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The Graveyard of Bad Policy Ideas


Beware the graveyard of bad policy ideas.

Unfortunately, like in so many horror movies, many of these ideas keep rising up from the grave every year. Just when they seem to be defeated once and for all, they come right back.

We affectionately call these policy ideas “zombies.” Here are a few examples that will probably return for this upcoming legislative session.

Internet Sales Tax: It doesn’t matter how many times this bill gets voted down, stopped in committee, or finds a lack of public support—its ability to resurrect itself is spooky. Only definitive action on the federal level will finally allow this issue to be laid to rest.

Medicaid Expansion: After failing several times in the legislature, advocates are now turning to the ballot initiative process in an attempt to give fresh blood to this budget-busting boondoggle. It will be tough to collect the signatures needed and then convince Utahns to raise their own taxes.

Raising Local Sales Taxes: Far too often in a horror film, people continue to trust the villain even as the evidence becomes stacked against them. Federal investigations, misuse of funds, ballooning debt, threats of a state takeover, and falling ridership won’t stop people from tossing around the idea of giving UTA more money through increasing local sales taxes.

Adding More Crimes to the Death Penalty: In the midst of rational efforts to eliminate this failed policy, some elected officials will seek to ratchet up the body count.

Harsher Penalties for Hate Crimes: This policy idea has been around for a few years, but has yet to gain traction. The thought police will certainly run a bill again this next year, but we expect it to be dressed up in a costume calling itself “victim selection.”

So as you enjoy your Halloween night, keep a watchful eye out as you come across any cemeteries. You wouldn’t want one of these zombies to jump up and grab you in the graveyard of bad policy ideas…

  • Thomas Dyches

    Great article. Special interests and private citizens often make a particular issue their own – crusading for years until their bad ideas become law. Or, at the very least, partially implemented law that can be expanded later – which it inevitably will.

    Utahns that want small government have to be equally “vigilant” in pushing back so they can keep all or part of these bad policies from seeing the light of day.

    I think every concerned, liberty-loving Utahn needs to pick a [pet issue] for which they are most passionate and make a commitment to fight for that issue for years – every time it comes up on social media, every month in some capacity like contacting legislators, and every legislative session.

    You are seeing this work for medical cannabis where there are so many Utahns fired up and active (like you guys). But we need that type of energy and the same # of people on every issue – from property to taxes to education.

    That’s when we start to see government truly slow, stop, and reverse.

    Happy Halloween.

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