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November 1, 2009
Spending money to make money . . .
On Tuesday, voters in Maine and Washington will face issues petitioned onto statewide ballots by citizens. Question 4 in Maine and Initiative-1033 in Washington would cap the yearly growth of government spending to no more than the yearly increase in population plus inflation. If legislators wish to spend more, they have to do the unthinkable: obtain voter approval.
To voters in both states in early polls, the spending cap idea appeared popular. It certainly makes a kind of common sense: Don't allow the revenue pouring into government coffers during good times to spur wild government growth that is unsustainable in normal or bad times.
Both initiatives allow legislators to go back to voters if they deem more spending needful. The key is giving voters greater control over spending by making legislators justify greater spending.
Of course, if your livelihood is inextricably dependent on your take of tax dollars doled out by politicians, you don't want any kinks in that intake hose.
And it turns out that, in government as in business, one sometimes has to spend money to make money.
That's what is happening in Maine and Washington State. Over the course of the last month, millions of dollars have been spent on television and radio ads — all on the side of those opposed to these two proposals, commonly known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (or TABOR, for short) . . .
Paul Jacob is President of the Citizens in Charge Foundation, which sponsors Paul’s weekly Townhall column as well as Common Sense, a short radio commentary featured in over 100 radio stations throughout the country. The opinions contained in this column are that of Paul Jacob and do not necessarily reflect those of the Foundation, its supporters, or affiliates.
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Of course, Monday through Friday, we’ll keep
the Common Sense coming.
Of course, Monday through Friday, we’ll keep the Common Sense coming.