My call was originally to have been to submit ideas for generating new revenue that's progressive, that spares the poor the onus of more taxes and lowers the risk of companies taking their marbles and going home. But I changed my mind when he started in before my call reached the air on high state budgets being evil in themselves. Here's how the conversation went to the best of my recollection:
Bill: Jeff, hello.
Jeff: I just want to take issue with your idea that any budget number is bad. Don't we have a balanced budget law in this state?
Bill: That may be, but $18 BILLION is a lot of money! Don't you think that should be reigned in?
Jeff: The amount of money is not a concern as long as the budget is balanced. This is money going to the young, the sick and the old. If I had my way we'd be taxing the likes of Exxon who pay NO tax at all and we'd make them pay for gouging us like they have for the past two years.
Bill: But they'd just leave wouldn't they? We'd be taxing them out of here to another state.
Jeff: Is there another Mississippi River I don't know about? Have you found out about another Mississippi they could build by?
Bill: There are bodies of water all over this country. They could move there and we'd lose thousands of jobs!
Jeff: It would take hundreds of billions to rebuild refineries and to shut these down. The problem is that the governor and the legislature are bought by these oil companies.
Bill: Now now now that's just ridiculous . . .
Jeff: And probably you are too.