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Danehy

Tom's eight (mostly tongue-in-cheek) reasons to vote against the sales-tax increase

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Eight reasons why you should vote against Proposition 100 next Tuesday, May 18:

1. We're already taxed to the brink of human endurance. At least that's what my Tea Party homies tell me. That's why they are trying to impeach President Obama, secede from the union, have the word "union" stricken from the English language, and/or bring back the "Don't Tread on Me" flag as a symbol of ... well, I'm not really sure what the flag is a symbol of.

There's only one small problem with that argument: Arizonans are actually among the lowest-taxed residents in all of the United States. In 2008, Arizona ranked 41st in the country in terms of per-capita income going to taxes. And this isn't one of those phony things where every state is 49th in education spending. The findings come from the nonpartisan D.C.-based Tax Foundation. Arizonans actually pay 8.5 percent of their per-capita income to state/local taxes, against a national average of 9.7 percent. And that national average is actually going up. Plus, there's this:

• Of the 43 states that collect state income taxes, Arizona's rate is near the bottom.

• Despite a whole lot of whining, Arizona's homeowners pay lower state and local property taxes than the national average.

• The state's sales-tax rate (which would be raised under Prop 100) is also below the national average.

Still, the Tea Party people need to have something to chew on, and "Let's Lower Our Already Relatively Low Taxes" doesn't work on a sign.

2. We'll continue to lead the rest of the country with our tax-cutting fervor. Yeah, except most of the other states in the country are heading in the other direction. Nearly three-fourths of all states have raised taxes since the economic meltdown.

3. Teachers are way overpaid and under-worked. Make them earn their over-payments. Really, y'know, class size, schmass size. What's a few more kids in each classroom? It'll cut down on heating costs in the winter. And during the warm months ... well, we live in the desert. The kids can learn to embrace the heat.

Teachers have the cushiest job in the world. They get to stand up in front of a classroom filled with bright, attentive kids who show up to school every day, ready to learn. Plus, the teachers know they have the full support of all parents, school boards and members of the State Legislature.

4. The Legislature is not legally bound to spend that Prop 100 revenue on schools and public safety. This is actually true, and it is the only reason why one should ever seriously consider voting against it. There is nothing to stop the Legislature jerkweeds from taking money out of the education budget and then replacing it with the same amount of Prop 100 revenue. The schools would still be in the same hole, and the Legislature would have more money to play with. They'd probably see the increased tax revenue as a sign from God that they should institute a program to distribute guns to the criminally insane.

5. We don't need more cops; we need fewer cops. Last week, Gov. Jan Brewer's administration effectively did away with speed-enforcement cameras on freeways, despite the tens of millions of dollars generated, an actual slowing-down of traffic near the areas where the cameras were installed, and an official estimate of 24 fewer traffic deaths since the cameras were installed.

Brewer's hand-picked bootlicker, Robert Halliday, has the title of head of the Department of Public Safety, but he's, well, not so much. He wants the cameras turned off and the program dismantled. He also disputes the benefits of the program. I mean, 24 lives aren't that big of a deal, right, Robert? Especially when stacked up against all those Phoenix knuckleheads' need for speed.

Meanwhile, Brewer, whose chances of winning the governor's seat were once miniscule, is making quite a move. And wait until they unveil her new campaign slogan, citing her office's dismantling of the speed-enforcement camera program on state highways and her signing of SB 1070:

No More Clicks

And We'll Round up the Spics.

6. It'll get rid of all-day kindergarten in many school districts. Oh, wait, that's another good reason to vote against it. All-day kindergarten is nothing more than free day care. Kindergarten was designed to ease kids into a structured school environment in half-day increments. There is not one good education-based reason for all-day kindergarten.

7. No tax increase is temporary, even if they cross their hearts and promise that it will be. Actually, if Prop 100 is passed, it will become part of the Arizona Constitution and could only be extended by a vote of the people. Of course, if we're crazy enough to do it once, we just might be crazy enough to do it again.

And, of course, the best reason of all:

8. One of you haters out there will be able to cancel out my "Yes" vote.

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