Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I stand corrected: AZ Prop. 13 is serious.

The insufferably wacky ("Nor can you prove otherwise...") Jeff Greenspan handed off Prop. 13 Arizona to more competent hands in order to work full time on Ron Paul's campaign. Unlike past efforts, this one is organized and serious. The name is still stupid. "Proposition 211 on this year's ballot is Prop. 13..."

The Prop. 13 Arizona committee is getting ready to file a single initiative, striking Article 9 Section 19--currently full of more holes than Swiss cheese--from the State Constitution entirely, and replacing Section 18 with a rollback and limited increase. More to follow when the language is finalized.

Arizona Tax Revolt, a separate group, is also putting forth promising, albeit perhaps redundant, initiatives. More on that later.

Thanks to Tom Jenney of the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers for the heads-up on my obsolete details.


John Rose said...

If there's anything a libertarian should hate more than lots of taxes, it's lots of spending, with no taxes to fund it. Attempts such as this to limit tax increases don't address the underlying problem that our government is spending too much money.

It makes sense for home-owners to be defensive about rising property taxes, but the underlying problem is an irrational property market, not the property valuations.

B. Kalafut said...

Correct: just as transmission repairs don't stop the blue smoke from coming out the tailpipe, or just as buying flour is not the same as buying steak, attempts to limit tax increases don't address overspending.

Under the current (state) constitutional order, we can't have it any other way. More restrictive balanced-budget clauses could strongly couple taxation and spending. For the time those of us advocating reform must treat the two as separate, weakly coupled problems.

If Arizona voters have the resolve to force the Legislature to prioritize, reduction of taxation will result in long-run reduction of spending. Public choice economics, however, tells us that in the absence of other constraints, politicians will spend all they take in.