The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the growing interest in state Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) laws, which require states to cap spending and rebate surplus taxes back to citizens:
- Politicians and their spending beneficiaries in state capitals are about as fond of these Tabor laws as an alley cat is of a bell around its collar. Government employee unions and corporate lobbyists are expected to spend some $10 million to neuter Tabor in Colorado and even more to defeat Governor Schwarzenegger's "Live Within Our Means" budget initiative in California. Their hostility is all the more reason to think these ballot measures have real benefit.
A Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a long overdue addition to the architecture of state constitutions. Proposition 13 halted the aggressive encroachment of state government more than 25 years ago, but only temporarily: Even after adjusting for inflation, most state tax collections are two to three times fatter than they were then. The painful experience since is that only hard and fast constitutional limits can rein in the powerful spending interests that live off the government.
Read the whole thing.