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Get ready for a 10% tax on tanning beds

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POSTED March 29, 2010 2:09 a.m.
Let me tell you how it will be;
There’s one for you, nineteen for me.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
Should five per cent appear
too small,

Be thankful I don’t take it all.

‘Cause I’m the taxman,

Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I’ll tax your
feet.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)

‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you’re working for no one but me.

Taxman!


Lyrics from the Beatles’ song Taxman”

The Beatles, particularly George Harrison, understood the real price of big government.

Harrison was enraged when he discovered the liberal Labour Party’s progressive tax rate put in place just a few years prior to pay for various social programs in Great Britain was taking 95 percent of their earnings.

That’s not a misprint.

Harrison penned the lyrics to the 1966 Beatles standard “Taxman”. Over the years when he toured even as a solo act he’d include the song with added lyrics including the prophetic line, “If you’re overweight, I’ll tax your fat.”

If you don’t think that is possible, guess again. The just passed national health care bill includes a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning that’s projected to generate $2.7 billion over the next decade to help offset some of the new costs of the new national entitlement program. Those who support the bill have no problem with taxing tanning sessions due to the “bad” impacts of tanning beds. There are studies that address increases in the rate of skin cancer yet if moderate or light use of tanning beds cause cancer, then why allow them to stay legal? Instead, tax them.
It is the same rationale that prompts annual resurrection of bids to slap sin taxes on drinks with sugar in them as well as additional taxes on salty snacks such as potato chips.

The folly of taxing “health sins” to underwrite new health care initiatives that have nothing to do with the problem the product or activity causes is well illustrated in California. A huge surcharge on cigarettes funded expansion of health care program for low-income children. Now that cigarette sales have dropped off so has the revenue Naturally, those who want the programs to stay intact are looking for other sources of revenue which ultimately means the non-cigarette smokers are going to pay now as well.

If you haven’t noticed taxing, and not cutting, is the ultimate response state and federal governments will make to the current economic crisis. Kentucky wants to tax lawn care services. Nebraska is trying to tax shoe shines. Maine is seeking to tax alterations by tailors as well as performances by comedians and clowns. Pennsylvania is trying to tax data processing as well as funeral services and legal advice. Michigan wants a tax on haircuts.

Of course, if these taxes are imposed as a short-term solution to a budget deficit as the tax on candy was in California nearly 20 years ago, the tax never goes away.

Instead of government adjusting its spending and dropping the new tax, the state simply collapse them into the ever growing repertoire of “revenue enhancement” and picks up the pace of spending when the economy improves.

It would make sense for government spending to decrease in good times and increase in bad times so surpluses could be created and then used to sustain basic services without putting more pressure already on the stressed private sector.

That, however, isn’t the way the increasingly ingrained American entitlement system works.

It takes away incentives for people who use them whether it is Social Security or welfare to act differently in good times. In the case of Social Security, how many of us will increase our retirement set aside when things improve so we can augment as well as reduce our reliance on Social Security when we do retire? Is that really any different than someone on welfare who turns down jobs as “beneath them” in a good economy because they are not getting $15 an hour? Why make tough financial decisions when the government will save us all? Get overextended on a house whether it is greed, gambling or stupidity? No problem. Uncle Sam will cover the losses.

It’s all the same mindset and we’re all guilty of it.

Before was ask the government for something, we should slip the Beatles Revolver album into our CD player or queue it up on our iPods and listen carefully to the lyrics of “Taxman.”

It won’t be too long until one dollar for us and 19 for the tax man becomes a reality here in the United States.

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