Today, April 4, marks the one-year anniversary of my taking over editorial duties at the Frazee-Vergas Forum and it would be a perfect time to recap some local highlights of the past year if it wasn’t for more ridiculous policies being discussed in St. Paul.

This week’s lunacy is brought to you by the House Transportation Committee.

Lest we forget, over the past few years the state has been routinely overtaxing every one of you to the tune of a $17.5 billion surplus.

Legislators of the Transportation Committee have been busy discussing new ways to supplement how Minnesota funds its roads and other transportation costs. Currently that is done through license tabs, the 28.6 cents-per-gallon gas tax, sales tax on auto parts and other transportation sales taxes.

Why do they need more revenue streams?

The committee is crying inflation as the overall worth of those tax revenues have declined, thanks to the current state of the Biden administration’s overspending economic policies. 

Inflation does not magically appear out of nowhere and the last people to blame for inflation are taxpayers. This makes the idea of a new tax for you to pay absurd.

We are currently living in a financial situation that brings many of us experienced taxpayers back to the late 1970’s when Jimmy Carter’s administration created one of the worst inflation crises in modern history.

Inflation also has the Federal Reserve in its own quandary of how to control it and Lord help us from that institution’s madness.

The real crazy part is that there is a simple explanation of what actually causes inflation and what doesn’t fix it.

Nobel Prize-awarded American economist Milton Friedman was asked back in 1978 about claims that the government was not to blame for the dismal pecuniary state the country was in under Carter. His answer is as appropriate today as it was then.

“Inflation is made in Washington because only Washington can create money and any other attribution to other groups of inflation is wrong,” Friedman said. “Consumers don’t produce it. Producers don’t produce it. Foreign Sheiks don’t produce it. Oil imports don’t produce it. What produces it? Too much government spending, too much government creation of money and nothing else.”

So, here at home, our legislators are forming small groups looking for ways to take more of your money, because money has been taken from them, by them, and they can only come up with one solution.

Not just more taxes, but new taxes!

This time, they’re going after your Amazon deliveries, Uber and Lyft rides, Door Dash and any other rideshare or delivery service they can pinch.

The bill, House File 850, would impose a retail delivery fee of 75 cents per transaction on sales of tangible personal property subject to the state sales tax beginning July 1, 2024.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Erin Koegel of Spring Lake Park, introduced the bill with the ludicrous, “I’ve been affectionately calling this bill my Taylor Swift Anti-Hero bill. ‘It’s me. I’m the problem.’”

This is your state government in action. 

What’s next? Can we name the tax after Miley Cyrus?

Unfortunately, I had to look up the Swift song and its lyrics to confirm Rep. Koegel was alluding to being part of the problem with the number of deliveries she gets personally.

That’s hardly the real issue. She’s part of a much bigger problem.

The lazy and easy answer to create more funds for roads and transportation is to continue the State of Minnesota’s need to constantly overtax its citizens. The hard answer that might take some actual work and initiative would be thinking outside that box, or God forbid, cutting unnecessary spending elsewhere.

What a concept!

Maybe we can get Taylor Swift to craft a song about responsible governmental spending or perhaps Miley Cyrus can come up with a new hit single about living within one’s means. 

If not, you’re likely to be footing the bill if this committee has its way.