State political parties failing

State political parties failing

Recent resolutions by the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee, combined with utter silence by the Alabama Democratic Party, are contributing to the Legislature’s failure to tackle the state’s dire financial problems.

The state of Alabama is paying the price for a Legislature that has for decades chosen cheap political pandering over the hard work of governing.

As they head toward the beginning of the legislative session Tuesday, lawmakers need informed input from all sources, but especially from the state political parties. The Alabama Republican Party in particular is in a unique position to remind lawmakers that they need to tackle the difficult issues, and that the people are tired of political evasions that leave solutions to future elected officials.

It was disheartening, therefore, when the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee recently passed resolutions that discouraged lawmakers from dealing with the pressing issues that face the state.

Rather than supporting a Republican governor who has finally acknowledged the state cannot function without more tax revenue, the GOP committee passed a resolution calling for Gov. Robert Bentley and lawmakers “to consider other options.”

Of course, Bentley has spent the past four years pursuing other options. Bentley’s Republican predecessor, Bob Riley, also saw the need for increased revenue.

If the GOP executive committee has discovered a new math that resolves the state’s budget problems, it should explain them, rather than resorting to the knee jerk “no new taxes” mantra.

At least the resolution on taxes was relevant to a major issue faced by the state. Constitution.

Another resolution wages the latest in dozens of attacks on the Common Core curriculum, which has been adopted with success in the state as the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.

The GOP executive committee resolutions are useless, but the silence of the Alabama Democratic Party may be more culpable.

If Bentley can make lawmakers see reason, the state is facing an increase in taxes. The state Democratic Party is in a unique position to speak for low and middle class Alabamians, who already shoulder a disproportionate share of the state’s cheap jerseys tax burden. The party should be explaining both to lawmakers and to citizens that common sense measures such as ending the state deductibility of federal income taxes and reforming property taxes would raise needed revenue while shifting the tax burden to those who can afford it.

Alabama’s political parties should be helping elected officials find the political courage to implement long overdue reforms. Both parties are failing miserably.

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