Place of residence: Howard County
Occupation: Owns remodeling and construction business
Political experience: None
Opponent: Dave Muntzel
Recent state income tax cuts have been hailed by some as an economic jumpstart and derided by others as taking money that’s needed for social services and education. What is your opinion?
I am not a polished politician. Although I have successfully operated my own small business, I am still basically a regular working man, the likes of which I believe we need more representation of in Jefferson City.
Working daily with the public I have gotten to know and converse with many different people of different political attitudes and persuasions. I have found that I can agree with most people on at least some issues, even though we may disagree about others.
We mostly want the same things for our communities, we just have different ideas about how to get there.
State income tax cuts have not proven to be the economic jumpstart we were told that they would be. If they were, then Missouri should be able to give our state workers better than the status of lowest paid state workers in the entire U.S. This is not a shining example of what we want Missouri to be number one at. We do have more jobs than we have people to fill them, which makes a good political sound bite. Unfortunately, due to our low wages, our state workers continually re-locate to other states in pursuit of a better paycheck, which is the actual root of these job vacancies.
Also, we did have the largest nail manufacturer in America, in Poplar Bluff, until recently. Their laid off workers aren’t getting much of an economic jump start from the tax breaks we have given to multi-million dollar corporations.
These tax cuts have caused huge cuts to our public education system. Cuts that our current Missouri Congress has chosen to lie about rather than to address. Supposedly our K-12 funding is 100% of the foundation formula for the first time in years. What Congress doesn’t say is that they lowered the formula rather than to meet it with the appropriate funding. Creative accounting, in other words, being used to make a 450 million dollar funding shortfall sound good. Yet another “economic jumpstart”?
Our school buses were given another multi million dollar shortfall, as well. Some districts have been forced to cut back to 4 day weeks to save money, and still more are considering the same.
I recently heard an incumbent congressman brag about the thousands of people our economic prosperity had “gotten off of Medicaid”. Prosperity is not what got these unfortunate individuals off of Medicaid, being ruthlessly kicked off of Medicaid was.
Due these easily provable facts sound like “economic prosperity brought upon by corporate tax cuts”? I think not.
I feel the need to add that the business I operate is a small corporation, which has been a beneficiary of multiple tax cuts, both state and federal, so I have a clue what I am talking about concerning the unfairness of the tax code between private individuals and corporations.
“The highest corporate taxes in the world” was a lie before our repeated corporate tax cuts, at least in the way it works out in the real world. I did operate my business as a private individual in the past. Once taxes began severely crippling my ability to turn enough profit to be worth operating my own business, I knew that something had to change. So I incorporated, and the difference was enough to save my business.
Voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to raise Missouri’s gas tax. Do you support raising the tax?
Our roads and bridges are crumbling around us, and in some of the worst state of disrepair in the nation. Tax cuts, (here we go again), have failed to solve this issue. MoDot undoubtedly needs more money to provide very necessary repairs.
That being said, I am against the proposed gas tax as it is written. To begin with, it is a gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas tax. It is not being widely promoted as such. These taxes will be burdensome upon the Missourians least able to afford them, those on fixed incomes, the poor who are already struggling, and our own lowest paid state workers in the nation. I noticed that this proposed tax didn’t include a provision to pay our MoDot workers more. Evidently they don’t have the buying power over our politicians that multi million dollar corporations do.
Besides that, the way the proposition is written, there is no guarantee that the money will actually go where they tell us it will go. It could easily be displaced into the general revenue fund, due to the rigged and confusing language of the proposition. We are supposed to simply trust our government to spend this money on MoDot, and the Highway Patrol. I don’t.
Voters will also decide on whether to approve any of three medical marijuana proposals. What are your thoughts on the issue?
Medical marijuana, prescribed by a medical doctor, should have been legalized a long time ago, it wasn’t. This is likely due to the fact that the pharmaceutical drug companies have been paying off our politicians for decades..You cannot patent a plant. This means that there is no money in it for them, in fact, some of their drugs will be replaced with something safer and more effective, thus having a net effect of decreasing their financial stranglehold on people with medical conditions that could benefit from cannabis. I currently favor Proposition 2 over the other the other proposals.
What are the other big issues?
Proposition 1, Clean Missouri should be passed. This is an attempt to end government for sale to the highest bidder, among other favorable initiatives. Redistricting, or rather “gerrymandering” has been reducing the power of individual voters for far too long. Why do you think the same people keep getting elected year after year? Making our individual votes count equally is not always in the best interest of those wishing to retain power. This is why we need “Clean Missouri” to pass.