Friday, January 28, 2005

You sin, you pay 

And now for something completely different:
"Nip, tuck and ... tax? Lawmakers trying to plump up the bottom line are considering a 'vanity tax' on cosmetic surgery and Botox injections in Washington, Illinois and other states."
Taxing liposuction? What's new, I hear you say; the government has always been attached to our pockets, sucking the fat from our wallets. This current initiative feels like return to the Middle Ages or Renaissance, though (and no, while Renaissance sounds more enlightened and attractive than the Middle Ages, that's not always the case). Sounds familiar?

"Sumptuary laws were enacted in many centuries and countries. In Elizabethan England, these laws attempted to restrict the sumptuousness of dress in order to curb extravagance, protect fortunes, and make clear the necessary and appropriate distinctions between levels of society.

"The principal concern was that money spent on frivolous display would be better spent on the state of more important things, such as horses, critical to a society always in peril of the neighbors."
The method is different but the sentiment remains the same: people can't be trusted to make the "right" choices so let the authorities teach them what's really important. In the olden days horses might have trumped clothes. Nowadays, cosmetic surgery is a no-no and the money should instead be spent on... oh never mind the specifics; whatever it is, the government will do it better than you ever can.

The concept of "sin taxes" (as in taxes on alcohol, tobacco, etc.) is not new, but the current crop of state lawmakers seems to be taking it to a new level. How about "
7 deadly sins taxes"?

Above we already have an example of a "vanity (pride) tax". Gluttony tax will attempt to eliminate junk food from our died. Lust tax will cover the prostitution and porn industries. As far as the busybody left is concerned, greed and envy taxes are already in place; they're called income, company, estate, and capital gains taxes. Curiously, sloth and anger, far from being taxed, tend to be rewarded by the government through welfare system. You're also unlikely to get tax credits or tax cuts for the
seven cardinal virtues. Go figure that.


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