Thursday, May 17, 2007

Taxing and Spending

State tax receipts ebb and flow along with the general economy. Those governing smartly realize this and exercise spending restraint during the good times so that a fiscal crisis doesn't arise when the economy takes a downturn.

That is the way smart governance is done. On the other hand, in Tennessee legislators divide excess monies into individual slush funds that they can use for whatever local project they deem worthy.

And, they make sure that it is all adopted in a mammoth bill in which no one's name is tied to any individual project. No transparency here. Cockroaches thrive better in the dark.

Inevitably, in a year or two the economy will slow, tax receipts will grow by less, and some enterprising legislator will insist that the state's tax system is not flexible enough to meet our needs.

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