What’s Rhode Island’s Corruption Tax
Unfortunately, the “corruption tax,” as described here, is not a tax on corruption, but a tax to support corruption:
As taxpayers look down the barrel of a major income tax increase, another tax already is draining their wallets. But this one isn’t found anywhere in the tax code.
It’s the “corruption tax” — the extra money Illinois residents pay because of dishonest public officials.
People pay the tax when politicians give government jobs to unqualified cronies and contracts to expense-padding donors. They pay when public employees take bribes to overlook violations, when law enforcement spends millions prosecuting crooked politicians and when people are injured because of government misconduct.
“It means hundreds of millions of dollars lost in waste,” said Dick Simpson, a former Chicago alderman and head of political science at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
I suppose the question is where one draws the line. The ratcheting up of public-sector pensions (and the failure every year to address the problem that they present) and benefits for union organizers are among the costs that I would include. Without having conducted any sort of study, I’d suggest that eliminating Rhode Island’s corruption tax would close its annual deficit and then some.
via David Freddoso)