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City Council does have Republican members, believe it or not. They even constitute a majority.

Wednesday, when the council voted to double the local gas tax, it was hard to believe.

If the vote had been split on party lines the tax increase would have been defeated.

Republicans Danny Becton, LeAnna Cumber, Randy DeFoor, Rory Diamond and Al Ferraro all voted for the taxpayers and against the tax.

But, Republicans Aaron Bowman, Sam Newby, Terrance Freeman, Matt Carlucci, Kevin Carrico, Michael Boylan and Ron Salem voted with the seven Democrats – who voted in a bloc – for doubling the tax.

The Republican Party is supposed to be against higher taxes and, especially, higher spending. The new tax will fuel a billion dollars in spending and last for 30 years.

It comes at a time when Democrats control the federal government and are on an historic spending spree that has elevated the national debt to record levels. Sadly, too many Republicans are helping to sow the seeds of national disaster.

Here’s something odd. If you go to the city Web site and look at the City Council section it will tell you everything about each council member – except the political party the member belongs to.

That important information also is not shown on the recorded votes, or on their nameplates in the council chamber.

It’s almost as if they didn’t want you to know.

Jacksonville’s mayor also is a Republican. He led the effort to increase the taxing and spending.

All of these “Republicans” employed the “we’re doing it for the jobs” excuse, but not all voters were fooled. It was about taxing and spending. The justification for it was lame. A poll showed a majority of Jacksonville voters were against it so the politicians refused to allow a straw vote.

The promise of new jobs was based on a study done at the University of North Florida. Eye on Jacksonville has been skeptical of it and so has a local businessman who criticized it recently in the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Don Wiggins, CEO of Heritage Capital Group and a professor emeritus in accounting and finance at UNF, said the parameters of the study were at fault and caused it to overlook important factors such as the cost of collecting, handling and spending the money.

Wiggins said the money will merely be moved from the pockets of citizens to the city treasury and no jobs will be “created” but simply moved.

“Government spending doesn’t create jobs. It just converts a higher number of jobs into a lower number of jobs, and pays government bureaucrats to do that. Milton Friedman said that it’s not the deficit that matters so much as the level of government spending. The gas tax is an example of exactly what he meant,” he told Eye.

To the local liberal media, looking out for the “forgotten man” – the taxpayer – is not important. They consider it his duty to finance any whim of politicians and think he should be ashamed if he pays less in taxes than people in another city.

In our view, the onus is on the politician to demonstrate a need for our dollars. Especially the Republican politician.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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