A good conservative or a libertarian will have developed resistance to these special pleadings. He will recall the admonitions of Frédéric Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt, that for every visible benefit of government intervention there is a hidden cost. With that knowledge, his immediate reaction to special pleading will be skepticism, if not dismissal. What’s needed is not ideology so much as good habit.
Instead, Walker swallows the superficial economic arguments of the special interests. His calculus assumes that the Bucks wouldn’t stay in town without a state subsidy–which is not a given. It also assumes that whatever would replace the Bucks, and whatever else could be done with that tax dollars, would have zero economic value–which is clearly false.
Few opinions in domestic economic policy have as wide consensus as the conclusion that sports subsidies do not provide economic benefits. If Walker will swallow the NBA’s arguments, which special interests won’t pull the wool over his eyes?