I am reminded today of why a free-market conservative like myself does not vote for successful businessmen on election day, especially those businessmen like Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan. According to Wednesday’s WSJ, Snyder is in favor of consolidating local units of government. He’s no better than his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm, who wanted to take over township governments.
His budget director is quoted as saying, “”You do have to ask: ‘Boy, do we really need 1,800 units of government?’ Everybody likes their independence, and that’s nice to have. But if you’re not careful, it can cost you a lot more money.”
- No, that’s not a question he needs to ask. That’s a question that citizens of those units of government may need ask, but that’s not a question that has to be asked centrally.
- Anything can cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful. One thing that can cost big time is consolidation of local governments to save money. If you consolidate local taxing authorities into one big tax authority, that just creates a bigger bully to bludgeon money out of unwilling taxpayers. It’s better to have a bunch of smaller bullies who are jealous of their prerogatives, and who therefore serve a watchdog function on each other. Taking all the watchdogs in the neighborhood and having them run together as a pack is not the way to secure our lives, liberty, and property.
No Leviathan Ankle-Biter award for Governor Snyder. Instead he gets the first-ever Leviathan Toolkit award.