Correcting the Record on Tax Cuts
Attacks won’t change the facts: Politicians failed, not tax cuts.
“Either immediately or ultimately every dollar of government spending must be raised through a dollar of taxation.” – Henry Hazlitt
Last week we partnered with the Kansas Policy Institute to publish an op-ed setting the record straight on tax cuts and the 2012 Kansas tax plan.
We seemed to have touched a nerve, because immediately opponents of tax cuts leapt to attack our organization and even tried to shame news outlets for publishing our point of view.
Attacks won’t change the facts: Politicians failed in Kansas, not the concept of tax cuts.
Spending control is the key to successful tax relief, and Kansas failed to control spending growth. In fact, General Fund spending increased and set several new records between 2012 and 2017, creating several cycles of unnecessary budget crises. This could have been avoided had lawmakers thoughtfully cut wasteful spending and made more efficient use of tax dollars.
Despite the implementation issues, tax cuts do appear to have coincided with higher economic growth in Kansas.
Montanans can learn from Kansas’ mistakes. Don’t cut taxes while increasing spending. Instead, build a plan that balances the budget by making better use of taxpayer dollars.
By focusing on crafting a Conservative Montana Budget, we’re confident that lawmakers can deliver successful tax relief. Governor Gianforte and the Montana legislature have already expressed willingness to reduce spending and keep government growth in check to protect taxpayers.
In the meantime, don’t let the tax-and-spend crowd pull the wool over your eyes. Montanans deserve tax relief, and it can be done.
. . .
Bills we are watching:
- Tomorrow I’ll be tuning in for the committee hearing on HB 259, a bill aimed at eliminating so-called “inclusionary zoning” – a local government policy which mandates new housing developments include a certain percentage of “affordable” housing.
Our Take: While more affordable housing is a worthy goal, inclusionary zoning often has the opposite effect – raising the cost of building new houses in the first place. Efforts to create more affordable housing would be better spent on eliminating government zoning restrictions on building types, lot sizes etc. which artificially limit the market supply of housing and leads to higher prices.
- This week, we testified in favor of SB 203, a proposal which draws from our recommendations to update Montana’s Constitution to specifically protect electronic data from illegal law enforcement searches.
Our Take: If passed, lawmakers would be sending a very clear message to Montanans they are prioritizing their privacy rights. This will go a long way to rebuilding social trust, a key component of Montana’s fragile economic recovery.
Opposition to Free Markets
- Apparently not everyone is cheering the expansion of telehealth services thanks to relaxed regulations. Some incumbent Montana businesses are expressing concern that “unfettered interstate virtual health care” will cause them to lose customers.
Our Take: Those not cheering expanded telehealth access in Montana are thinking about their business’s bottom line first, not about the wellbeing of their patients. The beauty of free markets is that they force businesses to better serve their customers – or fail. One benefit of more market competition via telehealth is that it may finally force our incredibly protected healthcare industry to make their prices more competitive.