Republican politicians say they oppose higher taxes and bigger government. I believe they do -- that is, until they see a reason for higher taxes or bigger government, then not so much. I'll give two examples:
State Sen. Doug Libla, a Republican from Poplar Bluff, proposed raising Missouri's gasoline tax. State Rep. Holly Rehder, a Republican from Sikeston, proposed a government program to monitor certain prescription drugs.
Do we need more revenue to expand and maintain our roads and bridges? Yes, and a new fuel tax is a good way to generate that revenue.
Is opioid addiction a concern in Missouri and throughout the nation? Yes, and tracking opioid prescriptions can help prevent doctor shopping and maybe future addictions.
It just seems a little odd that those who run as conservatives and preach lower taxes and smaller government in other areas make such proposals. I think they have merit, but I also think they show why many conservatives aren't happy with their party right now.
Politicians who run as conservatives then support liberal agendas have created a lot of mistrust among Republicans. That's why the nonestablishment candidates for president are getting so much attention. Donald Trump may be an egotistical bully, and Ted Cruz may be too far to the right, but neither is an establishment Republican. I believe many Republicans just want to express dissatisfaction with their party, and voting for Trump or Cruz is a way to do that.
GARY L. GAINES, Cape Girardeau