I have no idea how I missed this.
Following the tabling of his proposed tax cut for some used vehicles, Sen. Gilbert Baker (R-30, Conway) went on softcore smut peddler Dave Elswick’s radio show to vent. Along with accusing Rep. Steven Meeks (R-47, Greenbrier) of working to grow government — a charge that is not wholly incorrect — Baker offered this nugget of economic brilliance:
I do support cutting the spending of this state, and there is only one way you do it. You don’t talk about it. You don’t sponsor it away. You cut taxes. (emphases added)
Zuh? That’s … that’s the type of statement that would make Grover Norquist feel like he was climbing the rope in gym class. If that statement was a President, it would be Wrong-ald Reagan.
In all seriousness, if you want to cut spending, then cut spending. Going about it this way, by cutting revenue and trying to force spending cuts by reducing available funds, is a recipe for disaster. If you want to cut spending by $7M, then you find a couple million here, a few hundred thousand there, until you hit $7M. Once you’ve done that, THEN you look at cutting $7M in revenue, if that’s what floats your boat.
What you DON’T do is take $7M in revenue away from the state and say, “Good luck figuring out where to take that money from!” Your plan is akin to trying to reduce plane crashes by killing the pilots. It might work in the abstract, but there are far less bloody ways to reach your goal.
The ironic twist to all of this is that the tax cut proposed by Sen. Baker — removing the sales tax on used car sales between $2500 and $5000 — was the kind of measure that would actually do some good, even if Baker’s underlying explanation for why he proposed it was somewhat flawed. That kind of savings tested very high on the spend-ability scale. But, hey, the savings by the top 1% from an unconstitutional capital gains bill might be spent as well.