Charlotte's Mr. Right still feels taxed by old love


class=img_thumbleft>Can't say I've missed Jason Lewis since the great political philosopher resigned his esteemed chair at KSTP (AM 1500) for a posting in

Charlotte, North Carolina

. Lewis never struck me as a smiley, confident conservative, but rather impressed me as the aggrieved kind--the guy dining alone who tries to chat up the waitress with a soliloquy about how he got screwed on child support.

Minnesota might be done with Lewis, but Lewis, it appears, isn't done with Minnesota. Two weeks after the state's DFL leadership pulled an upper-bracket income-tax hike off the bargaining table, the North Carolina DJ still smells socialism in the state's budget battle. From an op-ed in today's Star Tribune:

No one paying the taxes instead of consuming them would dare suggest that education is being shortchanged when K-12 spending now totals a whopping $10,162 per pupil, according to the Department of Education. And no Minnesota family paying for their own health care would consider it Draconian to ask able-bodied, childless adults to wean themselves off MinnesotaCare--especially since Tennessee's Democratic governor is now demanding the same thing on a much larger scale.

No, that's not what the biennial budget battle was all about. It was, however, about the DFL's own man of the cloth, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, ignoring one of the seven deadly sins by trying yet again to use the tax code to discriminate against a select few. Granted, such class warfare does have the popular appeal of mob rule, but the Senate's proposed $1.4 billion tax grab on the so-called well-to-do--in part by arbitrarily choosing 40,000 taxpayers and subjecting them to a fourth and higher income-tax bracket--takes the politics of envy to new heights.

Now I don't see Lewis as church folk, so let's pass on his appeal to Christian virtue. His rhetoric, however, has all the skill of a man who listens to himself speak for three hours a day, five days a week, and thinks he's hearing a genius.

Lewis claims that, "No one paying the taxes instead of consuming them would dare suggest that education is being shortchanged." It's not tough to counter that claim: I pay taxes and I would dare say that education is being shortchanged. I'd guess something more than half of Minnesota's taxpayers would likely agree--although a mere one percent would be good enough to put the lie to Lewis's line.

And say what you will of progressive taxation, but when elected legislators pass proposals on how to collect state revenue, what they're practicing is representative democracy--not "mob rule."

I imagine, though, that Lewis hears the dangerous thunder of the mob a lot from behind the plexiglas walls of the studio. Back in the KSTP days, it frequently sounded as if Lewis didn't much like his listeners. The listeners of Charlotte likely return the favor.

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