculator plant that could provide jobs to all those north Missouri farmers who would lose their contracts with Smithfield foods if the Right to Farm Amendment is defeated in the August election.
Cataclysm awaits unless the legislature shows Nixon who’s boss during the September veto session, according to the supporters of these exemptions.
We apologize for this rant. We have been told that we are suffering from PPRF, Pervasive Political Rhetoric Fatigue and for that reason we are checking ourselves into the John C. Danforth Clinic for the Preservation of Reasonable Political Dialogue for the weekend.
We hope we will be able to share the story of our recovery when we are released next week.

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One thought on “The republic is falling! The republic is falling!

  1. Regarding preparing food, all I can say is we should take the sales tax break away from the manufactured products to level the field with retailers. Just kidding but it does not seem fair.

    However for $150 calculators, I find it hard to believe that a 3 day holiday would bankrupt the state. The calculators are required by Missouri schools and parents can buy them online tax free all year round. Just awful that the state has to sacrifice for 3 days. I guess our tax policy is designed to favor companies that do nothing for our local economies. By the way, software and computers can be purchased tax free during the holidays and to date the DOR has maintained that the holidays have no measurable impact on the budget. The calculator fiscal note is laughable as well as not based on any reality, just worse case scenarios. The fiscal note assumes every algebra student in the state will buy a calculator from a Missouri retailer during the holiday. Calculators were not readily available when I was in High School. I finally obtained one with much fewer functions my Junior year in college.

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