Friday, December 26, 2008

The bad-policy multiplier

Kentuckians are sure to hear much more in 2009 about how everything will work better in the state if only taxes and spending go up. Following the path of most of these schemes is far more likely to result instead in more of the same decline in our common fortunes.

Take, for example, Gov. Steve Beshear's plan to hit up charitable organizations for donations to the state's General Fund. Before we know what hit us, we will be spending projected future donations only to need more revenue enhancement when that house of cards comes crashing down.

Same goes for President-elect Barack Obama's "stimulus" plan, which will have to "work" to avoid creating yet another house of cards.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"President-elect Obama's economic recovery package will create jobs. But until those jobs exist, welfare reform as we know it must be changed."

Given the well-established pattern of failure for this kind of two-step policy sales pitch, one might think more of us would respond skeptically to such a game.