Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tax Your Wine, Not Just Their Cigarettes!

Our leaders on Beacon Hill continue to show an astounding lack of creativity, especially with regard to raising taxes. From today’s Globe:

The proposals would tighten corporate tax laws - bringing in $204 million next year - and would raise $152 million by increasing the state's cigarette tax by $1 per pack.

Are we simply passing the increased tax burden to smokers yet again?

Whatever became of that f-word (“fairness”) that so many politicians and editorial writers are so quick to use (without defining)? How is it “fair” to hand a major share of new tax burden to a lower-income demographic as a sin tax? Has any research shown that the health benefits caused by the tax are worth the high incremental costs to lower income households? Of course not. The Democratic legislature is desperate for new sources of cash and is simply tightening the screws on an unpopular whipping boy. How nice. How liberal. How progressive.

And exactly how is this better (demographically speaking) than taxing casino gambling? Not much.

So here’s a proposal. Beacon Hill thinks it’s grand to raise the cost of a pack of cigarettes by roughly 20% through new taxes. Then why not at the same time impose a new tax that raises the cost of a bottle of wine by the same percentage? That would undoubtedly reduce the uneven demographic impact. It might cost our Beacon Hill hacks something out of their own pockets, too.

Show us you care! Pick up at least some share of the new tax burden, or please stop calling yourselves liberals (or even more ironically, progressives).

1 comment:

Ron Newman said...

Why not legalize marijuana and tax it too?

This would not only save money on law enforcment and corrections, but it would also bring in significant tax revenue.