A recall vote is underway today against Mayor Carlos Alvarez of Miami-Dade County in Florida, who has proposed raising property taxes while using his "government car allowance to help pay for a BMW," the New York Times reports.
This is a pretty good encapsulation of the frustration that a lot of Americans feel about their government — in one way or another, the politicians want to raise taxes on the private sector so the government employees can keep driving their BMWs at taxpayer expense.
I know, the commenters will say that by far the bulk of government spending goes to things like police and fire and health care and education, not BMWs for mayors. But on a symbolic level, the BMW resonates, because it gets to the deeper issue, which is the sense of entitlement on display by some of these politicians and government officials. They are supposed to be public servants but somehow matters have gotten turned around so that the public is serving them.
National Public Radio reports further that in addition to the BMW and the property tax issue, the mayor's opponents, led by car dealer Norman Braman, are upset about a government subsidy to the Florida Marlins baseball team's stadium that is linked to an increase in the hotel tax.
Mr. Alvarez is a Republican, but neither the Times article or the NPR article mention that. One of the themes around here is that members of both major political parties abandon free-market principles. It's not just the Democrats.