Monday, August 08, 2005

Gelinas Hits the Mark

Offering her usual sharp commentary in a sea of political polenta, Nicole Gelinas goes after the “temporary” nature of taxes under Lord Bloomberg. Her wrath is focused on the city’s personal income tax, something which most cities sensibly eschew.

Gelinas underscores the fact that this tax has the effect of retarding the city’s economic growth, something that Steve Malanga has already pointed out twice (the second time in a sharp rebuttal to Andrew Alper’s lame defense of the administration’s economic policy). Gelinas, picking up on the theme of her colleague at the Manhattan Institute, points out how this particular tax slows job growth:

More money for taxes means less money for investment — and fewer jobs for less affluent New Yorkers.
Spending: The Sacred Cow

Gelinas also underscores the reality of the city’s slow economic growth – in 2004 the national economy grew twice as fast as the overtaxed city’s. In doing so, she highlights the failure of the mayor along with the entire political elite, to do anything to keep down the the city’s spending.

The mayor in particular seems totally incapable of grasping this concept. Instead, extrapolating from his own business model, he sees New Yorkers as customers who need to be satisfied. As a result, his business model, melded to a liberal world view of benevolent government, has made it impossible for him to conceive of a government doing more by doing less; i.e. by allowing people and businesses to keep more of their money and invest it according to their own needs.

Which brings us back to our rant on non-partisan elections. The partisan primary system pushes candidates into pro-tax positions, often those that cater to the municipal unions that are so active and influential in Democratic primaries. A non-partisan election structure would at least create the opportunity for a more moderate, less tax-happy election process.