Thursday, October 1, 2009

Want less of something? Tax it.

Let's indulge in a little fantasy for a moment. Imagine a world where we could tax our politicians for poor performance. A kind of penalty tax every time they ignored or abandoned their responsibility to the Constitution. Each unconstitutional piece of legislation would result in a "Time-Out Tax," payable immediately with onerous penalties for tardiness. Or why not just debit their checking accounts? The House health care bill advocates an 8% non-participation tax to be debited against the offender's checking account. Why not the same for Congress? Wouldn't it be splendid to dip into their checking accounts as often as they dip into ours. But I digress.

It would, of course, be a progressive tax (the Pelosi crowd loves progressive taxes to punish the people who work hard and make a great deal of money); the greater the number of Constitutional offenses, the greater the tax. Even with her vast stores of wealth I wonder how long it would take Ms. Pelosi to at least think twice before she continued trampling defiantly on our rights.

See, before we even get to my "right" to health care I have a few rights I would like discuss with our government:
  • The right to work as hard as I want, earn income and decide for myself how to spend that income for the benefit of my own family.
  • The right to make my own decisions about my children's education. Teach them at home if I want, choose a particular public school (as we do at the collegiate level) or send them to private school without being penalized. In short, if I choose to opt out of the public school system I would appreciate having my money back to use as I see fit.
  • The right to free speech whether anyone (read: Congressional leadership) likes it or not.
  • The right to expect and receive the protections provided for me under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Instead, my government and yours is busy trying to push an agenda that is so far out of touch with the law of the land (Congress, Mr. President, that means: The Constitution) and the majority of Americans, they are resorting to shady parliamentary schemes to effect their plans. Meanwhile, our commander in Afghanistan continues to wait for a reply to his request for more troops while the First Couple is occupied with Olympic aspirations. Our unemployment rate is close to 10% and rising and Congress is trying to impose yet another burden on small business--mandatory health care. TARP monies are being spent on pork right and left, yet our government is bankrupt by any FASB accounting standard U.S. corporation's are routinely held to and the economy is still shrinking.

We can't afford any more of this government's shenanigans, morally or financially. As every good economist knows, if you want less of something--tax it.

So, let's take a page out of their playbook and slap an excise tax on their bad behavior. Maybe, just maybe, we can put them in permanent time-out.

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