Chuck Muth: Goicoechea: Let them eat cake – but tax the ingredients first |

Chuck Muth: Goicoechea: Let them eat cake – but tax the ingredients first

Chuck Muth

Republican Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea recently called for a little less than

$1 billion worth of new taxes, including more than half of that amount from a new tax on your … groceries.

“I believe that we should have had a 2 percent sales tax on food on the ballot this fall,” Goicoechea declared on Sam Shad’s “Nevada Newsmakers” program.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, according to what passes for “leadership” among Republicans in the lower house of the Legislature, the cure for Nevada’s ailing economy and budget shortfall in the midst of the worst recession in the nation’s history is to start taxing your milk and butter and eggs and cheese.

Oh, and baby food.

This has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard a political leader say since Walter Mondale told everyone in 1984 he would raise their taxes if elected president.

And lest there be any confusion, Goicoechea was not talking about tax “reform” along the lines of that suggested by the libertarian Nevada Policy Research Institute. NPRI’s proposal was “revenue neutral” and included a food tax “rebate” for everyone.

No, Goicoechea’s proposal is simply a new way to sock it to families by leveling a new tax on food as a way to give the government an additional half-billion dollars to spend and protect his mining friends from being hit with higher taxes next year.

This new tax hike proposal comes a little over a year after Goicoechea voted for that $292 million anti-tourism room tax hike, even though the voters of his district in Lander County voted overwhelmingly against it in an advisory question on the 2008 ballot.

Is raising taxes really the platform that Republican candidates for the state Assembly want to run on this fall? And was Goicoechea speaking for his entire caucus when he burped up this meat-headed proposal? And where exactly does support for a grocery tax appear in the Republican Party platform?

Let me avoid the Christmas rush by taking this opportunity to be the first person to call for Pete Goicoechea to resign as GOP minority leader before he does his caucus, his party, the conservative movement and our state any further damage.

Tax-My-Meat Pete is, as Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform so eloquently puts it, a “rat-head in a Coke bottle.” He’s ruining the GOP brand. It’s time for a product recall; this one is clearly defective. Goicoechea should go the way of New Coke.

• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at