“Stimulus” suggests we should constantly change the rules.

From a Forbes article on the porktastic spending bill’s impact on business:

Currently firms are allowed to record their losses during the previous two tax years. The compromise bill permits only companies with $15 million in gross revenues to account for the losses five years back. That’s particularly bad news for big manufacturers and homebuilders who have been hammered by the downturn.

Many firms had already planned on taking the tax break. “We had a large number of clients who were very far down the road of having their taxes prepared,” says Clint Stretch, a tax expert at Deloitte Tax.

If I’m to believe the porktastic spending bill will stimulate the economy, isn’t this the type of wasteful productivity we want to root out? They’ve produced their tax returns already. Bah. If we change the rules, they’ll have to do them again. Think of how many people tax firms will have to hire. It’s brilliant.

While we’re at it, change the 2008 individual tax filing rules. I’ve already filed mine, so changing the rules would make me do work. And maybe pass a law that only TaxCut can get the new rules, since I used TurboTax. I’ll have to buy a new copy of software. Sure I can deduct that from my taxes, but it would stimulate the economy.


No matter how many times it’s identified, the Broken Window fallacy will never go away. Why should it, of course? Advocating for inefficiency has its privileges, like a plush gig at the New York Times.