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Budget glass is fair to middling

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By Sherry Robinson

Must be a lot of sore backs out there, what with the Legislature balancing the budget on the backs of working people, or on the backs of poor people or on the backs of people who eat tortillas.

The Left and the Right both found much to dislike in the compromise, so maybe it’s not too bad, after all. Let’s take a look in the glass half full.

Consider what didn’t happen. Don’t like that one-eighth-cent increase in the gross receipts tax? It started out at a half-cent. Bummed at the “tortilla tax?” It could have been a tax on all food items, if a few parties had prevailed. And it’s up to local governments if they want to make that move — a clever passing of the hot (untaxed) potato.

Smokers just weren’t going to walk away without a new tax, but drinkers were spared a similar tax, to the disappointment of some crusaders.

Republicans wailed about new taxes, of course, but failed to notice that the threatened rollback of previous tax cuts didn’t materialize. Neither did an effort to sock the rich through a 1.5 percent surtax on higher personal incomes. Eight Democrats joined Republicans to kill this one.


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