« Still More Koran-Burning Follies | Main | Auntie Zeituni Gripes About the Accommodations on Her Free Ride »

September 22, 2010

The Cowards' Tax

Posted by Dave Blount at September 22, 2010 9:17 AM

Rarely distinguished by their courage, liberal bureauweenies have been steadily jacking up taxes by stealth via sin taxes:

Concerned about the national debt? Alarmed by politicians' inability to balance budgets? Worried that certain programs will be cut? If so, Uncle Sam needs you … to smoke like it's a Mad Men episode, drink booze like a frat boy, gamble like a high-roller and glug soda like a parched child.

The more we indulge in these supposedly sinful activities, the more Big Government profits at our expense. How can we complain when they're only taxing us for our own good? Meanwhile, the definition of "sinful" steadily expands to include all human activity.

In the past fiscal year, 11 states have increased cigarette taxes, while five states upped their gas taxes. (Yes, even driving is seen as a sin in some quarters today.) Earlier this year, Colorado stopped exempting sugary drinks and fatty snacks from a 2.9% sales tax, while Washington state hiked taxes on beer and soda. And the proposals keep coming: Californians will vote in November whether to legalize and tax marijuana, more than 130 Maryland General Assembly candidates have signed a pledge to vote for a 10-cent tax on all alcoholic drinks, and in Oregon, the Public Health Division is pushing for a soda tax.

All of these taxes will hit the poor harder than the rich, even as their liberal elite advocates bleat mendacious class warfare rhetoric. Remember when Comrade Obama was elected on the brazen lie that he would cut taxes for 95% of Americans? One of his first acts on taking office was to sign into law a gargantuan hike in federal tobacco taxes. Most smokers make less than $36,000 a year.

Here's an idea I was surprised to read in USA Today:

If politicians continue to enact sin taxes, voters should recommend a new sin tax, one that taxes lawmakers who use cheap tactics to avoid making the tough budgeting decisions. Because when it comes to vices that impact the long-term welfare of the nation, that's a sin much more destructive than driving a gas-guzzling vehicle or enjoying a Coke.

But if you think sin taxes are devious and pernicious, wait until they club us with an invisible, ubiquitous, and economy-strangling value added tax.

On a tip from Lisbeth.