by Max Brantley
Brummett continues to apologize for the truck lobby and insist they were willing all along to pay for a diesel tax increase and only wanted a sales tax exemption as an offset (or, perhaps, a net gain.)
Sure. The question isn't so much whether there was an explicit truckers' plan to get the sales tax exemption and then renege on the diesel increase once the tax break was in their pocket. The fact is that the truck lobby's FIRST inclination after leaking news of a poll (how were the questions shaped?) unfavorable to a diesel tax was to let the deal play out in exactly that fashion. It took them weeks to grudgingly say, OK, we'll give up the sales tax exemption if there's no diesel tax vote. Political reality — the negative impact of their greed on the electorate in two coming highway construction debt and tax questions — interfered with that desired outcome.
Bottom line is that truckers don't come close to paying for the damage they do to the freeways and don't intend to do so. They play us for chumps. Expecting the worst from them means never being disappointed.