Monday, May 9, 2011

Limited government, Perry-style

I guess this is why I'm not a legislator in Austin. I just don't see the connections that these geniuses do. With school districts being forced to lay off teachers due to the budget crisis in Austin, a couple of folks seem to think they've found the answer to our problems.

State Rep. John Davis (R-Houston) says Texas charges luxury yacht buyers too much sales tax. That 6.25% is a real bitch, apparently, to the scads of Texans looking to buy multi-million dollar boats to play around in. The sales tax is the most regressive tax the state has yet to devise yet the yacht-buying set thinks it's too much to be asked to pay more than $18,000 in sales tax for a boat worth over a million dollars. Boo, freaking, hoo.

And the fair-haired one, Gov. Rick Perry has determined that an emergency exists and that the only way to fix it is to pass tort reform with a "loser pays" provision. State Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) has proposed legislation that would force the loser in a lawsuit to pay the other side's legal fees. Now let's just forget the fact that most tort litigation is brought by folks who can't afford to hire an attorney on anything other than a contingency fee basis. Let's also forget that in a "pro-business" environment, the only check on the corporate world's unending quest for maximizing profit is the courtroom. This proposed legislation will shut the doors of the courthouse for all but those who could afford to hire an attorney.

This is the theory of limited government espoused by Gov. Goodhair. Limit the ability of the government to serve the vast majority of Texans, shield corporations by cutting off access to the courts for millions of Texans and increase the tax burden on poor Texans by providing tax relief to millionaires.

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