Friday, August 7, 2009

Time to Tax the 'tox

Give the People What They Want . . .
And they’ll probably run the state into the ground.

As everyone knows, the State of California is broke. Everybody wants public services. Nobody wants to pay for them. The state's initiative process insures that plenty of numbskull ideas get on the ballot because people will sign any piece of paper handed to them in a supermarket parking lot.

“Care to help crime victims” they’ll ask. Sure. Who could say no to that? Except that come-on could be anything, from support of a special fund for long-term medical care for crime victims to a reinterpretation of the 4th amendment rights of the accused to gun control legislation (both pro and anti).

At this time last year, I was approached twice with a petition to impeach Dick Cheney. During those horrible eight years, there was no one, absolutely no one that would have loved more than I to have seen that man routed back to the brackish hole from whence he came. But three months before the election? That’s how we want Congress to spend its time? Nah.

When I refused to sign, the petitioners looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.

Back to the State of California. We have no money because you can’t raise a penny without a 2/3 vote and there are too many people who refuse to support any new taxes based on pure principle. They would rather limit services, such as education and fire protection. We’ll be lucky to get through the next fire season without the whole state burning down.

I understand that no one wants their property taxes to rise. In the past, homeowners were asked to bear too much. People can’t come up with more and more money to pay their taxes just because the value of their property increases. Maybe we should do away with property taxes entirely. Maybe we should just have a chunkier capital gains tax on the sale of a home. That sounds fair to me. It’s fair and it makes more sense than having my neighbor pay 3 times the tax I pay just because he bought his home two years later. People like my parents, who sell their homes after the age of 70 and after living in their homes for over ten years, could be exempted from the capital gains tax on the sale of a home. We don’t want to fund state services on the backs of retirees.

There’s also a proposal floating around to tax Botox injections to fund the new health care plan. Sounds good to me.

The state can add its own tax to Botox and fund a thing or two around here. Keep a few libraries open or the state parks.

Those who object say it would hurt those who use Botox to ameliorate the results of disfiguring surgeries. Easy enough. People with those conditions can be exempted.

Others say that taxing Botox would disproportionately affect women. That’s lame. It would also disproportionately affect the wrinkled and the vain. That’s just how it is. Women assume a lot of burdens disproportionately. Where’s the outrage when it comes to the price of hair cuts? Why aren’t my “foundation garments” subsidized? Why must I endure 15 minutes of sports with every news broadcast? Not that I’m in love with Venus and Serena, but at least 98% of sports news is about people with names like Manny and Kobe and very rarely about people with names like Venus or Serena, so why should I care enough to give up 50% of a news broadcast to them?

But back to the Botox - I say tax it if you can’t afford the tax, you can’t afford the ‘tox.

There are also plans for a tax on sodas. Sure. I love a nice, icy Dr. Pepper from a drive-thru. But if paying a surcharge on that refreshment is such a big deal, it’s a luxury I can live without.

Heck, I’d even be willing to tax cocktails. That’s how unselfish I am. The liquor lobby will hate that but what if it were a floating tax? Vodka drinks get taxed on Monday, Gin drinks on Tuesday, etc. Wine and beer would be exempt.

These are all taxes that anybody can get around if they feel that strongly about them, and yet, none are likely to really hurt businesses. Collected cumulatively, they could make a difference.

While we’re at it, let’s tax ringtones. You don’t need them.

Tax tattoos. You don’t need them. Tax piercings. You don’t need them. Tax hair extensions, French Manicures and acrylic nails. You don’t need them.

Super tax cigars. Super tax anything that comes with two patties. Super tax spinning rims.

Offer tax rebates for the purchase of previously owned furniture.

Super tax fried food.

Tax services from tanning salons.

Tax extra cars. No household needs more than 2 cars per adult.

Super tax jet skis. Super tax ATVs. Super, super, super tax bullets.

But first, we tax the ‘tox.


I’m sure that, like me, you too are hooked on new taxes. To find out what others are hooked on, check out the Hooked on Fridays blog party at .

1 comment:

modernemama said...

If only we could tax people for telling lies... and scaring folks... it would be a win-win