NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 14, 2004

Democratic political consultant Harold Hubschman says the Democratic Party made a mistake asking taxis to subsidize cab rides for delegates at their Boston convention.

The vouchers are worth $12 per passenger and would be given in lieu of payment. Metered fare, however, from Logan Airport to the city, including tolls and airport surcharge, typically costs over $40. Another sore spot is that cabbies would have to apply to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in order to redeem the vouchers.

Hubschman suggests that the delegates do not even need the subsidy, with the average convention attendee spending more than $3,500 per person. Instead, the DNC should have pursued a market-driven solution:

  • Delegates should be left to pay for their own transportation, whether it be taxi, shuttle bus, limo or the subway.
  • Delegates should submit their vouchers directly to the DNC for redemption, at whatever rate the DNC wants to pay.

Such a voluntary voucher system would generate competition that would improve the quality of service for delegates and potentially increase profits for cabbies, with no added cost to the DNC.

Ironically, says Hubschman, the DNC is proposing the identical plan for taxi vouchers that the Democratic Party opposes for school vouchers.

Source: Harold Hubschman, "Democrats Back Vouchers!" Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2004.

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