Utilizing the Tax Code
- Posted by Leigh Drogen
- on May 31st, 2012
I’m always perplexed by the argument over taxation. Should we raise income taxes, should we lower income taxes, on and on and on, it never ends. In my experience, when such a zero sum equation is fought over, it’s often the case that neither answer is right nor solves the problem. Both sides are so stuck in their orthodoxy, that they fail to realize there are other options for solving the problem that the argument is meant to solve in the first place.
And we have another old as time argument in this country, which is, what should and shouldn’t we allow people to do? What types of rules do we need to make to protect people and uphold the constitution?
But really, it’s more than that, let’s admit it. We have many diverse viewpoints in this country, many people who believe their beliefs are right. And that’s fine, but what happens is that everyone wants to make laws which outlaw the things they don’t believe in. Case in point, allowing two gay men or women to marry each other does not effect your heterosexual marriage, in any way, and yet some of you wish to outlaw it. Why? Because you feel your beliefs deserve a law.
Unfortunately we have a horrible history in this country of taking away liberties from people because we have different beliefs. In time, most of these things are rectified given that our founders inherently understood this shortcoming of the people it governed, and if you read the document purely it is unequivocally in favor of giving rights and not taking them away. It just takes this country time to realize that is the case most times.
So you have these two arguments in our country, taxation and liberties.
For the life of me, I don’t understand why we aren’t just solving these two issues with consumption taxes.
I just saw a tweet that said New York City is going to ban “large sugary drinks”. Ooooooooook. Is that even legal? But really, we need to make a law that prevents people from ordering too large a sugary drink, because they won’t just go back and order another one? This is just insanely stupid.
We choose to make drugs illegal and incarcerate an insanely high percentage of our population.
We make all kinds of crazy dumb laws outlawing this and that because certain people believe they are detrimental to people, or simply don’t like them.
In these cases where the majority believes that something is harmful or detrimental to our people or our country as a whole, don’t outlaw it, tax it to death. We should not be taking liberties away from people, if they want to engage in certain behavior that doesn’t harm their neighbor, let em do it, but put roadblocks in their way.
Here are a few examples:
Tax cigarettes to the end of the earth. Those things are so harmful to people, and they are a nuisance for everyone else who has to put up with them. Hell, I’d even pay a tax if it would get rid of all the people smoking on the street, disgusting. These people should have to pay dearly for killing themselves, and in turn raising my medical insurance rates. Fuck you guys. New tax: $20 per pack of cigarettes.
Make drugs legal, and tax them heavily. I’ve never done an illegal drug in my life, I might one day, but I see no reason why they should be illegal, they don’t harm anyone else but the person taking them. Sound familiar, oh yea, like cigarettes, right. Legalize and tax it to death. Let’s make so damn revenue off this stuff instead of paying for prisions. Who’s war is this anyway? The social conservatives? Like they aren’t the ones huffing meth, get real.
Sugary drinks that Bloomberg and crew want to outlaw in NYC, are you kidding me. Just tax it all, tax all drinks with a certain amount of sugar per ounce. We know its harmful to you, and we know we all pay for you being fat because of them, so just tax it. Less people will drink that crap and we’ll make some money to pay for the idiots who do.
How about the evil EPA, that government organization conservatives believe is killing our economy. Instead of the EPA outlawing certain things, why not just tax them to death, it serves the same purpose, except the idiots who choose to step afoul of what’s good for people will pay for it, and we’ll use that money to reinvest in renewable energy research. You want to pump greenhouse gasses, prepare to get taxed to death.
There are so many other applications for a tougher consumption tax code. But of course, like almost every other problem we have with our government, it is controlled by special interests (read the businesses you would be taxing). Like everything else, you need to get money out of politics before this would ever happen.
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Leigh Drogen is the founder and chief investment officer of Surfview Capital, LLC, a New York based investment management firm employing an intermediate term long/short momentum strategy. More »
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