In my previous post, I wrote about the series of Covid-triggered political windfalls enjoyed by Gov. Phil Scott. There’s one point I made in passing that deserves a bit more consideration.
The governor is dead set against raising revenue or increasing the size of state government, but he’s perfectly happy to take whatever the feds will give him.
Yeah, the governor is a fiscal hypocrite. He hasn’t raised an eyebrow over the federal government’s rampant deficit spending. And he is benefiting mightily from the ongoing tsunami of Biden Bucks.
And yet he wouldn’t be caught dead raising taxes in Vermont or spending outside his comfort level. He refuses to countenance any increase in the size of state government.
Now, there’s one big structural difference. States can’t deficit spend, and the feds can. But, if only as a fig leaf to cover his tacit opportunism, he might want to express the merest hint of concern over the fact that Covid relief and Biden’s infrastructure plan are classic examples of Keynesian economics — spending our way out of trouble with no concern for long-term fiscal ramifications.Continue reading