Why Democrats have lost and will continue to lose state races

| March 1, 2011

Governor Dannel P. Malloy (D-CT) has a brilliant idea to help fix his state’s budget shortfall:

Got a coupon for 30% a Blu-Ray player? If the Connecticut governor gets his way, you’d still be paying sales tax on that player’s full price.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy isn’t earning many fans with his proposal, one of many measures his government is considering in the face of a huge budget shortfall.

“It’s true, it’s a new tax. It sucks,” the governor’s budget chief said. “Every single one of those, however many, 20-odd taxes is a new tax and it sucks. I don’t know how to hide it. These are new taxes.”

And as Dan Haar, a business columnist for the Hartford Courier, points out:

Rule No. 1 of business, taught to every 10-year-old at the knee of his parents, older siblings, aunts and uncles: The real price of the item you’re buying is the price you pay. There is no other price. There’s no such thing as a special deal.

And there’s no way to levy a tax on a price the buyer never would have paid. The problem is not that it’s unfair — it’s downright impossible. There are too many offers out there in too many forms, too many twists and turns.

The Jos. A. Bank website listed suits Monday for $169, regularly $550 – “3 Days Only.” Is that a coupon? Should the buyer pay a $24 sales tax on the difference? No, said Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget chief, because it’s offered to everyone who goes into the store.

But lots of stores offer their cut-out coupon discounts to everyone. And the ad does use dotted lines. In reality, it’s not a $550 suit — never was, never will be. If the store ever charges it, it’ll throw in a suit or two extra, no charge.

What about employee discounts? What about cut rates for loyal customers? Or online discounts? Or matching competitors’ discounts? Or mail-in rebates, or automatic rebates like the ones we see for cameras, where no one pays full price?

I don’t know, and neither does Malloy.

Connecticut elected a Democratic governor (Malloy) for the first time since 1986. They’re stuck with Malloy until 2014. Good luck!  ..bruce w..

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Category: 2010 Election, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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