©2012 Mike Church
I thought I had heard almost every ridiculous, self-serving justification for government intervention in markets and then along came New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s scheme to “fix” the New Orleans economy by raising taxes on it. Landrieu who must be auditioning for a part on “Biggest Loser-Government Edition” proposes that a new “taxing zone” be consecrated by the State1. This zone will act under the plundering gaze of 11 tax zone “officials” half of which are appointed by HizDisHonner himself. This board would then be on the lookout for signs of economic life and when they find concentrations of it, they will tax it and use the “revenues” to spruce up areas of the city that others don’t want to spend their own money sprucing.
They’d also use the money to provide extra police and sanitation, the former of which if the city cannot provide then it is no longer a city and the latter which any business owner can hire SDT for. Oh and 1/3 of all the loot stolen from those that produce it would be kicked back to that most austere and shrewd of investment companies: The New Orleans City Council. I hate to be a party-at taxpayer expense-pooper but if you really want more tourists here then give them less of what they don’t want: government! In the form of sales taxes, hotel taxes and taxi-cab taxes.
Big government has had its chance to “save” the Crescent City, it should do the honorable thing now, stop compounding the original mistake by admitting there are many things, MOST things government cannot repair or even manage and businesses like tourism are in that number. Of course this requires mayor to begin the process after he or she accepts that the term “honorable” means something.