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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Notes on the Gas Tax, School Choice, & Inflation

Governor Parson signed a regressive tax bill into law to increased the motor fuel tax so you can expect to be paying more at the pump. Parson said,
“For many of us, this is a long time coming…If we truly want to put Missouri on the right path, I believe we have to have workforce development and infrastructure. If you get those priorities in place, we can build off that. … And then not only our highways and bridges, but our rail systems, airports and river ports. We have so many opportunities to build off this.”

You know what has also been a long time coming? Fiscal accountability. Did you know that multiple State Auditors have audited MODOT and found several points of waste and abuse if not outright fraud? In the eight years I was in the legislature, NOT ONCE did the House or the Senate move to address any of these fiscally irresponsible matters with the exception of my committee. But then, when I put my findings forward, the speaker and other members of leadership wouldn’t give it the time of day. In the last ten years, the state operating budget has gone up over 35%, that’s $10 Billion dollars a year – and somehow, finding any money for our highways was an impossible task leaving as a last resort, raising the people’s taxes.

If the governor wants to talk about putting priorities in place he should discuss efforts to cut out redundant and wasteful spending – something neither he, nor the vast majority of so-called republicans have bothered to pay any attention to for decades.


  • This is a regressive tax which means is is a uniform tax applied at the same amount no matter how much money or wealth the tax payor has. Regressive taxes carry a heavier burden on the less wealthy and poor than the wealthy.
  • There has never been any real effort to try to eliminate fraud, waste, or abuse before decide to force the people to pay more.
  • The size of the state operating budget has grown by almost a billion dollars a year for the last ten years and still the state has never tried to find a way to steer some of that money to highways and bridges to lessen the need to raise taxes.
Candace Owens

One bright point about this last legislative session is that the General Assebly got School Choice to the governor’s desk and he signed it. The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account Program will allow Missourians to receive tax credit for donations to various education assistance organizations established under the law. This begins to open the door for parents to have more choices over where there their children can go to school. This is a big win for education and for parents.

The executive director of the Missouri School Boards’Association, Melissa Randol, made clear their disdain for education being accountable to the parents when she said, “We are very disappointed with the decision by Gov. Parson to sign into law HB 349, the voucher bill that provides taxpayer dollars to private institutions that have no accountability to the public for how children are educated or kept safe or how tax dollars are spent,”

I would like to point out that taxpayers dollars are best accountable when they are in control of how they are spent and not bureaucrats within the educational industrial complex. Clearly the Missouri School Board Association would rather be the ones to tell politicians how to spend parents tax dollars than have the parents be in greater control.

Furthermore, private institutions have more accountability than public schools – it’s called the market. And if a private school fails, it goes away, unlike a public school which when it fails, the answer seems to be to throw more money at it.


  • Private schools are held accountable by the market – if they aren’t performing, they risk being closed down.
  • Representative Phil Christofanelli should get some well earned gratitude as the sponsor of this legislation, he was able to get done what many before him have tried and failed to do.
  • The education establishment such as the National Education Association (NEA) and the Missouri School Board Association are 100% convinced that they alone make the best decisions for your child’s education and are feel are deeply offended that parents could in anyway be empowered with authority to make education decisions for their own children with their own tax dollars.

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested inflation ‘will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating.’ And also stated that there would be no change to the Federal Reserves low interest rate policy which has been used to curb the economic impact of the “pandemic.”

Inflation is a result of many factors. Powell says that much of it has to do with temporary factors such as supply shortages and increasing demand by consumers on goods and services that are still getting back to pre-pandemic levels of market supply.

Adding new money to the money supply is another factor but the Fed doesn’t like to address that very often.


  • Buckle up – inflation is going to be an issue. Better plan ahead.
Paul Curtman
Paul Curtman is a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, an author, conference speaker, and statesman. For nearly 20 years, Paul has helped lead and develop leaders in the United States military, public service sectors, and business. Paul is a strong advocate for personal and economic freedom as well as the strength and integrity of the free market system. He is a Fellow at Club for Growth in Washington D.C. and currently lives in Florida with his wife, Ruth, and their five children.


  1. Paul,
    I support you and your x-committee effort to weed out the spending waste. Additionally I would propose prosecuting the crime of Fraud.
    We have become a nation of politicians only prosecuting crimes damaging to politicians.
    Likewise prosecuting attorneys tend to prosecute crimes which are a slam dunk to feather their conviction record. Except of course for the prosecution of the everyday crimes or bad judgement of those who rely on a court appointed atty.


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