MO Republicans lead state’s race to the bottom

The editorial “Missouri loves company,” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/08/2014] sadly reviews research by respected organizations that ranks Missouri as the 8th “Most Miserable State” in the nation. The editorial concludes by noting that the Missouri Legislature is in session, and “that’ll fix things.”

I’ve followed the legislative priorities of the Jefferson City Republican majority, and as best I can tell, here is how the Republicans intend to make life in the state less miserable.

First, make sure that anyone can buy as many guns as possible at anytime, anywhere, no questions asked. I’m waiting for one of the Republicans to propose legislation that just issues a firearm to every newborn at birth.

Women’s reproductive rights, who needs ’em?

Next, let’s raise the sales tax to pay for transportation needs. Even though this would effectively be a pay cut for every low- and middle-income household that spends all of their income on basic living expenses, we don’t want to ask higher-income Missourians to pay just a little bit more. And while we’re at it, let’s not address the grossly regressive state income tax, where a household that earns $40,000 pays the same 6 percent tax rate as a household that earns $400,000. In fact, let’s go a step further and reduce the tax burden for high earners.

And let’s not forget about those incompetent teachers. Eliminate teacher tenure, emasculate the teachers unions, and surely our education system will improve.

Don’t forget about voter fraud, even though there have been no reported cases of voter fraud. As true defenders of democracy, we should make it as difficult as possible for many citizens to be able to vote. If that coincidentally affects groups that tend to vote for Democrats well, surely that can’t be called voter suppression.

It seems that our Republican legislators are determined to win the race. Sadly, it looks like it’s the race to the bottom.


{Editor’s note: This article first appeared as a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.]