Whose money is it?

Supporters of higher taxes have spilled a lot of ink suggesting that Missouri House Bill 253 will decimate the state's budget, the bill's revenue triggers notwithstanding. Taking their figures as gospel only for the sake of argument, I wonder, do tax hike supporters recognize that all that tax money is actually the taxpayers' money first and foremost? By sustaining the governor's veto, tax cut opponents are actually taking every dollar it "costs" the state or a political subdivision from the private economy to grow the size of government. Put another way: Does taking more money out of taxpayers' hands and letting the state spend it — a state that, under the present status quo, ranks 48th in the country in GDP growth since 1997 — sound like a recipe for economic success to you? Sounds like business as usual, and here in Missouri, business has been too bad for too long.

The implication at the core of the veto supporters' argument is that the state knows how to spend that money better than we do. I disagree. If you support smaller government, you support tax cuts. If you support bigger government, you make excuses.
Patrick Ishmael

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.