Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Methods Question for Scott Walker

Charlie tells us that Scott Walker has ideas for those who are actually Republicans.

Inter alia:

• Enact a real property tax levy freeze on all levels of government (including costs diverted to broad based fees like storm water, garbage collection, etc.)
• Avoid any attempt to increase the sales tax (including exemptions and localoption taxes)
• Exempt pensions from state taxes
• Enact a tax credit for employers who cover higher education costs for theiremployees
• Eliminate the estate (death) tax permanently
• Enact a tax credit for renewable and alternative energy sources
• Expand the 25% venture capital and angel investment tax credits to $20 millionper year
• Create a capital gains tax exemption for investments in qualified new Wisconsin

These fit the general template of 'reduce taxes and spending.' But I'll quibble with the continuing complex-i-fication of the tax code, as endorsed in " credit/renewable..." and "...25% venture capital....credits."

These may be good temporary fixes--but there is no such thing as a "temporary" tax fix, much less a "temporary" tax. But using the Tax Code to manage social policy is not a long-term solution to anything.

Better to simply reduce taxes overall.

Terry Jeffrey, Editor of Human Events, also published a list--of Conservative Principles. Here's the germane quote:

(8) A massive and complex tax code has become a powerful weapon politicians can use to pressure citizens to behave as the politicians, or the interest groups that support the politicians, wish. The correct function of taxation is to equitably collect only that revenue needed to fund the legitimate activities of a constitutionally limited government.

Scott's intentions are good. The methodology needs a bit of work.

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