Hidden Taxes, Convention Centers, and Paul Ryan
In the 2011 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments (released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute last week), CEI Vice President Wayne Crews explains how the compliance costs of federal regulation are being passed down to consumers as hidden taxes.
"The total cost of federal regulation is $1.75 trillion. That's true in terms of money. But money isn't everything. Regulation also has opportunity costs. Workers spend millions of man-hours every year filling out forms and following procedures. That time could be spent on other things instead, such as finding ways to lower costs, improve quality and increase worker productivity. When there's too much regulation, progress and innovation slow down."
Policy Analyst Marc Scribner is quoted in Casey Ross' Boston Globe article about the proposed expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
"Ross mentions [D.C.'s] new Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which has been underperforming for years.[...] So, since the Walter E. Washington Convention Center opened eight years ago, convention center space increased by nearly 90 percent yet hotel room nights used by attendees is only about 82 percent of the 1990-97 annual use averaged by the old Washington Convention Center. There is little doubt that the $834 million could have been far better spent. But this is hardly an exception to the rule; this is essentially the rule! The downtown convention business, thanks to more competition from airport convention facilities and innovation in telecommunications services, is hardly the business it once was. The problem is overbuilt existing facilities and ever-declining demand, not too-small convention centers in urban cores in need of more publicly financed expansion."
Left-wing media recently slammed Paul Ryan for receiving survivor benefits after his father died.
"Liberal bloggers frequently smear conservatives and libertarians as hypocrites for seeking to collect social security and other benefits. For example, Ayn Rand was attacked by the liberal blog Balloon Juice as being a “welfare queen” for receiving Medicare benefits even though she had contributed lots of tax money in her lifetime through income and self-employment taxes she paid based on her best-selling books. But there’s nothing hypocritical about criticizing a government program as being a bad deal for the public, and yet wanting to recover some of the tax money you were forced to pay into that program in benefits. Refusing to accept such benefits is as stupid as refusing to accept the return of stolen money. "