The new paternalists advocate using excise taxes to discourage “undesirable” behavior and to offset costs imposed on third parties. But using tax policy to socially engineer behavior gives rise to another social pathology: wasteful political entrepreneurship.

Adam J. Hoffer is an assistant professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse specializing in political economy, public choice, and public finance.
William F. Shughart II is a Distinguished Research Advisor at the Independent Institute and the J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
Twitter      Email
Michael D. Thomas is Assistant Professor of Economics at Creighton University.
Economic PolicyEconomyFederal Tax PolicyGovernment and PoliticsLaw and LibertyPolitical TheoryPublic ChoiceRegulationTaxesTaxes and BudgetThe Nanny State
Other Independent Review articles by Adam J. Hoffer
Fall 2021 Taxing Sin
Fall 2015 We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money
Other Independent Review articles by William F. Shughart II
Spring 2023 FDR’s Gambit: The Court Packing Fight and the Rise of Legal Liberalism
Winter 2022/23 The Chevron Doctrine: Its Rise and Fall, and the Future of the Administrative State
Spring 2020 The Naked Emperor: Politics without Romance in The Calculus of Consent
[View All (9)]
Other Independent Review articles by Michael D. Thomas
Winter 2023/24 Living Better Together: Social Relations and Economic Governance in the Work of Ostrom and Zelizer
Fall 2020 Markets against Modernity: Ecological Irrationality, Public, and Private
Spring 2018 The Rise of the Regulatory State: Institutional Entrepreneurship and the Decline of Markets for Blood
[View All (4)]