As a native of the Heart of Dixie, I honestly never thought I’d live long enough to see today happen. This morning, Governor Robert Bentley ordered the confederate flags removed from Alabama’s state capitol without ceremony. Can a state tax policy that’s more progressive than 1901 be far behind?
This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.
Bentley is already the most unique GOP governor in America just for his willingness to face fiscal reality with sane accounting rather than Laffer Curve voodoo. In order to deal with the yawning budget hole left by the austerity budgets they have passed annually since they took over the state in 2010, Republican legislators expect to hold a special session this Fall; the extra time is necessary because it took the entire regular session for many of those same folks to finally admit that there is no fat left to trim in any state agencies. Bentley is leading his party into truly virgin territory here.
I used to comfort myself with the thought that Alabama at least had the right flags on display. But I guess change really is possible — even in the state where backwards thinking on race and reactionary revolution was invented.