Adam L Beberg
beberg at mithral.com
Wed Sep 10 11:41:40 PDT 2003
Isn't this how Argentina went down? The politicians are refusing to cut
any fat, but instead are taking all of it out of education and services
for the poor and elderly. Can we just admit America is 100% corrupted
now and it's time for another revolution?
Alabama was already on the "flee at any costs" list, now we have to put
an asterisk next to it.
I still believe the state with the lowest taxes, lowest welfare, and
best _private_ schools will win in in the end - that's where the rich
want to be and the poor want to flee.
- Adam L. Beberg - beberg at mithral.com
Alabama Voters Reject Massive Tax Hike
By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - With voters overwhelmingly rejecting a massive tax
hike, it's up to legislators to figure out how to run schools and
government for another year despite a $675 million deficit.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday, 866,623 people,
or 68 percent, opposed Gov. Bob Riley's $1.2 billion tax plan, while
416,310, or 32 percent, voted for it.
The governor was expected to call the Legislature into special session
Monday to deal with the red ink. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Riley and several leading lawmakers have said they would follow the
voters' wishes and make cuts if need be. The governor has said cuts
could include releasing 5,000 inmates, ending nursing home care for
hundreds of elderly citizens, and curtailing prescription medicines for
the mentally ill.
State Sen. Hank Sanders, chairman of the Senate education budget
writing committee, said he can't imagine legislators raising taxes now.
Roger McConnell, co-chairman of the anti-tax Tax Accountability
Coalition, said voters will keep a close eye on the special session.
"The electorate is much smarter than people realize and they are fed
up with Montgomery and the way politicians spend money," he said.
State schools Superintendent Ed Richardson said Tuesday night that the
results could mean cuts in everything from textbooks to football for
"We're looking at possibly a four-day school week and at charging fees
for everything that's not required for graduation," Richardson said. He
said that would include charging a fee for students to play football or
to play in the band.
During a whirlwind campaign around the state, Riley, a Republican,
promoted the tax package — the largest percentage tax boost proposed in
any state — as the way to get Alabama off the bottom of many national
But opponents, including leaders of Riley's own party, said Alabama
politicians need to cut their wasteful spending rather than raise
taxes. Voters agreed with them by a 2-1 margin statewide and even wider
margins in heavily Republican counties.
At polling places across the state, voters voiced their distrust of
"If the money they have now was spent wisely, we wouldn't need this,"
said Adie Ward, a 74-year-old retired state employee from Montgomery.
Voter turnout for the special election was strong, with about 53
percent of Alabama's 2.4 million registered voters participating. That
was better than the 45 percent who turned out to defeat a state lottery
four years ago.
Riley's plan was built largely on higher income and property tax
payments from the middle and upper classes. Low-income families were
viewed as major beneficiaries of the plan, but polls showed only mixed
support among blacks and lower-income voters.
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