Saturday, April 11, 2009

The government has needs

What should the government due when a recession appears? For Democrats, the obvious answer is raise taxes. The Wall Street Journal reports (hat tip: Paul at Berry Laker):

At least 10 states are considering some kind of major increase in sales or income taxes: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. California and New York lawmakers already have agreed on multibillion-dollar tax increases that went into effect earlier this year.

Lawmakers justify this with argument-by-false-choice, such as:

Some lawmakers say they have little choice. "With the size of our budget gap, we are looking at a situation of closing down our courts, releasing prisoners and cutting the school year by as much as a month," said Rep. Peter Buckley [D-Ashland], co-chairman of Oregon's joint Ways and Means Committee.

This is a false choice: a quick glance of Oregon's state budget (source: here and here) shows that courts, prisons, and schools are only a small part of the state budget.

RELATED: In Canada, the government "needs" enough money so that the courts can decide cases such as whether a father can ground his 12-year child for 3-days.

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