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Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Tax Hike" Mike Unhatches Another Shakedown

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch, the front-runner for the DFL gubernatorial nomination, announced on Friday that he is putting together a lawsuit against major manufacturers of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. The goal of the action ostensibly is to recover the state's costs related to enforcing laws against crystal meth usage and shutting down meth labs that use the legal pharmaceutical products as one of the raw materials in the production of the illegal street drug.

This blatant grandstanding by Hatch illustrates how intellectually flawed his liberal approach to problem solving is and serves as a warning of what a disaster it will be if he is elected Governor. The practice of using a lawsuit as effectively a very narrowly targeted tax has become a common technique used by liberals to fund their political grandstanding and social engineering projects that cannot get conventional funding. The shakedown of the tobacco companies by Mr. Hatch's predecessor a few years ago and the federal government's harassment of Microsoft are recent examples of this abuse of the judicial system for political gain.

How can the Attorney General intellectually, let alone morally, justify punishing the producer of a legal product that has a legitimate medical use for the actions of others beyond its control? What crime has been committed by the targeted companies to warrant a lawsuit? Apparently Hatch's flawed liberal logic concludes that the manufacturer of a product is legally and morally responsible when people illegally use it in a manner contrary to usage instructions and warnings as well as against federal and state laws. Maybe he will next propose suing matchbook and cigarette lighter manufacturers to recoup the costs related to arson.

Where does Mr. Hatch think the targeted companies are going to come up with the money to defend themselves and, if the legal action is successful, pay the judgment? If he understood anything about business or basic economics he would correctly conclude that the costs would be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. Based on his past rhetoric and propensity to grandstand, the Attorney General would more than likely be among the first to publicly vilify the pharmaceutical industry for their "greed" and "unconscionable" action of raising prices in light of the current "health care crisis".

It appears that Attorney General Hatch is taking the advice attributed to the bank robber Willie Sutton who, when asked why he robbed banks, answered "because that's where the money is". Since the pharmaceutical companies obviously have much more financial resources than the meth lab operators and meth users they have been selected as the target of this abuse of power by the AG. Apparently Mr. Hatch has decided that this approach is more politically palatable than proposing raising taxes or cutting spending elsewhere to get the needed funding for the enforcement of meth laws.

"Tax Hike" Mike wants to be our next governor. His track record of unapologetic liberalism should already be enough to mobilize Republicans and conservatives against his candidacy. Honest liberals really need to do some soul-searching and decide whether they want to support such a shallow, grandstanding politician who views the assets of businesses as a revenue source at the government's disposal and has little to offer in substantive policy.


Blogger G-man said...

Is it not the liberal way to blame and punish the successful for the actions of the criminal?

Who was it who first suggested that America was responsible for provoking Al Qeada into attacking us?

2/19/2006 7:46 PM  

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