WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Leftists and incentives

I've said often (indeed, it is the cornerstone of my General Theory of Liberalism) that liberals (more recently called "progressives," more accurately "leftists") don't understand the impact of incentives on human behavior.

While it remains true that leftist policies still show an amazing naivete about human behavior, leftists certainly respond to incentives in their private lives. Case in point: poster boy for the ruling class John Kerry.
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?

Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.

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