Taxes and government control

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By Ralph Damiani

John Nothdurft, a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute asked some interesting questions.

What do alcohol, playing cards, soft drinks, blueberries, tobacco, bottled water, and nudity all have in common?

His answer is obivious, states tax these things to bring in more revenue and alter people’s behavior.

And it is getting worse - if you will. Massachusetts is looking at a candy tax, Nevada is looking at a prostitution tax, a marijuana tax will come in California and a Seattle will soon have a plastic bag tax.

Targeted taxes are nothing new to American politics, but the list of products and services suggested for new, additional taxation in the states has seemed endless this year. These taxes can be seen as a backdoor way for government to control more of our lives.

So, the Illinois Dental Society is proposing a 5 percent soda tax to pay for dental programs. But why are the soft drink companies and their consumers are to blame for people who do not practice proper dental care, or who don’t eat right?

While it may be good to discourage the overuse of bottled water and plastic bags, making you pay a penalty for doing so seems out of place.

Nothdurft writes that what all these taxes have in common is that they are all examples of poor tax policy.

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