Friday, January 20, 2006

John Sharp's Gordion Knot

I was not familiar with what a Gordion/Gordian Knot was - It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem - before reading this great editorial, Sharp commission tackles the Gordion knot. It does a very good job of pointing out what John Sharp believes his task to be:
In a keynote speech the following day at the Texas Public Policy Foundation'’s annual legislative orientation, Sharp reiterated the Tax Commission'’s objective. "“Our goal from the governor is to reduce property taxes by a substantial amount and put something else in its place."

Sharp said he had met with superintendents worried the commission was not taking school districts into consideration. "“We'’re not a school finance panel...… this is a tax panel," Sharp explained.
He then points to next year regularregualar session as when we can worry about school funding:
Sharp explained that the commission'’s focus is solely on taxes, not spending. "“You can'’t even have a debate right now on how much more money to put into schools," he said. "And the reason you can'’t have that debate is because you don't even have a [tax] system that can provide the money to bring in. The Legislature is going to have a very fierce debate in January once we get a platform of taxes that work. They are going to have a debate on more money, and they'’re going to have a debate on reform, and it ought to be a hell of a show."
Let's get to June first and then we can worry about next January. I've gotten in trouble before for questioning Sharp's Democratic loyalty. But he sure is getting cozy with the R's, and not some moderate R's but the real right wingers. Hanging out at the TPPF and roasting Karl Rove.

Another good editorial on the knot here, Editorial: Not worth it. Here's the first and last paragraph:
It was encouraging to see thoughtful Waco citizens turn out to speak when the Texas Tax Reform Commission convened here Wednesday. It was rewarding to hear constructive comments and not just anti-tax wailing.

[...]

But we need a better alternative to property taxes than a mishmash that's a back-door tax hike for most Texans, with a result that doesn't supply our schools with the resources they need.
Click on the link and go read what's in between.

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