Truly, He Has A Duplicitous Intellect

Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri lawmakers try to take over St. Louis police … and defund them, too.

Now, gentle reader, the state of Missouri did resume its control of the city of St. Louis’s police department–St. Louis politicos only got control of the police department in 2013 after state control for a long time, and let’s be honest, it’s not gotten better in St. Louis in that time.

But Messenger’s column is really about the state legislature taking a different action vis-à-vis the city of St. Louis. Apparently, the city of St. Louis stopped refunding income tax money that it should have:

So how is the Legislature trying to save me money? During the pandemic, St. Louis’ collector of revenue, Gregory F.X. Daly, stopped issuing refunds, figuring the world had changed. With most companies forced by the government into remote work, it didn’t seem reasonable to flush away the city’s revenue from refunds.

Legally, it was probably a specious argument. Six plaintiffs filed a lawsuit seeking refunds. A judge ruled in their favor. One of their attorneys was Bevis Schock, a libertarian who is pretty smart about constitutional issues. He’s the reason the city doesn’t have red-light cameras anymore. I wouldn’t bet against him. The city has appealed the lawsuit, but while that appeal is pending, the Republicans who run the Legislature figured why not pass a law making refunds for remote work more explicit in the law?

So, again, we have a city official unilaterally deciding to steal money from people who are not residents of St. Louis and losing in court, and we have the elected legislature passing a law to make this clearer in the future, and we have Tony Messenger working hard to rationalize theft (well, it’s Democrats doing the thieving, so of course it’s okay) and working very, very hard to somehow make this into a Republicans defunding the police story.

And we have a “journalist” conflating two stories to try to attack Republicans. Because that’s what his analysis is: How can I attack Republicans with this?

I suppose the dwindling readership of the Post-Dispatch nod their heads along anyway.

Full disclosure: When I was a shipping/receiving clerk at the art supply store in 1995, they withheld the city income tax even though the store was not in the city and I did not live in the city, and I never got that refunded to me. So maybe I’m just bitter.

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