Saturday, September 5, 2009

Afterthoughts…Saturday, September 05

On “For the Children”

In this piece I pointed out that “for the children,” the all purpose incontestable rationale for public spending, has a far more worrisome relevance in our current era of huge government overspending, borrowing, and currency printing.

I was going through my ‘stack’ when I came across a comment someone had made at the Fiscal Sanity event.
It’s far easier to spend OPM (other people’s money) when they’re not old enough to vote, or not ever born yet.
Which reminds us of why our politicians love to “export” our tax burden to “tourists.” Even if you and I put on our tourist hat anytime we get something to eat at a commercial establishment; something as simple as a donut and coffee qualify. The theory, of course, is that “tourists” don’t vote in Maine. And there’s no more preferred targeted for tax abuse than those who don’t have a vote with which to rebuke the taxer.

It’s a known fact that state residents pay the lion’s share of this so called “exportable” tax burden. So the next time you’re in Portland or somewhere else in the state looking like a geeky tourist, dumping your tourist money into the state coffers, remember that you do have a vote with which to issue a rebuke.

On Berry Flavored Kool-Aid

In this item I discussed Rep. Berry’s proposal for a “do-over” law, and how incredulous his position on “tax reform” is. I addressed it further in the recent moral hazard discussion.

Adding to the “Berry doth protest too much, methinks” perception are disturbing reports that Berry has been harassing folks collecting signatures for the people’s veto of the tax reform legislation. And House Majority Leader John Piotti has been encouraging such behavior at various locations around the state.

One report adds that “There was a representative at the school union vote in Freeport who was telling people that if they sign this, the state's going to lose $57 million." This correlates with the suspicion raised earlier that the “tax reform” plan will actually increase state revenues, in spite of protestations by Berry, Piotti, and others.

They want us to believe they are desperate to cut state revenues, and even more desperate to give us more coin in our pockets, and they’re willing to travel around the state to make their case, and even risk disturbing the peace in some cases. They can sell this crazy somewhere else; Side isn't buying.

I’ve collected signatures on a variety of petitions in the past, and have even had the honor of being thrown off the Naval Air Base while doing so, at the direction of John Richardson, who, naturally, had jurisdiction over federal property during his tenure as Speaker of the House.

I can’t think of anything that does more to create fear and disrespect of the democratic process than having state officials harass those trying to collect signatures on petitions to which such officials object. This behavior is chilling and shameless, and reaffirms the perception that “public service” has gone the way of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

This behavior is from the same caring souls who have changed election procedures to cite not only “voter intimidation,” but “fear of intimidation.” Which in today’s climate, includes simply being there to observe and challenge per accepted practice.

Side wonders whether Berry, Piotti, and the rest were trying to sell Kool-Aid shooters at the fair without obtaining the appropriate permits. They should know better; but maybe they were wearing their “Do You Know Who I Am” buttons, and intimidated officials in charge of such matters.

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