Sunday, July 25, 2010

State GOP Convention Revisited

The State GOP Convention is over. The big controversy was the acceptance of the party platform. The leadership moved to accept the platform without giving the delegates a chance to read it. Motions like that required a 2/3rds majority, but it was the leadership who was counting the votes. One eyewitness tweeted that he was not sure that Chairman Doyle Webb really had the 2/3rds vote required to accept the platform without debate. Still, Webb considered that the motion carried.

An astute delegate then advanced a motion to reconsider the previous motion, which only needed a majority to pass. It did, and they went through the platform line by line. Webb gave all views a chance to be heard from that point forward.

The result was some changes to the platform that were beneficial to groups like Secure Arkansas. The platform was strengthened on illegal immigration. Apparently, the strong language on illegals was left out of the platform as presented, but the delegates put it in.

As I read it, I find some, but not much, to disagree with. Heck, I've always liked a lot of the GOP platform- it's the way that most of their elected officials do the opposite once in office that bothers me.

In this one though, I detected a schizo tendency to want to limit government on one hand, and call for support of a government program to solve a host of private sector problems on the other. Being for lower taxes and spending while also being for expensive government programs to solve everyone’s problems is like being for a free lunch. I’d be for a free lunch too, if such a thing really existed. Adults know that it does not, somebody always pays. Without naming specific areas of state government that are overfunded, talking about lowering taxes and spending is just free lunch talk. Republicans of late have a tendency to keep spending and use debt to buy your “free” lunch, which is the same as having you kid pay for your “free” lunch.

I did not care for the elimination of the state income tax in favor of adding to the already too high state sales tax. Try selling big-ticket items for a living, as I do, and see how that works out. People can go across any state border- or the internet, and not get savaged by sales taxes like we do. It's a commerce-killer.

I was also shocked to read that they consider the political contribution tax credit "unethical" and perhaps even "immoral". That is the one on your state income tax where you can get a $50 per person tax credit for contributions to candidates for state office.

I view it as a great equalizer for the common citizen who wants to give for the best of motives. I guess that some in the state GOP don’t like it. Are they going to ask their candidates to not take any donations from the credit? I mean, if it’s unethical and all, they should not be taking it, right?

Also, since the basis of their objection is that they don’t like tax money being spent for political purposes, I presume they are going to come out against further taxpayer support for their national conventions, as well as tax payer support of party primaries. A lot of folks who believe we need a third party would like it if the Republicans and Democrats stopped taking taxpayer money to fund their operations, but I would not hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

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