When times get tough, the government needs more money, what gets raised? You got it, taxes.  And if taxes are already raised, what happens?  You got it, higher taxes.  And what gets taxed? Often the sin items, those items which we can do without (supposedly) and if we are so willing to smoke/imbibe/swallow/use/abuse – so called sin items –  then we must be able to throw in a little for the government, right?  Well…not so fast.

The Rights as I See It

Notice the careful wording of that subheading?  It’s my “caveat in disguise”. Any time I have no reason to believe I know what I’m talking about, which includes politics, I listen as well as I speak.  I listen even better than I speak.  The rights as I see it are that:

  • The money has got to come from some place, right?  And leaving aside whether taxes are the way to raise any money, it is not going to fall out of the sky.  So applying taxes anywhere is better than nowhere.
  • If most, as in the majority, of the population would rather be taxed on stuff they don’t need rather than stuff they do need, then we should first tax the stuff they don’t need.  And if that stuff isn’t being taxed at all, then let’s tax it.  So, even though St. Louis’ soda pop tax was vastly unhappy, it’s better than taxing water.  By contrast, Massachusetts proposed tax on highways everywhere and anywhere, even non-highways, is aggravating every hard-working worker.

The It’s Not Rights as I See It

  • So far as I’ve observed, I’m one of the few who thinks for the good of society even if it’s not good for me.  So I notice that the ones who squawk about taxes on something are usually (I polite way of saying always) the ones who use it.  So in St. Louis we probably had the water-drinkers saying taxing soda made sense, while the soda-drinking people said it was wrong, while the diet-soda drinking people said that the diet-colas weren’t really soda, and so on and so forth.
  • Sin taxing is a way for over-controlling government bodies to even further control how people behave.  If they are moral they want pornography

And the Verdict Is

Happily, I’m one of those who sees two sides to everything and rarely think either is the clear choice.  This is no exception.  That said, I’m in favor of sin taxes, for the reasons given above.

Have a Great Day,

Michael Emerald, CFA

Wall Street Analyst, Owner Performance Business Design


Categories: Thoughts on Politics

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