Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stupid Republican Arguments

I'm not even sure what this means:

Like Mr. Sanford, Republican Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said Sunday that he would also reject some of the stimulus funds. "There is some [money] we will not take in Mississippi," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "You don't get more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs."
Stupidity, thy name is Haley Barbour.


Rick said...

Oh, I don't think it is so stupid. Bobby Jindel explained it. To take some of the money now for unemployment requires a permanent change in the unemployment insurance program at the state level. In that case, once the federal money runs out the state is left with a requirement to raise unemployment taxes.

You might want to rethink who made the stupid comment.


Economics of Contempt said...

"To take some of the money now for unemployment requires a permanent change in the unemployment insurance program at the state level."

No it doesn't. When the federal support runs out, states can simply change their UI programs back. Current legislatures can't bind future legislatures. There are also countless ways to structure the legislation to make the UI increase temporary (e.g., sunsets). Jindal and Barbour are relying on a phantom argument, pure and simple.

And even if that was a real argument, it still wouldn't make sense, because the alleged "extra tax on creating jobs" would only come in the future. Jindal and Barbour can't even come up with a coherent phantom argument. That's sad. (It's also terrible staff work.)

Jane said...

I don't think you're right about this. First of all, just as a matter of public choice theory, it is much, much, much, much [1k muches] harder to cut a benefit than not to raise it in the first place, which is why we spend nearly as much on caring for the old and poor as other developed countries spend on their whole health care system.

Second of all, companies are forward-looking about job creation. If they know their taxes are going to go up in a few years, this will effect things like where they locate their factories, and how much they invest in labor-saving capital equipment against other uses of funds.

Third of all, these governors aren't just responsible for the employment situation in their states now; they're responsible for the employment situation in two years. They're not all going to be magically released from service eighteen months hence. And even if they were, most moral theories of public management require politicians to weigh the welfare of future citizens against that of current citizens.

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