Missing the point, DC Edition: The attor…

Missing the point, DC Edition:

The attorney general for Washington D.C. has filed a lawsuit against an AT&T Inc unit, seeking to recover consumers’ unused balances on prepaid calling cards. The suit claims that AT&T should turn over unused balances on the calling cards of consumers whose last known address was in Washington, D.C. and have not used the calling card for three years.

“AT&T’s prepaid calling cards must be treated as unclaimed property under district law,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. According to the attorney general’s office, that sum, known in the industry as “breakage,” represents some 5 to 20 percent of the total balances purchased by consumers who use the calling cards.

It takes a politician of extreme greed to see this as an untapped well of money. Anyone who accidentally sat in on a business course in college could tell you that without that money, the phone cards would be too expensive to operate. By declaring a 100% tax rate on this, they’re going to shoot straight to the right end of the Laffer Curve:

A short infusion of cash, followed by all the calling card companies stopping sales in DC, and the trickle of cash falling to zero. Either the government of DC is very stupid or very desperate for cash and doesn’t mind burning a bridge with The Evil Corporations.

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