Letter to the Editor

A conservative or not?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When did Senator Wallingford quit being a conservative? During the legislative session just ended he proposed two new taxes: one on Internet sales and one on cell phone use, and he supported higher wages on projects that are paid for with tax money.

Senator Wallingford states his positions on the taxes and wages well, and I know conservative means different things to different people. But in general, I think most conservatives favor lower taxes, smaller government, and fiscal restraint.

We know the only way to reduce the size of government, or at least to keep it from growing, is through tax control. All levels of government -- local, county, state, and federal -- will almost always spend all they have and want more. So if you truly want lower taxes and smaller government, you have to begin by controlling taxes. There may be good reasons for the new taxes and higher wages. I'm not necessarily against them. My issue is with politicians who campaign one way and govern another.

Most local politicians call themselves conservatives or they wouldn't get elected. But once elected, some, like Senator Wallingford, seem okay with the taxing and spending. It seems lower taxes, smaller government, and fiscal restraint are no longer real important to many conservatives.

I think, at least in this area, the core principles of conservatism are opposing abortion rights and gay rights and little more.

GARY L. GAINES, Cape Girardeau