Commentary Magazine


The New York Times Opposes a Tax Increase!

It’s true. An editorial today on the parlous condition of the Broadway theater, one of the city’s chief tourist draws:

Anybody who has paid for theater tickets recently in New York City knows what a big hole they can leave in the family budget. Gov. David Paterson of New York wants to make that hole even deeper with a new theater ticket tax.

The proposal could increase ticket prices by about 8 percent, which could dim Broadway’s lights as tourists start thinking twice about that vacation in Manhattan. If tourism slumps in the city, the state’s budget problems would surely worsen along with it. Rocco Landesman, the president of Jujamcyn Theaters, summarizes his latest pleas to lawmakers this way: “Please, don’t kill your golden goose”….The last thing New York City needs is for ticket prices to go higher and more of the Great White Way to go dark.

So the editorialists at the New York Times are finally acknowledging that if you tax something, you get less of it. This is the basic reason to oppose the levying of higher taxes in every industry, or at every income level, at any time. Amazing, isn’t it, that it should take the closing of “Spamalot” to teach the Times this elementary lesson?