The editor’s opinion from Marketplace, Northeast Wisconsin’s business magazine. (Obligatory disclaimer: Most hyperlinks go to outside sites, and we’re not responsible for their content. And like fresh watermelon, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, tomatoes and sweet corn, hyperlinks can go bad after a while.)

April 23, 2008

Journalist, heal thyself

Smoke and Consequences” revealed that raising cigarette taxes will not solve the problems proponents think it will, but will create other problems thanks to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Apparently, the Wausau Daily Herald did not read this blog, because the newspaper’s opinionmongers have decided that what we overtaxed Wisconsinites really need is … another tax increase, specifically in beer taxes. This will, say the editorialists, halve the state budget deficit (because apparently cutting spending is never an option), and deal with the problems “associated with Wisconsin culture of alcohol abuse,” and, hey, “
most people wouldn’t even notice a 20 cents-a-gallon tax increase.”

It is instructive to note that newspapers that editorialize in favor of tax increases don’t mention tax increases that would directly affect them. No newspaper would, for instance, suggest that sales taxes be extended to single-copy or subscription purchases of their own newspaper. Only a guest columnist in Isthmus in Madison, who actually believes that “
taxes are part of what makes Wisconsin a great place to live,” suggested a sales tax on advertising; I wonder how the publisher of Isthmus, a free newspaper that gets all of its revenue from advertising, feels about that.

I will, of course, be an advocate of none of the proposed tax increases listed here. In fact, I am more likely to be struck dead by lightning (odds approximately 1 in 1 million), win the Powerball jackpot (odds 1 in 146,107,962), or replace Brett Favre at quarterback (odds … well, you can’t count that high) than favor any tax increase in this space. (Other than my modest tax proposal, that is.) No social problem we face today, including the aforementioned “Wisconsin culture of alcohol abuse,” will be solved by throwing more money at it, for

1 comment:

Jesse Seymour said...

Sometimes the fiscal policies suggested by some people just really amaze me.

Solving a budget deficit is simple: spend less than you bring in! If you or I managed our money like the state manages the taxpayer's money then we would have bill collectors hounding our every step.

Why can't our elected so-called leaders realize this and cut spending? Because it takes power and control away from the government. The more the government pays for, the more it controls us.