Skip to comments.Book review, "Free Lunch", David Cay Johnston
Posted on 01/08/2008 4:09:18 AM PST by MoJoWork_n
I never knew that payment of "sales taxes" to state and local governments was negotiable. Business owners may be allowed to keep them for themselves, sometimes.
The power of government to cut side deals with the biggest business owners is the theme of this book. It particularly focuses on those deals that don't particularly benefit taxpayers, but aren't often questioned or receive much public attention.
Conclusion of the article, cut and pasted:
"...as Adam Smith predicted, the pursuit of subsidies is causing business to make decisions that otherwise would be unsound, Johnston writes. Somehow, we need to break this cycle, or its going to ruin our country, Johnston said Wednesday.
Johnston said its clear the courts are hostile to schemes to reform the campaign-finance system.
So he has a straightforward idea: politician finance reform.
It would require the taxpayers to cover 100 percent of the expenses of the members of Congress. Without limit.
But it also would require the members to disclose those expenses in detail. And it would prohibit them from taking trips, meals, sports tickets or anything else from lobbyists. Violators would go to prison.
The new system would cost more in congressional expenses, but it would lead to laws that would save taxpayers orders of magnitude more money than those additional expenses would cost, Johnston said.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.galvestondailynews.com ...
I doubt we can satiate greed. Either a politician is honest or he is not.
Whether or not politicians are more or less honest than other people could be the subject of a lengthy discussion, but it isn’t the main point, here.
Reinforcing their temptation to violate the public trust, in the form of allowing them to accept donations from lobbyists is.
In effect, the writer’s saying the public has first call on buying them off, and ought to exercise that right.
Maybe we could just skip the middle part, and send the politicians straight to jail.
Either the moon is made of green cheese or it is not.
But, I think what the previous poster was saying -- extending the politician/cheese analogy to the reducio ad absurdam, and a little more to the point:
What's the dark side of the moon made of? The face we see may look like green cheese, but what's behind it?
Which is more in line with the presumed theme of the book. How long a leash do you want to give your average political representative, when lobbyist dollars and sweetheart deals with local developers are at issue? (And all those sales tax pennies start adding up to real money, depleting the budget of your local government, so somebody's going to have to make up the difference?)