Conservative legislators are being reminded about a pledge many of them took not to raise taxes. Americans for Tax Reform today came out strongly against Senate Bill 855 by Sen. John Carona and House Bill 9 by Rep. Vicki Truitt – legislation that would create the potential for a massive web of tax and fee increases to fund a regional rail network in the DFW Metroplex. Supporters of the measure argue that since the tax increase would go before the voters, it is therefore worthy of passage. Not so, says ATR president Grover Norquist:

“Tax and spenders try to claim that putting a tax increase on the ballot is giving people a choice. This is patently false. Putting both a tax cut and tax increase on the ballot, now that is a real choice. HB 9 and SB 855 simply attempt to shove a sizable tax hike down voters’ throats.”

In addition to ATR’s words of caution, we continue to urge legislators not to abandon the fiscal discipline that has allowed Texas to weather the national economic crisis better than others. The Wall Street Journal today published an editorial on the effects of governance on our national economy. Our state legislators would do well to remember this advice:

“…The market has notably plunged since Mr. Obama introduced his budget last week, and that should be no surprise. The document was a declaration of hostility toward capitalists across the economy. Health-care stocks have dived on fears of new government mandates and price controls. Private lenders to students have been told they’re no longer wanted. Anyone who uses carbon energy has been warned to expect a huge tax increase from cap and trade. And every risk-taker and investor now knows that another tax increase will slam the economy in 2011, unless Mr. Obama lets Speaker Nancy Pelosi impose one even earlier.”

– Justin Keener