Has Dakinikat of Skydancing ever written a better-researched, more impassioned piece than this?
Her target -- initially -- is her state governor, Bobby Jindal, who wants to rid Louisiana of state income taxes by raising sales taxes. Of course, that move would mean placing more of the burden on the poor, since sales taxes are regressive. The most quotable passage:
The one thing that I’ve really noticed about these granny starvers is that they could all play the part of some creepy Shakespearean villain. Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Scott look the original templates for those lean, hungry men. They also remind me of the creeps that show up in the Dickensian tales.
Jindal and the other politicians skewered in this piece all take their orders from the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, a conservative group that proposes Ayn Randism as the solution to all woes. The group's chief Big Thinker appears to be Arthur Laffer, of Laffer curve fame. (Some of you may recall that he first drew out his famous curve on a napkin while sharing a meal with none other than Dick Cheney, who always manages to be present when countries are ruined.) The Nation once described ALEC as a "collaboration between multinational corporations and conservative state legislators."
The important take-away here is that ALEC doesn't work. Dakinkat quotes this study
which proves that ALEC-ized states do much worse than non-ALEC states.
...actual results are the opposite of the ALEC claim. The more a state’s policies mirrored the ALEC low-tax/regressive taxation/limited government agenda, the lower the median family income; this is true for every year from 2007 through 2011. . . . The relationship is not only negative each year, it also became worse over time: the better a state did on the ALEC Outlook Ranking, the more family income declined from 2007 to 2011. . . . The more a state followed the Alec-Laffer policies, the higher its poverty rate, every year from 2007 to 2011.
Will these results cause ALEC proponents to rethink? No. Libertarianism is a stage magician who keeps reaching into an empty top hat because theoretically
it ought to contain a rabbit; the magician would rather keep exploring his demonstrably rodent-free chapeau than admit that a beloved theory might be wrong.
DKat's final observation mirrors a point I've made repeatedly:
What really makes this so shameful is that these Banana Republic-style agendas are being subsidized by Blue States. There are very few economically viable Red States in our country. They could not exist on their own as they are in worse shape than countries like Greece. They stymie policy at the national level and continue to subsidize their backward growth agendas with federal monies. However, they are not beyond complaining about government spending will sucking it in like a big ol’ black hole.
Even awful Ayn might have been honest enough to admit that the blue states are "producer" states while the red states are "leech" states. (She lived in NY, a productive blue state.)