Around the nation, other Americans made their own taxation statements to government as Wisconsin and California actually voted on tax issues in their states. Therein lies the message for Nashville’s City Council.
It’s tempting to consider events in Wisconsin as a personal matter; solely a recall or not of Governor Scott Walker. It is not. This was a two year long, tens of millions of dollars spent, hundreds of thousands of man hours invested on determining the basic philosophy by which Wisconsin should be governed. Would it be a Progressive premise based on high wage, public sector jobs with the attendant tax increases needed to pay for that? Or would it be a pro-growth, limited government view that preserved jobs and maintained government solvency with the lower or flat tax rates that entails.
Wisconsin, the widely celebrated cradle of modern day Progressivism, didn’t just retain Scott Walker and his low tax, public sector responsibility to taxpayers policies, it did so in numbers so overwhelming that it was clear that even the bulwark of Liberalism, public and private sector unions, were voting against Progressivism.
In California, the issues and results were not quite so personal, but they were just as profound. The cities of San Diego and San Jose, “respectively the 8th and 10th largest in the country, were asked whether to reform their city employee retirement plans, converting them from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution, 401(k)-style plans.” The reforms were passed by overwhelming margins. Californians chose low tax, responsible spending options over their Progressive alternatives.
Mayor Dean’s tax increases for pay raises and public sector benefits is out of step with even the most Liberal of American cities and states. After decades of dissembling, deflection and outright lies by America’s political Left, Progressive policies are being shown as obstructive of and destructive to the outcomes they have claimed to champion. Meanwhile, critics of the Progressive Left, Conservatives who are rumored to hate the poor, the Working and Middle Class and America in general; their premises and predictions are coming true and are being validated in the brutally Darwinian real world.
High taxes and irresponsible spending are being shown as destructive. Low taxes and responsible spending are being shown as productive. You can pretty up and “fancify” the notion but the truth really is that simple.
I’ve spoken recently of another example of the logical end of Progressive policy; Detroit. The horror visited upon that American city by Progressive fixes to the challenges it has faced over the years are legendary. The statistic that stands out in the midst of a property tax fight is the 2009 median home price in Detroit: $6,000.00. In addition, city services are suspended for parts of the city and law and order is failing with huge portions of Detroit simply ceded to gangs. This is what Mayor Dean says awaits Nashville if we do not get his tax increase. In reality, this is Nashville’s future if he does.
It won’t happen overnight or even in my lifetime. But without a determined abandonment of Karl Dean and his commitment to irresponsible spending and excessive taxation to fund it, it will happen. The larger state of Tennessee recognizes this and is cutting taxes, raising revenues and attracting citizens and business to the state. Wisconsin, just across the lake from Michigan and Detroit understands this and is doing the same. Even California cities are awakened to the actual results of dangerous past policy and are changing for the better.
We get the message. But we don’t live in California, Wisconsin, Detroit or those other parts of Tennessee. We live in Nashville. The question is, will our Mayor and Council learn from the mistakes of others and make the tough, yet correct choices?
We’ll find out come daybreak on July 1 …