June 22, 2009

MATT WELCH: Workaday Media Bias and State Budget Crises, Example #1. “In 2002 total combined state revenue was $1.097 trillion…. In 2007 this figure had risen to almost $2 trillion. That’s an 81 percent increase, at a time when prices plus population increased 19 percent. . . . I understand partisans and rent-seekers not wanting to deal with the uncomfortable fact that states right now would have had enough money for increased recession-triggered services plus a combined half-trillion dollar tax cut if only they had kept spending growth at the rate of population plus inflation for just five recession-free years. But newspapers?” Nowadays, newspapers are partisans and — as they angle for government bailouts — rent-seekers, too.

UPDATE: What Crisis?

What state budget crisis?

This year the hacks had $28.1 billion to squander. In the new fiscal year they’ll have $27.4 billion. In other words, for every $39 they wasted in FY 2009, they’ll have to get by on $38 in FY 2010.

If the commonwealth were a person with an income of $50,000, he would be looking at a pay cut of $1,282. A lot of people right now in the Dreaded Private Sector would call a 2.5 percent pay cut a reprieve, a godsend. The real crisis is the tax bender they’re on at the State House. To deal with this infinitesimal cut, the taxaholics are going to jack up the sales tax 25 percent. They’re allowing local hacks to impose a new meals tax. They’ve invented a new tax for satellite TV. They’re increasing the hotel-motel tax. Registry fees are going up.

The tax-fattened hyenas are hitting us with a new 6.25 percent tax on alcohol, though they and their brain-dead enablers in what’s left of the mainstream media refuse to call it a tax. They describe it as eliminating the exemption.

Mainstream media, partisan rent-seekers, whatever. But hey, the good folks in Massachusetts had a chance to vote in real tax cuts this past election, and they didn’t. So now they’re “getting it fast and hard,” as Mencken put it.

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