Terrible policy idea foisted on an unsuspecting electorate? Check. Embarrassing reversal after its unpopularity becomes apparent? Check. Scapegoat identified to deflect blame from the governor’s own idiocy and political tin ear? Checkity check. Behold what we New Yorkers call … Spitzermania:
Yesterday, just hours after The New York Sun reported on the new revenue collection scheme, the Spitzer administration announced that it was burying it for the time being — at least until after the Christmas shopping season. The move saved New York City shoppers from having to pay an additional 8.375% on many Amazon.com goods…
“We [were] going to call it the Grinch tax,” a Republican senator of Long Island, Dean Skelos, said. “It’s outrageous that he’s trying to push this through right before the Christmas and Chanukah season. He’s just doing it on his own like he tried to do with driver’s licenses for illegal aliens — without consulting with the Legislature, without really consulting with the public.”
Told that Mr. Spitzer had changed his mind, a spokesman for Mr. Skelos said: “‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ does have a happy ending.”
[Spitzer’s budget director, Paul] Francis, in an interview, said the governor was unaware of the new tax policy, which the tax department quietly issued with a memorandum on Friday. It was supposed to go into effect next month, in time for the holiday shopping rush.
“The governor really wasn’t aware of this. My focus is to raise revenue, and the governor has a broader perspective,” Mr. Francis said. “It’s a big government, and in hindsight, we probably should have made sure he focused on it. It’s one of those things, so you live and learn.”
He’ll bring it back next year sometime, after the public forgets about his attempt to make New York’s immigration policies more “tolerant” than, ahem, Mexico’s. Exit question: What to do with that extra five bucks I’ll now be saving on Assassin’s Creed? Pocket the money and apply it to the nascent iPhone fund? Or say “damn the Super Saver” and have this puppy delivered via regular shipping, the way the rich people do?