Recently, the Republican members of our state legislature, in a showy burst of sanctimony, signed a No New Taxes pledge. This is their shtick and they're sticking to it, but in so doing, they effectively tied their own hands when it came to giving themselves options for how to deal with the state's financial crisis.
In the last session, they were faced with a dilemma: raise taxes as well as the ire of the people who voted them in, or make cuts in services that people really need, raising ire in the same benighted voters who think services just appear as a gift from God.
The only answer is to play semantic games, hoping the lumpenproletariat is so dense it won't catch on. The government is raising "fees." A "fee," you see, is a government charge for things people use.
As opposed to a "tax," which is...oops...the same thing.
Oh, well, as long as they didn't raise taxes.