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Get Your Law On

Posted by on December 4, 2008

[This post was originally written for my employer’s blog, Show-Me Daily.]

According to an article from the Post-Dispatch, it’s bill-writin’ season! And you know what that means: Missouri legislators are proposing legislation based on every constituent’s letter that begins, “There oughta be a law …”

Here are the highlights:

  1. A ban of beer bongs, Jell-O shots and Mardi Gras beads on Missouri rivers.
  2. A ban of cell phone use while driving, with certain exceptions.
  3. A ban on those political robo-calls that some of the folks who just got elected used to try to sway voters.
  4. A bill that would allow veterans in Missouri to deduct their military retirement income from state income taxes.

The free-market knee-jerk to the first bill is that it’s likely unhelpful. In fairness, these are public areas, so perhaps the government should have purview. It smells a bit like prohibition to me, but that’s certainly overreaction.

What could I say about the second proposal that hasn’t already been said here?

The third proposal has little to do with the market, again. It is, however, an interesting application of public choice theory, I think.

The fourth proposal is one that I can really get behind. I don’t wish to favor former military personnel as such, and am aware that this will create a distortion in the market (incentivizing military service slightly), but I am in favor of reducing taxes in essentially all cases.

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