Thursday, May 22, 2003
GTT: Maybe I'll find those missing DPS documents. Back Tuesday.
The byzantine world of taxation: From yesterday's Post:
Chances are this was just an honest mistake, but it helps illustrate the absurd circus that is tax legislation. The tax code is a hugely complicated labyrinth of interrelated provisions that gets "reformed" in a time pressured, high conflict, low information environment. It's the perfect place for mistakes and exploitation.
Monday, May 19, 2003
Predictable tit-for-tat: From "Redistricting: Revenge Next?" in the May 15 Roll Call,
All of this is terrible news for state governance. Redistricting battles are always incredibly difficult, which is why the courts so often get involved. But at least in the past it was a battle that had to be fought just once every ten years (with exceptions that were court driven by 'one person-one vote' and voting rights). Now the decennial norm is collapsing. Where does it stop? Will we now have redistricting battles every time party control changes in a legislature?
From a philosophical perspective I'd like to see gerrymandering -- of all stripes -- cease by changing the electoral system. There's nothing sacred about the way we elect members to the House. However, from a practical perspective reform will be difficult and, depending on what is chosen, will almost certainly have some negative effects (some foreseen, some unforeseen.) For example, shifting to a classic at-large system will end gerrymandering but dramatically and unfairly punish minority groups (be they partisan or racial minorities). Besides an at-large system faces a high legal hurdle (Branch v. Smith).