Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Incrementalism and Obesity

This might be a posting that's a bit too late, since the Twins stadium is a done deal.

One bit of logic presented in favor of the stadium was the small incremental nature of the tax. At 0.15% of sales, proponents like Star Tribune sports columnist Patrick Reusse were fond of arguing that the tax only amounted to three cents on $20. In essence, the tax was so small that no one would notice it.

Craig Westover correctly countered that it's the principle that matters, not the size of the tax. A government that imposes a small tax on its constituents for an unnecessary project will likely impose more and more taxes for questionable ends. Sure 3 cents on $20 is small, but the stadium tax will raise half a billion dollars, and that is not small. And next time government comes a-knocking, wanting more for something else, those proponents will remember that we financed "fun stuff" like stadiums.

A little tax here, a little tax there. The lack of government self-control reminds one of a gourmand. It's just a few french fries, just a scoop of ice cream, just another hot dog. However continuing this habit day after day, year after year, produces a slovenly obese government that eats up the productivity of its citizenry. A government that looks like . . . Patrick Reusse.


Blogger Nicko McDave said...

Right on! The ideal government would look like Paris Hilton.

10:01 PM  
Blogger R-Five said...

I forgot who said it first, but ask your local school district to do with 0.15% less and see what happens.

11:27 PM  

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