The taxman cometh

“When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.”
—H.L. Mencken

If you have frequented This Space before, you know your host is about as conservative as they come. As you might expect, all things Democratic vex me. There is something particularly nauseating about a political ideology that says, “Tax the productive; all others get a free ride.” Democrats call this Robin Hood Theory of Economics “fair.” In law school, I learned a term that more accurately describes the concept: larceny.

Of course, it is only with the help of complicit Republicans that we get an income tax, a sales tax, capital-gains tax, Social Security tax, property tax, Medicare tax, Medicaid tax, luxury tax, unemployment-insurance tax, estate tax, gift tax, water tax, electricity tax, sewage tax, telephone tax, cable tax, import tax, export tax, gasoline tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, vehicle-registration tax, hotel-accommodation tax, airplane-ticket tax and a building-permit tax.

So it is with this that I introduce you to Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit. If the venerable mayor is successful, the city of Detroit will become the first government in the nation to levy a special tax on—get this—fast food.

As I understand it, the reason fast food merits the attention of the nanny government is this: Fast foods are generally higher in fat, cholesterol and calories than other types of food and, hence, unhealthful. Therefore, goes the conclusion, it should be taxed to discourage people from eating it.

I note with particular irony that Democrats are usually the first to get their underwear in a bunch over attempts to legislate morality. Apparently, in this case, the definition of “morality” is—like most Democrat principles—a constantly moving target.

So let’s be honest for just one minute. Idiot politicians like Kilpatrick don’t give a rip whether people eat unhealthy foods. He’s looking for more revenue to fund his city’s bloated government. And you just know that when he’s spent this, he’ll come back for more.

If you need anecdotal evidence to support this assertion, consider this: When billions of dollars were successfully extorted from Big Tobacco, the money didn’t all go to smoking cessation campaigns as originally promised. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, only six states—Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Mississippi—funded tobacco-prevention programs at the minimum levels recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The other states, with the help of slobbering legislators, rolled out all manner of pork-barrel projects ranging from bridges and parks to the Millennium Scholarship Program, here in Nevada.

And yet, which is more gluttonous, the fast-food consumers who super-size their meals or the government that constantly seeks new ways to super-size itself?

The reality is that if such activities are really so harmful, government shouldn’t have an economic stake in their continuance. For example, Big Government’s profit margin on cigarettes is five times that of Big Tobacco’s.

Although, since we’re into this game of taxing activities that we wish to discourage, I have a proposal for some conservative taxes of my own. For example, how about the following: an abortion tax, a divorce tax, a sexually transmitted disease tax and a pre-marital-pregnancy tax?