by Max Brantley
Talk about repeal of the grocery tax, or at least a partial repeal, is heating up. Columnist Ernie Dumas' take on this debate is so important I thought I'd post it early this week.
If lawmakers truly are concerned about the working poor -- and not just starving government by taking a quarter-billion out of its revenue stream -- they should take a look at the alternatives offered by Dumas to help, such as an earned income tax credit or an increase in the amount of income exempt from the state income tax. That way, you'd really target the relief, rather than giving large dollops of aid to the caviar and lobster of the rich.
UPDATE -- House Speaker Benny Petrus checked in on the version of Ernie Dumas' column originally posted, which referenced an ambiguous reference Petrus made in a recent interview with Roby Brock about Petrus' preference for income tax relief over grocery tax relief. He has clarified for Dumas -- and the column now reflects this -- that his interest is targeting people at the lower end of the scale with income tax help.