Taxes have always been something that normal people resented. It’s not simply because the money raised is often wasted by those in power, whether those people happen to be kings, czars or congressmen, but because, as individuals, we resent many of the things our money goes to support.
But something else that everyone should resent is the use of taxes as a means by which those in power can punish others without having to involve judges and juries. For instance, cigarettes, which used to cost 25 cents a pack or $2.50 a carton now sell for $2.50 a pack or $25 a carton. It’s not because the price of tobacco, paper, plastic or cardboard, have increased by 1000%, but because the elitists wish to punish those who smoke. In the same way, they want to punish those who use fossil fuel, so they gouge you at the gas pump every time you fill up.
So it was that while the rest of the nation was busy electing senators and governors this past Nov. 3rd, in Berkeley, CA, the voters, by a 3-1 margin, passed the nation’s first city tax on sugary drinks. New York’s favorite nanny, Mayor Michael Bloomberg managed to ban super-sized sodas, but that merely forced people to buy two 16-ounce cups instead of a single gargantuan 32-ouncer. But even he didn’t add a sin tax to the beverage.
I am not campaigning for sugary drinks and I don’t own stock in Coca-Cola, but I don’t think it’s the job of politicians and bureaucrats to try to dictate legal behavior through the power of the tax.
And, yes, I do understand the argument for the other side. They claim that consumption of these beverages can lead to diabetes and other ailments and that places a drain on medical resources, although nowhere near the drain that ObamaCare does. Moreover, everything leads to something, but in the end nearly everyone lives to be about 75, no matter what they eat or drink.
Heck, anal intercourse can lead to AIDS, but I don’t see Berkeley levying a tax on homosexual activity, although that can also lead to a drain on medical resources. In addition, it happens to be a communicable disease, unlike diabetes.
At least the Berkeley tax was the result of a popular vote passed no doubt by those whose own preference is for coffee or, more likely, pot.
I think most of you know how I feel about third party candidates, but assume I only have the Tea Party in mind. Not true. If I seem to focus on the Tea Party, it’s because I have a vested interest in Republicans voting for Republicans, and not sitting out elections or voting for people like Maness or Sarvis when Republicans are already on the general ballot. But I also include Libertarians, Constitutionalists and the ecology crowd who look for a candidate with a (G) for Green on the ballot.
Third party candidates have no legitimate purpose, although those who vote for them always seem to believe they’re sending one party or another a message. The only message that gets through is that they’re idiots who long ago stood on a dock and waved their hankies in fond farewell as reality sailed away.
I have compared Barack Obama to so many creatures over the years, I was surprised to find I had never compared him to Chanticleer the legendary rooster who was convinced that it was his crowing that brought on the dawn.
Obama is so deluded about himself that in spite of the government-controlled press in China greeting him with insults regarding his brain, his will and his manhood, he believes he handled them and that they will cut back on their industrial expansion and abide by an agreement involving carbon emissions. It never even entered his brain to ask why they would actually do something that was against their national interest. But, then, he also never wondered why Putin would agree to a pact that called for Russia and the U.S. to deplete our nuclear stockpiles.
I suppose the answer must be that when you tell as many lies as Obama, it never enters your mind that others can also play that game.
Speaking of liars, when the video of Jonathan Gruber went viral, I wasn’t the least bit surprised to hear one of the architects of ObamaCare admit that he and everyone else involved in shoving the toxic bill down our throats knew they were lying. What shocked me is that the other academic panelists we saw in the video didn’t display shock, disgust, disapproval or any other natural emotion, as Obama’s favorite professor of economics rattled off exactly how he managed to put one over on stupid Americans.
Recently, when I wrote about Tim Russert’s being the putz who decided that blue would represent Democrats and red would represent Republicans on political maps, even though that was clearly at odds with red having been the color historically associated with communists and socialists, my friend Steve Maikoski sent me an email. He suggested that I begin thinking of blue as being representative of liberals, who typically regard themselves as blue bloods, elitists superior to the rest of us, and red as being representative of red-blooded American patriots who regard the Constitution as a sacred document and not as something written on water that doesn’t mean what it says, but only what some left-wing professor or equally loony judge claims it means.
That would certainly explain why a panel of academics could listen to a spokesperson for this rancid administration brag about telling one whopper after another to the American people and not even blink.
For my part, after spending years attacking the Affordable Care Act and cursing those who turned it into law, I am beginning to change my tune. I still believe it is an abomination, but I also have to credit it with being the major reason that 28 Senate Democrats and about 70 of their House colleagues are now collecting their pensions.
I can’t imagine anything that would have so radically changed the political landscape in America. After the disaster of the 2008 elections, I found myself wondering if the GOP would go the way of the Whigs.
But in their arrogance, the Democrats came up with a 2,000 page bill that was so vile and overreaching that not a single Republican in Congress could bring him or herself to sign on. Compounding matters, when a Republican even suggested an amendment to make it slightly more palatable, Obama, Reid and Pelosi, told him to sit down and shut up. This was their baby and they didn’t want to share paternity with anyone. How odd that a party that champions abortion on demand has gone down in flames because of the one abortion they didn’t perform.
So in a way, Obama has been the best thing to happen to the GOP since Reagan. I mean, even if, in 2009, Obama had dressed up in a Nazi uniform and high heels and started goose-stepping in front of the White House, I don’t think it would have made a bigger or more lasting impression on the American electorate.
Still, I suspect that, fashion-wise, it might have been a better overall look than that cheesy Mandarin coat he modeled in China.
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.