“Let the people decide” is the statement often heard when elected office holders want to shift the blame from their responsibility back to the people.
Last week in Wisconsin, the people decided they like the way the elected governor governs their state. There was much noise generated leading up to the recall election from the big government crowd and the union leaders. There is much concern on the part of the union bosses in Wisconsin because they no longer have the power over the government they once enjoyed. A strong leader such as Scott Walker stood up to the government nanny crowd and the union bosses to bring fiscal responsible governance to the state.
The strong leadership of Gov. Walker is a great example of what can happen when smaller government principles are put into place. The backfire on the “Let the people decide” issue is seen in the way the national liberal media responded by downplaying the positive result of the recall election. I read statements suggesting the recall failed because the unions were outspent. I read statements saying that the people were weary of the infighting and saw no need to have a recall election, so therefore, they voted not for the current governor, but against having the recall. That argument fails at the starting gate because people voted; they did not stay home and refuse to vote but they went to the polls and voted to keep Gov. Walker and others in office.
Let us move to our part of the world as we face an important primary election on July 31. More than electing people to office, we are being asked to make a decision about imposing another tax on top of other taxes that are already in place. Passions run hot and deep on the subject of the TSPLOST on which we are being asked to vote. As this hot topic has been tossed to the people to decide, money is being spent to urge voters to understand that we have no other choice but to agree to raise our own taxes. Sales and service taxes will be higher for a set period of 10 years should the TSPLOST proposal pass.
The issue raised by those in opposition to the new tax is the lack of trust in the system. Many voters do not believe the tax will come to an end after 10 years but that it will be extended. Other voters see the promise of relief of congestion on the roads to be a way to force use of public transit. There is a well placed argument explaining how few people use or ever plan to use public transit. There is the mistrust fueled by what happened with the bait and switch toll on 400 and the conversion of HOV lanes to HOT lanes without input from the citizens.
From where I stand, whichever side you are on in the TSPLOST issue, the people will decide on July 31.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr