Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hold the celebration...

You might think that those of us who don't imbibe should be relieved that the statewide support for the Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse will come from a doubling of the alcohol tax. Except that once the tax is adopted, its pretty well been decided that taxpayers across the state can be forced to sports complexes in other parts of the state.

If the next legislature decides that the alcohol tax isn't enough, and that an extra state-wide income tax is needed to support another stadium, or field house, or convention center, it won't be that much of a stretch.

That's the problem with giving one group of legislators, or one governor, or one president to much power. The next group of legislators, or the next governor, or the next president gets to use that power also.

There is a bill being considered now at the federal level that will allow the Treasury Secretary to confiscate what he considers to be excessive pay from employees of companies that accepted bailout funds.

Here's a report from the Libertarian Party:

"Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is sponsor of the "Pay for Performance Act," a bill that gives the Treasury Secretary absolute power to confiscate "obscene salaries" from every employee of a private company that accepted bailout funds.

Somewhere Hugo Chavez is kicking himself for not thinking of this.

There are no standards whatsoever for what constitutes an "obscene salary." It is entirely up to a politically-appointed official to determine -- with no guidelines other than his own whims -- whose paychecks are grabbed by the government.

So what gives an unelected federal official who can't even pay his own taxes absolute power to determine what your paycheck should be? In a heated interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, Grayson actually said the Constitution's guarantees of "due process" and "equal protection" gives the Executive Branch the unquestionable, unaccountable power to dictate private sector pay."


There's not much question that this bill is aimed at the executives and the millions of dollars in bonuses that they received. And probably as long as the present administration is in power, that's where the focus will remain.

But if history is any indicator, there's a good possibility that the current administration won't be in power forever, and there's also a good possibility that the current party won't be either.

And the next administration might take a different view on which people in a company are making to much money, or even how much is to much. Or even what qualifies as a bailout.

But that's the chance we take when we give "our guys" to much power.

"Our guys" might not always win.

At least I know mine don't.

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