October 28, 2020

My critics are correct

Turns out I have a few critics on the Facebook forums.

I’m angry, arrogant and I want to raise taxes, they say.

I actually can’t argue with any of that.

Yes, I’m angry. I wouldn’t be running if I were happy with what’s going on in my state. And I point the finger directly at the Republican party that uses its chokehold on power for its own benefit.

As for arrogant: Anyone who decides to run for office had better have a certain amount of confidence in their own abilities and decisions.

Would you want someone who didn’t?

We regularly complain about dishonest politicians and then punish the folks who tell us the truth.

In a Q&A with the Ozarks Independent, I mentioned two places that taxes needed to be raised, even in the midst of this Covid mess.

1) A fuel tax increase benefits everyone in the state.

Our roads and bridges will continue to crumble until we have enough money to pay for infrastructure. The work of improving infrastructure puts Missourians back on the job. Better highways make transportation faster, safer and easier and strengthens the economy.

Since gas prices fluctuate all the time, I doubt most Missourians would notice a difference in the pre-increase price vs. the post-increase tax. A fuel-tax increase would have to go to the voters to pass.

To say that I’m trying to sneak in a tax increase is intentionally misinterpreting what I said and a big part of the problem with politics in this country right now.

2) Missouri is the only state that does not require online retailers to collect sales tax.

Right now, if you buy a whatsit at Ron’s Retail in Republic, you’re going to pay sales tax on that item. The money for the sale goes to Ron and the sales tax goes to the city, county and state to pay for the things we need government to do.

However, if you go to Bigboxstore.com and buy the exact same item, you just saved 10 percent or so because you didn’t have to pay sales tax on that item.

Ron down the street doesn’t get any money for the sale and neither does the city, county or state.

The Wayfair Tax puts local businesses back on an even playing field and gives our state a revenue boost. Both of those sound pretty good, especially in a pandemic.

There are three places that Bishop Davidson and I answered questions side-by-side — the Ozarks Indy article, a KOLR 10 interview (which barely counts) and our Oct. 21 online forum.

I am more than happy to have voters compare our answers. I only wish there had been more opportunities.

Please allow me a moment of pure snark: Most of my critics on the Ozarks Independent Q&A have a problem with what I said.

Most of the praise for Bishop came from what he didn’t say.

That’s because he really didn’t say anything. It’s not a ham sandwich, but it is word salad. Which is why I’m happy to have people compare the two answers and why I am so concerned about his preparedness for this job.

However, Bishop is absolutely correct in one thing, and I’ll give him props for it: He has visited more meetings and knocked more doors than I have during this election.

I have a family and a business that both need my attention. And I wasn’t willing to risk giving COVID to the same people I hope to serve.

I had a friend thank me for running and say he was glad I had such a thick skin.

To the folks who have sent public or private messages of support, thank you. It is incredibly heartening to hear from folks who understand the “why.”