(KPLR) - A lot of evidence suggests Missouri may be circling the drain in a slow death spiral for one simple reason. And it's a reason that no political leader is willing to talk about. Taxes in Missouri are too low.
Our roads and bridges are crumbling. State aid to education keeps getting cut. The public health system is a shambles. And yet both the democratic governor and the republican legislature keep claiming that if we just cut taxes or cut government regulation or cut something else, everything will be fine.
That's nonsense. Back in 1970, Missouri’s gross domestic product, the total of all the goods and services produced in the state ranked 18th out of the 50 states. Now it ranks 36th. Or take a look at the per capita income; the average income for a family in Missouri. In 1970, we ranked 25th in the nation. We now rank 35th.
So we're producing less and selling less and making less money than we once were. And decades of let's cut taxes and spending gibberish have only made things worse. Missouri has the fifth lowest corporate tax rate in the nation. We have the fifth lowest gasoline tax in the country. We have the lowest by far, cigarette taxes in the country. The Hancock Amendment limits the amount of money the state can even collect.
If the supply-side free-market people were right in their theories, we should be a rich state. After all, that's what decades of low taxes should result in. But decades of low taxes have resulted in the gradual impoverishment of Missouri. We're poorer. Our schools are in worse shape. Our infrastructure's in worse shape. And no one in state leadership thinks anything is wrong.
Add a few sybillant consonents and Missouri becomes, Mississippi. That seems to be the way we're heading.
I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.