Are Higher Taxes a “Centrist” Position?

Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) writes to the Tribune Review complaining about being a labeled “liberal” or “far left”.  To be fair to Ward, the Commonwealth Foundation also dislikes being labeled “conservative” or “far right”, which we frequently are by most media (if not the Tribune Review); we prefer “free-market”.  Dropping labels entirely and allow discussion of the merits of the arguments are just fine with us, because our principles would prevail every time.

But Ward errs in trying to convince Trib readers that her organization’s view on tax and spending policy are “centrist”.  The PBPC argues that Pennsylvania taxes are too low.  Yet only 1% of PA voters agree with that.  Ward would also find herself among the mere 5% of Pennsylvanians who think state spending isn’t high enough.  And Ward’s organization vigorously fights against state spending limits, a proposition 2/3rds of voters support.

Or consider Rasmussen’s new polling definition – defining the “mainstream” view, held by a majority of Americans, as one which mistrusts the judgment of elected officials, views government as a special interest, and believes big business loves big government. The “political class” holds the opposite views.  Which sounds more like and organization which lobbies for increased government spending to grow the economy?

And let’s not forget Ward’s comments that a $823 million increase in state spending should be viewed as a “cut“.  The PBPC may not like how they are categorized, but to suggest their views are “centrist” is laughable.