Thursday, May 12, 2005

Regressive Taxation ? Have I become liberal (gasp)

There was an interesrting discusion on the angry man of the lefts blog. The Disgruntled Chemist runs an excellent blog when he is not in tempertantrum mode. He is passionate about his views and is a patriot in his own way. This is opposed to the folktale ,facts free ,fictional blog written by the pathological Antisemite from the UK who claims to have an IQ of 167.

The discussion over lifestyle taxes has led to a funny exchange. The left champions sin taxes cigarettes ,beer and now in some locales they are targeting Junk Food. This is in addition to their other favorite tax gas taxes. These taxes adversely impact the same working people the left claims to champion. There are behaviors that
are apparently politically incorrect smoking eating Junk food and driving. The left likes to legislate morality via the tax code.

Apparently, I have been infected with Libertarianism. I am not a libertarian but they often make sense. There is too much regulation in our lives and I do not want a nanny government. This is opposed to the illucid Anarcholibertarians who are almost
as loopy and bigoted as the man with the 167 IQ. Warren is a libertarian and he clearly understands the need for national defense. I differ with the role of regulatory agencies. I want the rules streamlined but enforced. There are corporations knowingly flouting our labor laws I want to put real teeth into OSHA and the INS.

People complain about OSHA but it saves lives . The complaint that the rules are overly complicated and at times arbitrary are valid. I worked in a place that was almost shut down by OSHA. We had men climbing on 2 inch thick pipe 25 feet in the air with no safety harnesses. It was amazing that nobody got seriously hurt. OSHA made the company I worked for buy safety harnesses and they were expensive. The outlay was well over 10,000 but what money do we put on life. Businesses will often do as little as possible to in the area of safety.

Liberals who favor sin taxes are hypocrites. The primary argument is do not tell me what to do with my body. This apparently does not include drink alcohol, smoke or now eat Junkfood. Moderate consumption of alcohol has positive health benefits.

The liberals like a nanny state that I despise. I do not want some beatnick telling me that I should step away from that Chalupa. The government should stay out of my pantry , intestines and Kidneys. Yet the same people who are so worried about theocracy and government out of my bedroom want to tax my ring dings. They are imposing their values on me . Well if you liberals want to eat beancurd and produce horid ozone depleting gasses go ahead but keep your distance.

The liberals like to talk about urges and natural behavior when it comes to sex. Johny and Judy are too wound by their hormones so lets just give them condoms. The fact that they are both twelve is lost on the left. Well people can live without sex
but they can not live without eating.Therefore if the sexual drive is powerful thus the drive to eat is at least its equal.Yet liberals who lecture us about sex drives
being inevitable now do a 180 on food.

I despise regressive taxation aimed at working people. A lower income household spends more on gasoline proportional to its income. Thus even though upper income houses may drive gas guzzlers they spend more on gas as a proportion of the income.
Yet liberals feel the need to tax their way to this Green Paradise. Yet a more sensible approach would be to offer tax benefits to encourage people to use public transpotrtation. Maybe allowing monthly fare tickts to be subtracted from income taxes. This is a positive inducement as opposed to regressive taxation.



Warren said...

From my viewpoint, both regressive and progressive taxes are instruments used by both major political parties to reward or punish their voting base.

I do not even like the words regressive or progressive used in this manor because the semantical meaning of the words has a different connotation than the actual meaning. Or at least it does to many people.

Progressive taxes, progressively increase in percentage as the amount of money increases. Usually until the rates become confiscatory. Regressive taxes are only called regressive because they affect the less affluent to a greater degree. Lets face it, you can only smoke so many cigarettes and drink so much booze. At least, I managed to find that out years ago, (the hard way).

Liberals are eternally looking for new ways to raise money to increase the size of government and appease their base at the same time. The Republican Party hasn't did much better in the last several years, (in increasing the size of government).

Sin taxes are easier to pass and raise less protest than other forms of taxation, so they go for the easy target. Fewer people smoke and the powers that be successfully demonized "Big Tobacco". I always find it to be too much of a coincidence to believe the number of smokers started falling just when the government started going after "Big Tobacco". Liquor taxes were first imposed by the Federal Government by the administration of George Washington, (almost cause a second revolution).

It isn't the taxation itself that urkes me, its the waste and featherbedding that really get my goat!

Sin taxes are a time honored method of filling government coffers, and smuggling is a time honored way of getting around it. Lord knows that my family didn't perceive a moral or ethical dilemma in skirting liquor taxes! They just saw it as a logistical problem.

That's the problem with sin taxes. Human nature being what it is, if taxes on these products are increased beyond a certain point, other people will smuggle it in for profit. Its nothing new, Governments have always fought smugglers and if the technology provides new ways to stop them, new ways are found to avoid them.

We fight them so hard, that hard men take over and governments that make laws that can't be enforced, increase the scufflaw attitudes of people in general. You can see this in action in NYC. When the smaller offenses are ignored, greater offenses are more common. One of Rudy's main tools for returning a semblance of law to the streets was to make the police enforce the laws against minor infractions. I believe he calls it, "The broken window effect", meaning if a building sets empty the windows remain intact for a time, but as soon as a window is broken, (and if it isn't immediately replaced), the rest of the windows will be shattered in short order.

If sin taxes are increased, trouble will follow!

beakerkin said...


I see the sin Taxes as an assault by the left on working class people. Let them get their hands out of my pantry. I do not need or want a nanny state.

Cigarettes , beer and gasoline taxes are aimed at working people.
Now they are adding fast food taxes
and it is clear the left is sticking the collective finger at the working class. What is next taxes on Nascar tickets and Country Western CDs.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

In a sense, punk rocker Jello Biafra has become a prophet...

I am Governor Jerry Brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns
Soon I will be president

Carter power will soon go away
I will be Fuhrer one day
I will command all of you
Your kids will meditate in school

California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California

Zen fascists will control you
100% natural
You will jog for the master race
And always wear the happy face

Close your eyes, can't happen here
Big Bro' on white horse is near
The hippies won't come back you say
Mellow out or you will pay

California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California

Now it is 1984
Knock knock at your front door
It's the suede/denim secret police
They have come for your uncool neice

Come quitely to the camp
You'd look nice as a drawstring lamp
Don't you worry, it's only a shower
For your clothes here's a pretty flower

Die on organic poison gas
Serpent's egg's already hatched
You will crack, you little clown
When you mess with President Brown

California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California

Well, we didn't get Jerry Brown as president. We got something far more sinister - queer eyes doing ambush makeovers on "reality telivision."

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Sin taxes have made working in a convenience store the most dangerous job in Canada. Why pay $8 for a pack of smokes if you can just shoot the store clerk and take a carton?

Warren said...

Great posts, Mr Beamish!

Beak, around here we already have restaurant taxes and entertainment taxes, so far they only represent 1 to 2% on top of the State sales tax.

Next is property tax on the cemetery plot you are burred in. If you don't pay, the State condems your grave, has you evicted and resells the plot at a tax sale.

(I had a Liberal get mad at me for saying that) LOL

beakerkin said...

What will these liberals tax next
sleeping ? This is getting ridiculous there are taxes on every function. Get those liberals
out of my panrty and my wallet.

Russet Shadows said...

Funny, how the liberals' favorite mantra is "you can't legislate morality" and yet, they are doing so via the tax code. Really this micromanagement is about control. Liberals have tried to persuade large swaths of the population to join their victimology plantation, but with these taxes, they are steering the poor right into the pens. And this is done for the "benefit" of the poor (who are apparently too stupid to make up their own minds, right?) and aims at keeping them poor. Why? So that their votes can be harvested, come election time. The transparancy of these racists and class warfare warriors is amazing.

beakerkin said...

I have had this argument with liberals about lifestyle taxes.
The left is fixated on gasoline taxes as amlost sacrosanct. The fact that these taxes directly impact poor and working people more then rich ones is just lost.

Elijah said...

Taxes, taxes,are you talking about canada?...

beakerkin said...

I hate this concept of lifestyle taxation . Regressive taxation like gasoline , alcohol and now Junk Food.

I forgot Canada has it worse then the USA in this respect.

I am imagining civil disobedience
sponsored by Taco bell. 50,000 people outside the US Capitol with Chalupas or Whoppers. Hey you libs get out of my intestines. It will never happen.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Great idea for a protest, Beakerkin! I want to protest the fact that our wasted tax dollars pay for secret death camps as proven by the fact that there are too many leftists talking about them. Maybe we can form a coalition / umbrella organization.

beakerkin said...

Mr Beamish

I can tell you from personal experience never mess with a mans food. Even the nicest sweetest person will get grouchy.

A march sponsored by the food industry would be a blast . We could outdraw the million man march. I wonder what celebrities we could draw.

There is a point I am avoiding Beamish. Take the dollar per patient spent on stroke, alzhiemers and heart disease and compare it to Aids. I think we forget that there are other health issues.