Facing reality, a little bit late

The Republican Governor of Minnesota is reconsidering his opposition to tax increases after the bridge collapse. Too bad he didn’t do so before the collapse. Since he’s not running for President, he can’t just pretend that the money will magically appear. Has someone told Rudy Giuliani?

After sacrificing five victims on the altar of Grover Norquist’s no-tax-increase pledge, the Republican Governor of Minnesota &#8212 who twice vetoed gasoline tax increases &#8212 is having second thoughts.

Pawlenty, unlike Rudy Giuliani, isn’t running for the Republican nomination for President but has to actually run the state. So, unlike Giuliani, Pawlenty can’t just pretend that cutting taxes magically increases revenues. He needs to actually raise the money, and of course in the real world that means raising taxes.

It’s too bad Pawlenty &#8212 not to mention the innocent drivers and their families &#8212 had to learn from his mistakes, instead of from reason.

Poor Richard Says:

Experience keeps a hard school.

But some fools will learn at no other.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com