“Smiles! Smiles, everyone!”* The 2007 legislative spending orgy has come to a conclusion. Although there’s some grousing about funding of some social programs and ethics reform went down the toilet, the vast majority of those involved in the legislative process seem to be happier and fatter than ever. (See D-News, SLTRIB articles)
The legislature did cut loose with a tax cut of about 14% of the unprecedented surplus. That cut comes by way of a reduction in food sales tax and a new flat(ter) income tax system, both of which start on Jan. 1, 2008.
I’ve already addressed the magnitude of the second year of the education cash throwing competition. I’m glad that teachers will be getting raises. But I’m not so glad that exuberant educrats are walking around saying, “KA-CHING!” I wonder how many more money mismanagement scandals will pop up as the bureaucracy receives its new cash infusions.
Lawmakers also focused a lot of cash on transportation for the second year in a row. This falls squarely into the realm of government responsibility. While the projects being funded are needed and will likely produce many salutary effects, I am concerned that gouging and mismanagement seem to go hand in hand with enormous expenditures. Here’s hoping that, unlike school districts, transportation has systems in place to minimize and prevent these kinds of problems.
I have already discussed my disposition with regard to the soccer stadium. And I had my little tirade over joining the swarm of states that are pushing their presidential primary election ever earlier.
It’s difficult to list every destination for cash flows approved by lawmakers. Right now tired legislators, lobbyists, and bureaucrats are simply giddy with the intoxication of managing so much spending without the rancor that proliferated last year. But don’t worry. It’s all good. That is, unless you happen to be of the opinion that limited government best preserves individual rights.
* (For the record, I always thought Ricado Montalban was much better as Khan than as Mr. Roarke).