December 28, 2012

Zero.Zero Sales Tax: Objections and Who's Objecting

Justin Katz

As it happens, somebody forwarded to me the following Wall Street Journal political diary entry by Allysia Finley on the same day that the Providence Journal's Philip Marcello reported that the Republicans in the Rhode Island House are considering championing the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity's proposal to eliminate the state's sales tax.

Continue reading on the Ocean State Current...

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Sasse's op-ed starts out well enough. To his credit, he recommends dismantling the progressive-cheered EDC, which has been polluting and corrupting the RI economy from the top down with bad bets and political graft for the past few decades. The RIFuture crowd - central planning fanatics and possibly the only EDC supporters left in Rhode Island - have their own article up bashing Sasse, so we know he can't be totally off base.

The disappointment comes with Sasse's recommendations at the end of the article. If the state is denying economic reality, then Sasse is denying certain human realities. He makes a string of implicit assumptions based in top-down statist (progressive) political philosophy:
1) There are "experts" among us who know how to fix the economy.
2) The experts are in consensus with each other.
2) Government can reliably identify and hire these experts.
4) The experts will freely provide recommendations that run counter to their self interest.
4) Government will freely accept recommendations that run counter to its self interest.

The problems inherent in this chain-fallacy house of cards are obvious. The simple fact, mentioned within Sasse's op-ed, that Chafee took one look at the report recommending dismantling the EDC and threw it in the trash should be the first clue that this problem can't be solved through reports, studies, panels, and think tanks. The "experts" agree on very little, and government inevitably picks and chooses which "expert" opinions it wants to hear.

Posted by: Dan at December 28, 2012 10:43 AM

I know, and encounter, quite a few blue collar guys. I have noticed that the latest "gun control" nonsense seems to be altering a lot of attitudes about government. I hear more comments about "what has the government ever got right?", "that will be just about as effective as the drug laws are in stopping drugs". I think they are spending more time listening to talk shows and having matters explained to them as never before, with cogent examples. There seems to be more criticism of government with well founded examples. I wonder how much will spill over into other governmental matters.

On the other hand I was discussing bead blasting cabinets with another customer today. He was of the opinion that "gun control" was a plot developed by the CIA and the Illuminati. Since he was an immigrant from a country which, until recently, had a dictator; I thought I had to make allowances. He is a USC now, so I was pleased to hear him express his faith in the people and his distrust of the government.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 28, 2012 11:02 PM

Here’s to Anchor Rising
Home of the right wing blog
Where Dan speaks only to Warrington
And Warrington’s a perpetual fog.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at December 31, 2012 7:40 PM

What does that make you, OldBoringLefty?

Posted by: Dan at December 31, 2012 11:13 PM

You have to do better than that, Dan.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 2, 2013 12:38 PM
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