One Step Forward, One Step Back

Two things in the state capital today, one good and one bad.

Good: Law proposed to prevent state tax money spent to pay lobbyists who advocate for state laws:

A bill to ban the use of taxpayer money for lobbying state legislators faced considerable backlash Thursday from the people who would be most affected: lobbyists.

Rep. Shane Schoeller’s bill would prohibit any entity that accepts tax dollars from using that money to influence the passage or defeat of legislation.

It would not outright ban municipalities, state agencies or other recipients of tax dollars from hiring lobbyists to roam the halls of the Capitol. But the lobbyists would be forbidden to advocate to legislators why they should vote a certain way on a bill, Schoeller said.

Well, a half step forward. There are too many ways that our layers of government waste tax money trying to get money and favors out of other layers of government. Given the unnecessary overlap and the huge amount of taxpayer-provided slush funds, they can afford it, unfortunately.

The step back: In a recession, the government moves to limit profitable, taxable business:

The Missouri Senate endorsed strict regulations for sexually oriented businesses Thursday — just days after a federal grand jury convened to look into the demise of a similar bill five years ago.

The legislation would ban strip clubs and adult video stores within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, churches, libraries, parks and day cares. It also would ban nudity, require semi-nude employees to stay 6 feet from customers and force adult businesses to close by midnight.

Senators gave initial approval to the bill by voice vote after a short debate with scant opposition. A final vote, which would send the bill to the House, is expected early next week.

I know, some people think that boobies are bad. Maybe it’s that the boobies shared with people who are not your spouse or infant are bad; I’m not really clear on the ultimate moral justification here. But the boobies of consenting adults are the consenting adults’ concern. To limit business in this fashion goes against my libertarian attitudes.

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