Mean everything to nothing

By AL DIAMON  |  January 13, 2010

Well, they don't put it exactly like that. They claim that in 2011, the Democrats will raise the income-tax rate or further expand the sales tax. To accomplish that, the Dems will have to maintain control of both chambers of the Legislature and the governorship in this November's elections. So, the GOP's best argument for opposing tax reform is that their opponents are better at political campaigning than they are.

Given the Maine Republican Party's long history of failing to take advantage of public discontent by scaring away moderate voters with slates of whackjob candidates, they're probably correct.

If GOP leaders worked as hard at winning legislative elections as they are at defeating tax reform, they'd be in position to block a higher income tax or more expansive sales tax if one were proposed. The Democrats' plan would end up being, as originally promised, revenue-neutral. And it would be more stable than the current flaky system the Republicans want so desperately to preserve, even though everybody pretty much hates it.

Which brings us to my scheme for bipartisan bliss in the state of Maine. Vote with the Democrats in June to enact tax reform. Then in November, vote for Republicans for the Legislature and the Blaine House to prevent any tinkering with the new system. We'll end up with taxes that are, if not lower, at least more stable. The Dems will have been punished for their deviousness. And the GOP will be forced to come up with some actual ideas for running the state more efficiently, instead of just griping about how Democrats do it.

There's only one problem. None of that last paragraph is based on a realistic story. Let alone a true one.

How come nobody makes movies advertised as being based on false stories? Well, Oliver Stone, but besides him? E-mail your theories to aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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