Sunday, September 07, 2003

Alabamians will go to the polls on Tuesday to vote on Amendment 1, which will allow a major overhaul of the tax system in Alabama. Polls show the amendment will fail by a substantial margin. This despite editorials from three leading newspapers in the state supporting the amendment. I don't live in Alabama but one television station in my area carries into Alabama, so we get to watch Alabama political ads. I have seen multiple ads against the amendment, but not one that supports it. Gov. Riley does not have the support of his party, and while the new tax system would benefit low-income voters (raising the threshold for taxes from $4,600 to $19,500) they oppose it by a large margin. Why?
In the excellent analysis by John Fund there is this telling quote :
"Black people in particular and poor people in general have always been very suspicious when somebody in Montgomery says, 'I'm going to help you,' because usually in the end we get ripped off," state Sen. Hank Sanders told the Washington Post. He and other black politicians are backing the governor's plan, but admit it's a tough sell.
Or as Michel Martin said on This Week :
"Republicans should realize they are reaping what they have sown in playing racial politics all these years,.....because some of the people who would benefit the most from restructuring the tax code just don't trust him — in part because he is a conservative Republican."
So much for the "only Nixon can go to China" cliché. That "too damn stupid" comment from the governor's policy director didn't help.
Gov Riley will probably win a courage award for this in a few years, but will probably be looking for a new job after the election....like Roy Barnes.
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