Because I'm a resident of District 32, I received last week a nice letter from Sen. Stan Adelstein describing his plans for the upcoming legislative session.
I like Stan. But, I've often stated that as a professed conservative, he sure does like a lot of taxes. Now he wants a "temporary" 1 cent sales tax to relieve the deficit in 2011. "The Governor has been clear on this," he says. "We must prepare."
First, the reality is that there is no such thing as a "temporary" tax. Once the state becomes addicted to the money (and they will) the "temporary" tax will never be allowed to expire.
I've posted the survey Mr. Adelstein included in his letter. Fill it out and tell us what you think, Forumpians.
Second, the governor should have prepared for this years ago, instead of the wholesale spending spree he's been on since taking office. He's added more state government employees than any governor in memory. He has raided and continues to raid the state's reserves to keep the state moving down this economically catastrophic path.
It is up to this Legislature to make heavy cuts in order to balance a budget that many of them helped produce. And they must do so without more taxes on our citizens.
Mr. Adelstein is quick to note that 20 to 30 percent of the new sales taxes collected will come from people who are visiting the state. Whoopee! That means only 70 to 80 percent of the cost of repairing the damage Pierre has done will be born by the people of South Dakota. Nice work.
Mr. Adelstein also wishes to outlaw the use of tanning beds by minors. He does not define minor. Does his proposed law would apply to those under 21, or those under 18 (the age at which young people are allowed to carry guns and shoot other people in defense of their country)?
This is another case of Mr. Adelstein supporting what Mr. Powers at War College likes to call "Nanny State Legislation." We'll discuss Mr. Powers' multiple hypocracies on nanny state legislation in another post at another time.
The tanning booth legislation appears to be an attempt by the government to protect our young people from the hazards of tanning beds and the risk of skin disease they may present. The obvious question is, "What's next, Stan?" Will next year bring a law that says parents who don't use the proper sunscreen will be charged with child abuse? The sun presents a hazard to your health. Will the Legislature soon take up the matter of how much time a young person may spend in the sunshine?
Some things need to be left to parents. Time spent in a tanning booth is among them.
And, finally, Stan wants to fiddle property tax fairness as it relates to school funding. I've not seen his proposal, so I won't comment here.