BOHICA: how changes in demand must never affect government revenues

In the General Assembly, it’s the Spend and Tax phenomenon that Joseph Coletti has catalogued; in the cities, it’s the idea of expending public resources to talk down water consumption during a drought and then raise water rates because water revenues are down. No matter what it is, one would get the impression that the worst thing to happen during an emergency is a decline in government revenues.

And it’s happening again. The N&O reports:

The committee met Thursday to study how to fill a projected $64 billion shortage over the next 22 years. Chairman Brad Wilson said officials must consider all tax increase options, including creating toll roads and charging motorists for how many miles they drive.

Wilson said recent high gas prices have caused motorists to drive fewer miles. That means North Carolina has collected less money from the per-gallon fuel tax that pays for a large part of the state’s road construction costs.

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...