Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Doubling Down on a Bad Bet

According to Daily Politics, the effort to further increase our local tax burden and stifle economic growth continues-with class warfare language utilized to cover the tracks of proponents of keeping the government in the black by squeezing the sweat equity from producers: "The Better Choice Budget Campaign, an effort backed by a host of advocates and supported by some Democratic state lawmakers, is releasing a TV ad today that calls for making Wall Street pay its "fair share" to help New York out of its budget crisis."

This should be known as the political equivalent of whistling past the graveyard-with the fans of more taxes unwilling to confront the decades long assault on the state's small businesses and the overall producer class. That they want to do this while a rebellion in the grass roots is taking hold is a tribute to the intractable nature of ideology-and how such a mindset interferes with reality testing.

As we commented earlier, this is the NY equivalent to the luxury boat tax-and it elides the fact that we are taxing and regulating ourselves into oblivion. But for those in the state senate majority to advocate this path-while their majority hangs by an uncertain thread-is a testament to the aforementioned psychological grip that ideology has for some folks.

Because those marginal senate members from Long Island and Westchester-not to mention the handful of upstaters-are sitting precariously right now, with a real challenge expected from a grassroots wave that sees bigger government, and the taxes needed to support it, as an anathema. The fate of Suozzi and Spano should be seen as a clear and present danger, but when you're imbued with a false sense of righteousness, who cares about the mundane political consequences?

But at least the WFP's proposal was a narrow and targeted one-albeit misguided. The new initiative is a broader based mugging: "At the event, advocates and legislators will call for creation of yet another high income tax bracket as a potential revenue generator, as well as closure of corporate tax loopholes and the so-called fat tax to avoid deep cuts to education and health care."

So, we have the perfect example of the propagation of a grave digger political and economy philosophy. And our suggestion to these misguided but dangerous folks is: when you find that your the last people in the room, please turn off the lights before you leave.