Thursday night, all of the candidates for Alabama governor except current Gov. Kay Ivey met in the beautiful Library Theater for the first full debate, face to face, of this campaign season. It was sponsored by Local Alabama — Eagle Forum and carried statewide by 1819’s digital news TV network.

In response to questions from the audience following the Forum, Doug “New Blue” Smith, a developmental economist, said he had questioned Ivey’s insistence on three gas tax increases during a period when the Fed was increasing its balance sheet from less than four trillion to near nine trillion dollars. That has produced an increase in all dollars in circulation by over 27%. At the same time as the Fed’s monetary stimulus, Congress was pouring $7 trillion in fiscal stimulus. 

“Gov. Ivey’s triple gas tax is like sloshing lighter fuel on a local raging inflation fire that already has too much stimulus from the federal level,” Smith said.

Alabama’s inflation is substantially higher than the national average of 7.9%, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics places Alabama’s inflation at 8.5%. But proprietary research shows Georgia’s inflation at 13%, so Alabama’s is probably not far behind in real-time. BLS is slow to report inflation at the state level. William Thornton of also reports that the increases in Alabama gas prices, as a result, are the fastest growing in the nation.

Smith did not have to wait long for an answer to his request to pause the three gas taxes already imposed and to place in abeyance on the multiple increases passed by Ivey’s legislation that will start soon in the future and will be especially cruel since the increases to come are tied to inflation.

“These new gas tax increases to come will create a crushing snowball effect as inflation turns to hyper-inflation, sending gas prices through the roof,” Smiths said. “Gov. Ivey should find some other way to pay off the special interests that financed her campaign.”

Smith has refused to accept special interest contributions to his campaign and instead has campaigned against corruption in both the Republican and Democratic Parties.

“New Blue” did not have to wait long for his plea on Thursday for a pause to the three increases to Alabama gas taxes. This weekend, the leadership of the Legislature said they had considered the matter Friday and announced they had no plans to put the matter on the legislative agenda. The only issue remaining is whether an opinion from Attorney General Steve Marshall finds that the governor could pause the gas taxes by her Executive Order.

For more information, contact Smith at 334-467-1486 or by email, or at
2949 Old Farm Road Montgomery, Alabama 36111-1216.

This OP-ED was originally published by 1819 News.