What is it with politicians and taxes? You can hardly go a day without reading about some hare-brained scheme to spend money to “provide services” that are either already being taken care of by the private sector or not needed. Everyone says that monopolies are bad, yet this is exactly what ends up happening. One player (the government) already has a guaranteed income – you’ve already payed for the service from them whether or not you use it – which makes it that much less likely you’ll go to a private provider. Then couple that with the ability to make the rules up and you get prohibitively high entry costs for competitors. What you end up with is lack of competition except in the most lucrative markets – the exact opposite of what we want to encourage. And its not like the government is a great provider of services at the best of times. As an example, the Arizona Department of Transportation used to be a state-run organization. When this was the case it was a paragon of time-wasting and inefficiency. All the clichés of the DMV were there. Now most of its services (mainly the ones that involve direct contact with its customers) are outsourced. People up here in CT can’t believe how easy I can get things done with the AZ DMV – I live on the other side of the country from my state and I have spend less time dealing with them that the guys dealing with the local (state-run) CT DMV. My point here is that states should only run those services which absolutely can’t be provided by the private sector and that competition should be allowed free-reign.