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Incrementalism 101, Part 1

Public policy issues are solved or worsened incrementally. Very few serious issues are quickly solved by silver bullets, and very few disasters occur overnight. It's all about incrementalism.

We recently received a mailer from a legislative candidate that demonstrates this point. In this mailer, the candidate dismissed the recent income tax cut as "enough to buy a tank of gas, go out to dinner, or get your hair done". This is a time-honored tactic of the spending lobby: scream loudly if the tax cut is big and dismiss the tax cut as inconsequential if it is small.

This same argument is used to raise taxes during bad times: this tax increase will only cost you a tank of gas per year so don't worry about it. In fact, we've noticed over the years that the politicians who use the tank-of-gas argument to justify opposition to tax cuts during good times are the first ones to argue for tax increases during bad times using the same tank-of-gas argument.

So here's the question: what happens when tax cuts are rejected during good economic times because "it's only enough to buy a tank of gas" and when tax hikes are passed during tough economic times because "it's not worth worrying about because it is only a tank of gas"? Click [here] to find out.

More on this later.

wow! Thanks for describing how the water heats to a boil without us realizing it!

Textbooks or tax cuts? Why not both?

With the kind of growth rates we've been having, we really can have a lot of both. But it won't last forever. Thankfully, the state has put away a ton of dough in the rainy day fund and the working rainy day fund.

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