June 24, 2005

Tax Revenues as a Public Good

I share in the general outrage at the Supreme Court's Kelo v New London decision. Let me take the majority line in Kelo seriously for a second.

Increasing tax revenues is a public good according to five justices. What does that make reducing tax revenues? What is the moral position of filing a tax certiori petition to reduce your tax bill? What is the moral position of a politician campaigning to reduce taxes?

The Supreme Court seems to be taking a moral position that it is better to tax than not to tax, inserting itself in the legislative policy debate that has dominated the 20th century and doing it on the losing side to boot. Higher tax revenues, higher government spending shifts more of the economy to spending systems that have been conclusively demonstrated (in the general case) to be less efficient at providing goods and services.

The Supreme Court has no business doing this. Tax revenue is simply not a public good.

Posted by TMLutas at June 24, 2005 04:35 PM