This morning the Washington State House and Senate ended their "special session" to balance the state's budget. They did this by passing a package of tax hikes and spending cuts, which kind of makes sense given that we don't want to end up on the verge of bankruptcy like California. Nobody likes more taxes and less spending, but you do what you have to do to make things work, Right? I can live with that.
While I may be open to sucking it up and paying a little more in taxes so that critical services and functions will continue in my home state, I do insist that the new taxes MAKE SOME FUCKING SENSE IF I HAVE TO FUCKING PAY THEM!
If you're not afraid of the word "fuck" and aren't bothered by mindless ranting, then feel free to proceed...
A major source of the new taxes are on bottled water, tobacco products, pop, candy, gum, and beer. I don't pretend to understand exactly what's going on with all this (exactly as our government wants it) but I'll do my best to comment anyway. From what I can tell, these taxes are on things that are supposedly "bad" for you or "luxuries"...
- Bottled Water. Water isn't bad for you, but those plastic bottles are bad for the environment and taking up space in our landfills. From that perspective, I guess taxing bottled water isn't such a bad thing. Maybe it will encourage people to buy water filters and re-use plastic bottles and stuff? But here's my problem... when did water become a "luxury" item? The classification is categorically absurd. I stopped drinking tap-water because it tastes like chemicals and contains fluoride (which is toxic and has been linked to a number of heinous health problems). WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN RAISING TAXES ON DRINKING WATER WHEN YOU ARE POISONING THE FREELY AVAILABLE ALTERNATIVE? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! And heaven help you if you don't have drinkable water where you live.
- Tobacco Products. I think we can all agree that society would be a lot healthier if tobacco products were eliminated. Cigarettes, cigars, chew, snuff, whatever... it's all bad for you. But here's the thing, tobacco products are already taxed to death. Washington currently has the third-highest tax on tobacco in the entire country. And since the tax on a pack of cigarettes is already in excess of $2.00, it raises the question: exactly how much of our state's spending are smokers expected to bear? Because of massive anti-smoking campaigns, education, location limits, and (a-ha!) huge taxes, the number of people using tobacco is decreasing every year, yet Washington seems intent on maintaining the amount of money they get from smokers. WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN HEAPING A MASSIVE TAX BURDEN ON AN ALREADY OVER-TAXED SEGMENT OF OUR RESIDENTS? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! If you smoke, there's now a much bigger reason than your health to quit.
- Pop/Soda. In all honesty, I am of the opinion that any product using high fructose corn syrup deserves more taxes. High fructose corn syrup is pure evil in liquid form but, because of massive government corn farm subsidies, it's used in absolutely everything because it's cheaper than real sugar. And there's the problem. The government GIVES our tax money away to make an unhealthy ingredient cheaper, but then turns around and COLLECTS the money on the back-end... thus fucking over consumers twice. Well, whatever, because deadly high fructose corn syrup needs to be more expensive so real sugar can compete... except real sugar is taxed in pop just the same (even though few use it because subsidized HFCS has been made so cheap). WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN COLLECTING MORE TAXES ON SOMETHING YOU'VE ALREADY SUBSIDIZED WITH TAX DOLLARS? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! Apparently corn has fucking GOD-LIKE POWER to make our government STUPID.
- Candy & Gum. And here's where I really lose it, because this is the stupidest tax of all. NOT because I feel that "luxury" foods like candy shouldn't be taxed... but because candy shouldn't be singled out as a "luxury" food in an arena which is overflowing with foods that aren't good for you when eaten in excess. For example, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is now taxable... but a Twinkie is not. A box of Milk Duds is now taxable... but a can of frosting is not. A box of DOTS is now taxable, but an entire bag of sugar to make your own candy is not. In other words, the candy industry has to take a bullet as being something "bad" for you, when foods that are just as "bad" (or even worse) escape unscathed. To put it in still other words, the entire candy industry just got fucked. Hard. To say nothing of the fact that MEAT, which Americans eat waaayyyy in excess of what could be considered "healthy" is still tax free. WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN DRAWING LINES ON TAXATION WHERE LINES DON'T EXIST? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! Candy is far less "bad" for you than eating lard, but guess which one gets taxed? For your answer, ask which one is supported by the Beef lobby buying off your politicians.
- Beer. NNNOOOOOOoooooo!! WHERE'S THE FUCKING SENSE IN TAXING BEER, WHEN IT'S BEER THAT'S HELPING PEOPLE COPE WITH GOVERNMENT STUPIDITY? Answer: THERE IS NO SENSE IN IT, YOU FUCKING DUMBASS POLITICIANS!! Micro-brews are exempt from new taxes, but that's of little consolation if your beer of choice is Miller or Stella or Corona or whatever. Lovely that your personal beer preference is enough to get you fucked or unfucked by this new law... so much for freedom of choice in America!
Look, I know that my genius-level IQ means that I tend to see things more clearly than a lot of people. But surely I am not the only person who looks at the Washington State government and wonders WHAT THE FUCK?!? None... NONE... of these tax hikes make any sense at all. You can dress it up as a "luxury tax" or a "sin tax" or whatever the fuck you want to call it, but the end result is that these have all been levied unfairly. Poison the water, but tax clean drinking water. Tax the most taxed products ever because less people are using them. Subsidize something bad for your health to make it cheaper, then tax people to buy it after the healthier competition has been slaughtered. Add taxes to a candy that has a cookie in it, but don't tax a cookie that has candies on it. THEN tax a beverage that makes all the other stupid shit bearable.
Again, I understand the need for taxes to help pay for the services we all enjoy... I'm not debating that.
But taxes need to MAKE SOME FUCKING SENSE for me to support them. When lawmakers just pass bullshit taxes because they're too fucking lazy to find logical solutions to balance the budget, it just tells me that these politicians need to get the fuck out of office to make room for creative thinkers who won't tax first, then think later.
And elections are just around the corner...
These are what are known as sin taxes. And yeah, they can totally blow.
Wow… I’m going to hell for wanting un-poisoned drinking water? Harsh!
ALL taxes suck, I just want them to make sense. 🙂
The sin is buying water in that evil plastic bottle — unless you’re cleaning and refilling that bottle. What can I say? I live near San Francisco, a city that has banned bottled water in government offices. Oh and last week there was that proclamation about Meatless Mondays.
But that’s the whole point of what I said… if you don’t want me to buy bottled water, stop poisoning the public water supply with fluoride!
When are they going to legalize pot and prostitution and then tax the hell out of those?
Now THERE’S creative thinking! Are you running for office?
Haha. Pot legalization is on the November ballot in California. We need the extra tax revenue.
I forgot to add: nice tits.
Flouridation of water is quite common in the UK. It’s at such low amounts that there isn’t a detriment to health, but it has been proven that it prevents tooth decay in children in low income areas.
As for taxing tobacco, I don’t know whether you’ve tried to buy tobacco in the UK but nowadays you can expect to pay £5 ($7.50) for a packet of 20, and most of that is tax. But that extra money goes into our nationalised health service to pay for treatment for smoking-related diseases. Similarly alcohol is heavily taxed due to my fellow countrymen’s ability to get themselves trolleyed and then get injured/get alcohol poisoning/try and drive and hit someone etc. My other half works in a hospital and more than half of their emergency admissions are alcohol-related.
Studies have shown that fluoridation of the water in any amount has been linked to a host of health problems. If it’s in a quantity to affect your teeth in any way, it’s in a quantity to affect your body. The reason it’s in the water is because it’s a toxic byproduct of several industries. Companies with fluoride byproduct would have to spend a lot of money to safely dispose of the poison, so instead they’ve brainwashed people to think it’s a health benefit, and sell it to city governments to add to the water supply. Genius! There are fluoride toothpastes and fluoride rinses available, so people have options and should be able to decide for themselves whether to use it on their teeth (rather than swallowing it from a public water supply).
In addition to the link I provided, you can watch episode #22 of the iTunes video podcast “Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know” to see for yourself. Maybe it’s true… maybe it’s just a wacky conspiracy theory… but if there’s ANY chance it’s real, I don’t really want to be poisoned. I hear it enough times and from so many different sources that I believe it.
And if we HAD a “National Health Service” which paid 100% for any “treatment for smoking-related diseases” then yeah, tax the shit out of cigarettes. But we don’t. Instead, smokers have to pay a premium for their health insurance to get coverage, so they’re paying twice. Cigarettes are already heavily taxed, and are just being used as a way for lazy politicians as an easy way to balance the budget because public opinion is against smokers to begin with. As I said, if government runs aggressive campaigns to teach people about the dangers of smoking, then act shocked because tax revenue drops as the number of smokers drops… they’re fucking stupid. Making up the difference in revenue loss by continuously increasing taxes on tobacco products from a shrinking user base is NOT a solution… lawmakers need to DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS.
As a non-smoker, I’m not a fan of smoking and am not affected by taxes on tobacco products. But I AM affected by stupidity in our government. Because if taxing smokers is their solution every time they need money, what happens when there are no smokers left because people can’t afford to smoke? Will chocolate pudding be next? That WOULD affect me. So go ahead and raise taxes on tobacco yet again… but make a plan to either cut the need for that money that’s drying up or find a better, more logical way to pay for it. THAT’S THE GOVERNMENT’S JOB, SO DO YOUR FUCKING JOB!
Again, I’m not opposed to taxes to pay for needed services… that’s doing my part. But there has to be some sense behind it.
It’s interesting to note that toothpaste for very young children doesn’t contain fluoride because little ones tend to swallow the toothpaste a lot until they learn how not to. And the labeling on toothpaste with fluoride and fluoride rinses also advise not to swallow it.
And yet it’s in the water… interesting.
I know you’re talking state taxes, but maybe if we made a little effort to reign in the $1,039,531,000,000 a year ($1.9 million a minute) the military spends we’d be able to like, you know, send some aspirin to a couple clinics here and there…
MAKE SOME FUCKING SENSE indeed. great post, dave.
Two words: Fair Tax.
I’ve yet to see a coherent argument against it.
Howard had the best idea. The government pretends to care about the people and then passes judgment on what’s healthy or not healthy for the people…
I am going to shut up now because I will just go into some long diatribe.
Be thankful you don’t live in New York.
Water drives me nuts. I drank tap nearly all time until last fall when there was an algae outbreak in our reservoir. Technically fine to drink but tasted funky. Winter should’ve taken care of that a thousand times over but it still tastes off now.
I’d be happy to stop buying bottled/jugged water if the tap were fine.
Oh, I’m afraid our government’s been filled with idiots since well before HFCS was invented.
Isn’t most/some bottled water taken from municipal sources i.e. tap water anyway?
There was a big hullabaloo in Sacramento last year when Nestle wanted to open a water bottling plant during the drought thereby sucking up a bunch of water that could be used to water my yard.
Our Governor was handed a tax bounty on a silver platter – the brothel industry got together and told the Gov they’d be glad to pay taxes on their income to help balance the state budget. They said “hey, we make a lot of money – tax us.”. The mining industry said the same. The price of gold has skyrocketted and yet they pay really low taxes, so they offered to pay more. The Govenor turned both proposals down flat. Apparently laying people off from vital services and closing libraries is a better option than reaping the benefits of your state’s unique industries.
it’s the high fructose corn syrup that’s the most nonsensical to me, but you already knew that.
The one advantage to taxing gum is fewer “gum smacking whores” that you would have to deal with on the planes. Or at least those you run into at Sea-Tac.
I’m all for taxing HFCS. Maybe it will force the soda companies to use real sugar in all their drinks, instead of making these “limited time Throwback” versions.