Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You Can't Spell "Cypriot" Without "Riot"

It's been a few days since the news broke, and the angry aftermath has set in.  Protests in Nicosia, the revolt of the Cypriot lawmakers against the bailout proposal, and the prospect of no end to the debt crisis.

I am bemused by how some people/analysts/bureaucrats are calling the proposed "let's grab a chunk of depositors' money" ploy the Orwellian term of "deposit levy" or even "tax."  I'll just quote a piquantly relevant response:
This is not really about Cyprus, of course, but about the precedent that is being set there. In exchange for an infusion of capital into the nation's banks, Cyprus is being asked to impose a "special bank levy" ... This is described as a "wealth tax," except that it's not a tax. A tax is a regular rule that operates uniformly according to a pre-determined formula. A one-time, ad hoc seizure of money isn't a tax. It is confiscation. Or we can use a plainer word for it: theft.
If you want a Puckish application of this whole mess, I give you the incomparable Instapundit, who recently suggested:
... an enterprising GOP member of the House or Senate would introduce a bill immediately to make such shenanigans illegal — and dare the Dems to oppose it.
Put those Dems on the defense.  It's a brilliant idea ... which means establishment GOP leaders and pseudo-cons will be too stupid to adopt it.  Hey, Rand Paul, are you listening?

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