Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pay Or Play

I'm at least a lukewarm supporter of the FairTax - at least, it sounds like the best, most fleshed out alternative to the disaster we call our current federal tax system. And it's stories like this that convince me more each day:

The Sierra Club -- a group dedicated to environmentalism and preservation -- has proposed that a tax be levied against kids who choose video games or computers rather than venturing out-of-doors. The tax, also being referred to as "No Child Left Inside," would ostensibly encourage kids to get up off of their fat, lazy back-ends and hit the trails, mountains, and waterways of our nation's parks and other natural treasures... by further taxing video games and TVs.

This is one of the big reasons our tax system is the enormous disaster that it is. A tax system should be used to fund government operations (a separate discussion is what those operations should be, but that's not the topic here). It should not be used for social engineering. (And by the way, neither should the military, or the courts, or any number of other things.) This happens on both the left and the right, by the way, so this isn't my usual right-wing polemic. Republicans just recently instituted a strip-club tax in Texas, and I'm as much against that kind of tinkering with taxes as I am against lunacy like this video-game tax.

So let's take that power out of the hands of government. Apart from all of the other good reasons to go with something like the FairTax (increased productivity, better business environment, more transparency, less opportunity for fraud and hidden income), this to me is one of the top reasons.

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