Monday, April 30, 2018

Don't Be Fooled by Tax Revenue Increase

I am on the road to learn more about the opportunities for school choice. In the meantime, CREG has published its first-quarter report, according to which state tax revenue is up compared to previous forecasts. Past experience tells us that this will give the big spenders in the legislature new hope, and cause fiscal conservatives with good spirits but weak spines to bend, fold and retreat. 

A reminder: our underlying, structural problems in the state budget have not been solved. They are very much still the same problems as they were before this new revenue report. Just a quick example, courtesy of the 307 Politics blog over at Casper Star Tribune:
The Wyoming Legislature approved more than $40 million for the state Department of Health during this year’s legislative session. A little less than half will go to department requests. The rest — more than $21.3 million — will be used to address a Medicaid-driven shortfall that’s only going to get worse in the coming years.
Again, this is just one example. As for the CREG report, be patient. I will give it the in-depth analysis it needs as soon as there is time. 

Entitlement Dependency

Why School Choice? Part 2

Why School Choice? Part 1

The Coming Fiscal Crisis

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Tax Pledge Is Working

This video is in response to an editorial in the Casper Star Tribune about my Tax Pledge.

Here is the Tax Pledge, which gubernatorial candidate Taylor Haynes has taken:

The 2018 Tax Pledge:

As candidate for Governor of Wyoming in 2018, I hereby pledge to not sign any bill that will raise any tax, or create any new tax, or create any other revenue source with similar effects as higher taxes, for as long as I am Governor of Wyoming. 

Harriet Hageman, who is also running for governor, has worded her own promise not to raise taxes. From a practical viewpoint, her statement is as strong as this pledge.

How to Poke A Hole in ENDOW

Private Jobs in Wyoming

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Punditry Disguised as Journalism

A week ago, Joel Funk of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle interviewed me for a story on the GOP gubernatorial race. He's a decent guy who normally writes well researched stories and sticks to traditional journalism. I have always treated him with respect and courtesy, and generously given him the time he needs for interviews. 

This time, however, he has stepped over a line that I cannot ignore. In his story, he characterizes Wyoming Prosperity as "a far-right economic policy group". 

Two days ago Funk asked me in a text message: 

"What in your mind is the best way to describe Wyoming Prosperity for my article?" 

I replied:

"An economic policy project to inform and educate the general public in Wyoming." 

He expressed appreciation for the definition. Based on his previous journalism I assumed he was going to use that definition, or something similarly neutral. 

Instead, he went ahead and made two big mistakes: 

1. Wyoming Prosperity is not a "group" of any kind. It is precisely what I told Funk, namely a project. It has no formal organization, it is nothing more than my project to educate the people of Wyoming on economic policy issues, and whoever wants to follow, comment on and spread the message. It has no funding other than my volunteer time. 
2. This project is not "far right". All this project is meant to do is explain a) the dangers with higher taxes, and b) the best fiscal policy path to a prosperous Wyoming. 

That more prosperous Wyoming would mean better business for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, but apparently Funk and his employer are not interested in that. I am disappointed in Funk and from hereon I will interact with him accordingly.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Wyoming Tax Pledge

Taylor Haynes has taken the pledge not to raise taxes if he is elected governor. Where are the other candidates on taxes? 

I have received a few comments from supporters of Harriet Hageman suggesting that I was overly critical of her in this video. They point out that she comes out against taxes on her website. I disagree to the extent that I don't think her statements on taxes are strong enough - in fact, they leave a window open that the tax pledge does not - but in fairness to Hageman and her supporters, I will discuss this issue in more detail in tomorrow's video. In the meantime, here is a link to Hageman's website: 

The Economic Development Fallacy

Why tax-funded economic development is a bad idea:

Monday, April 2, 2018