Belmont Club

The taxman cometh

There’s an old story about setting your hair on fire and then trying to put it out with a hammer.  I forget the point. But Governor David Paterson of New York may recall the punch line now that he has proposed 88 new taxes to raise revenue in NY state, thereby seemingly negating the frantic economic stimulus that is being applied by other branches of government. The Daily News reports:

Movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages would be taxed under Paterson’s proposal. It also extends sales taxes to cable and satellite TV services and removes the tax exemption for clothes costing less than $110.

The problem with government is that it doesn’t actually make any money. It only spends it. As such it is perpetually caught between the desire to get its hooks on cash and the necessity to leave some seed corn for future harvests. This is called public policy.