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COLUMN: Meet the man who wants to raise taxes

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And hopefully the woman who doesn’t

By BEN CARLSON

Cup a hand to your ear and point it toward Lexington.
That snoring sound you hear is coming from state Rep. Bill Farmer, who apparently slept through the results of last November’s election and remains asleep to this day.
How else can it be explained that Farmer got up to his old tricks earlier this month by proposing a bill that would raise taxes on just about everything?
A Lexington Republican (didn’t see that R coming, did you?), Farmer for the second time has introduced a bill that, among other hideous things, would raise the state’s sales tax to 7 percent.
It also creates a smelly pant-load of new taxes, including (deep breath!):
l Real estate agents and broker services (really? Don’t those folks don’t have it bad enough already?)
l Legal services (I’m usually all for picking on lawyers, but this is ridiculous)
l Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services (apparently that bunch needs a better lobbyist)
l Advertising, public relations and related services (to be honest, the professional reason I’m shooting off my sizeable yap)
l Commercial and studio photography (and those folks thought everyone having a camera disguised as a cell phone would be their Waterloo)
l Day-to-day business and other organization support services (whatever that the H E double-toothpicks that’s supposed to mean)
l Document preparation services (certainly puts the kink in Kinko’s, does it not?)
l Telephone call centers and related services (wonder if it includes those nasty 900 calls?)
l Security services on buildings and dwellings (good news for burglars, but with guys like Farmer around, we’ll all be too poor to afford a home alarm system anyway)
l Packaging and labeling services (hope Anderson Packaging is paying close attention)
l Septic tank and related services (told you the idea smells)
l Repair and maintenance services (another great reason to stuff more broken junk into landfills rather than get it fixed; typical of those awful, non-green Republicans)
l Personal care services (that’s it; I’m done getting haircuts)
That’s a very partial list of a very bad bill, folks. Officially titled HB 196, Farmer tried this a couple of years ago but failed, I guess because his colleagues were either too smart or afraid of piling a heap of new and increased taxes on top of the state’s poor economy.
So instead of cutting spending until it hurts, guys and gals like Farmer instead look to carve a little more meat from the already emaciated hog (us) by raising taxes.
Put away that carving knife for a moment, Mr. Bill, and consider what has caused this financial morass.
Topping the list is the unreasonable cost of state retirements and health care. Each and every time The Anderson News produces a budget article on local municipal or taxing districts, those in charge run for the tall grass and blame higher tax rates on those two benefits.
Not only do taxpayers pay full fare for each employee’s health insurance, they dump nearly 17 percent of each employee’s salary into a retirement account — a figure that seems to grow each year.
To be fair, this isn’t the fault of the public employees. They just work there and reap whatever benefits are offered.
Instead, it’s the fault of Farmer and those who came before him for striking unsustainable deals with public employees, most of whom can comfortably retire long before those in the private sector.
That’s good for them, but not so good for the rest of us who are forced to give up larger chunks of our paychecks in order to sustain their “early” retirements.
Being that Farmer isn’t my state rep (small favors, indeed), I’ve already voiced my displeasure with Rep. Kim King, a Tea Party darling who just took her seat in Frankfort on our behalf.
Given her cut-spending, anti-tax campaign platform, I’m guessing she isn’t going to go along with Farmer’s foolishness.
Let’s just hope she has plenty of help.