Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tax cut-a-phobia

The Raleigh News & Observer on Sunday had an editorial outlining what the North Carolina Legislature should NOT do with the $2 billion surplus. Of course, tax cuts were the bugaboo to be avoided.

After complaining about a "host" of human services programs that are "running on fumes" we get this gem
"let's hope that political expediency put to the music of a siren song doesn't prompt legislative leaders to 'spend' the surplus by going overboard with various tax cuts."
Did you get that? Tax cuts are spending, but allocating that money to the host of human services programs that are running on fumes is not to be considered spending. They later question whether tax cuts can withstand another downturn in the economy. Are we to believe that if this money is spent on government programs there will be no ill effects in a bad economy? Shouldn't we look to reduce spending so that government isn't mired with additional burdens in the next economic downturn?

They give cutting the gas tax short shrift by claiming that oil companies would keep any savings. Besides the obvious appeal to emotion, this is bad economics. The money would most likely go, in the short run, into the pockets of the gas station owners who would be encouraged to purchase more supply, thereby lowering prices in the long run.

They end the article by asking legislative leaders to "show a little restraint." Yes, please do...and give me back my money!

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