Poking for Blood

Keep on the lookout for a big tax. A really big tax. I suggest that because this week a California official proposed a tax on emails. That, of course, would amount to a gigantic tax.

Gigantic is what politicians are looking for. As you know, they have spent us into a predicament. The government has to borrow a trillion bucks every year. Just to paper over the gap between what Washington takes in and what the politicians spend.

They know they can raise taxes on your income only so much before you punish them. The polls know this idea of taxing the rich more makes them look like heroic Robin Hoods. But they also know this extra money is not going to amount to much. It does make good theater. But it doesn’t buy much of the paper for papering over that gap.

So they keep floating trial balloons. A value added tax. A national sales tax. An internet tax – say, a tax on emails. A carbon tax. Sooner or later they will float a balloon that voters don’t whine about too loudly. That will be the one they stick us with.

To them the ideal tax will be one that takes a small amount from zillions of transactions. They salivate over the idea of a tax of one cent per email. You would not feel the tax. But over the course of the year you would kick in maybe $150. Or maybe a lot more.

Now $150 or more from 200 million Americans would make them happy. And they would never have to hear a voter complain that “You taxed me a penny an email, you fink!”

After all, they don’t hear voters complain about a few more cents tax on their gas and heating oil. Nobody complains about taxes on phone calls.

Now, you might argue that politicians could cut spending instead. Big cuts in spending would lessen that gap. That is not too likely to happen. You have experienced the national heart palpitations over the so-called cuts in this big Sequester. And those are piddly – the so-called cuts. Imagine the agony if they ever imposed real cuts on us.

And try to imagine a campaign speech where the politician bellows “And I wrote the bill that cut your Medicaid payment and reduced your Veteran’s pension.” You can’t, can you?

I don’t believe politicians ever worry about finding enough money to pay for their spending. They know they have the power to squeeze it from us one way or another.

They are like the nurse whose job it is to take blood from you. The veins in your arms and hands may go flat. The blood vessels in your legs may not co-operate. Ahh, but she knows there is blood in that body of yours. She will jab around until she taps into it.

Just picture your favorite politician leering over your prostrate body. Big grin on his face. Huge syringe in his paws. That is a fairly accurate picture. And turning away from him is only going to give him a bigger target.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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