The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

“I want to tell the people of Alabama that I am convinced and know for a fact that we have enough money already coming in from the taxes that you now pay to fund every single function of State Government without one cent of new taxes on the people of this state, and I’ll ask the Legislature not to place any new taxes on the people of Alabama during these three years.

I might point out, as I said a moment ago, this envisions an increase for every function of State Government–not a single cutback as far as money is concerned to a single vital function of State Government.  Yes, in some instances we have one fund that has money here–plenty of money–not as much money as some people would like to have because there are some who want more and more–but if we have money here and not much money here–why don’t we just allocate some of the money here over here instead of taxing the people of Alabama even some more?”

Given the fact that we just ended a Special Session by taking $80 million from the Education Trust Fund and educators are already girding themselves for the next Regular Session and more attempts to divert more funds from schools, this statement sounds as if it may have been made yesterday.

But not hardly.  This was a statement by former Governor George Wallace when he addressed a Special Session of the legislature in 1971.  That was 44 years ago.  I was a 28-year old editor at Progressive Farmer magazine in Birmingham.  Richard Nixon was president.  We have since had seven more presidents.

And in Alabama we continue to have the same battles over and over again.

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