When I moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1991, the Metro system here gave credits of 10 percent to 20 percent to riders who bought tickets with more value on them. When I purchased $30 worth of Metro fare, I actually earned $36 worth of travel time on the trains.
Those days are long gone. Metro officials started curtailing the bonus fares soon after I moved here and eliminated them as they kept busting their budgets.
I was reminded of the way things used to be today when reading about one California official’s brilliant plan to save her state from its longrunning love affair with spending: Eliminate an array of tax breaks “that individuals can claim for dependent children and seniors, and that companies can claim for research and development as well as for hiring low-income workers.”
You won’t hear any bureaucrat or politician admit it, but getting rid of tax breaks is just another way of raising taxes — and hiding that fact from voters.