Monday, February 13, 2006

Whence WTPA?

Xoff celebrates and Charlie Sykes laments the potential opposition of three GOP Senators to the Taxpayer Protection Amendment. I'm thinking that the fat lady hasn't even begun to loosen her vocal cords.
The problem for opponents is two-fold. First, as the Journal-Sentinel's star community columnist once noted, Wisconsin imposes above average taxes on below average income. (Original insight, that.) This is what business people call a brutal reality. It is a problem that you can't wish away. Second, the WTPA sounds fairly reasonable. Why should government need to increase its revenues by an amount greater than inflation and the increase in persons to be served? It certainly is true that some costs, say energy or health care in a given year, may increase at a higher rate, but this is the kind of thing that households have to manage all the time. My guess is that most Wisconsin families have faced an increase in their home heating bills far in excess of their salary increases. Its going to be hard to explain why, if incomes go up y percent and the population goes up x percent, why government ought to take an increase greater than y adjusted by x.

Throwing around terms like "ravage," "slash" and, for the polysyllabic, "eviscerate" is not going to seem right.

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