Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taxing Thoughts

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." ~ Karl Marx

As governments struggle to maintain tax revenues, a list of creative ideas have emerged from politicians. For example, New York Governor David Patterson had proposed a soft drink tax, of up to 18%. The IRS was considering taxing the personal benefits of a employer provided cell phone. In mid-2009, President Obama became "open" to taxing employer paid health insurance premiums, which he vigorously denounced during his campaign against Sen. John McCain.

With the amounts the government is spending, I'm sure more taxes are due to come. The government likes populist approach of taxing the rich to support others. Personally, I don't like the idea of primarily taxing those that have over those that don't. However, if the government wants to go that route, here are some extreme ways they can implement such a tax.

  1. Tax better eyesight. People with 20/40 vision or better will be taxed to pay for glasses and contacts for those with poor vision. After all, everyone should bear the cost equally of having good vision.

  2. Tax above average IQs. People with high IQs are able to achieve more and earn more money with less effort than those with low IQs. Thus, the excess earnings should be equally distributed among those with lower IQs.

  3. Tax better health. Healthy people spend less on health care that people with health issues. Thus, people with good health should transfer funds to those that need to spend more on health care.

  4. Tax better drivers. Good drivers have lower insurance costs due to fewer accidents. Thus, they can afford to pay a tax to subsidize insurance premiums for poor drivers.
To me these are extreme ideas for raising tax revenue. However, I wouldn't be surprised if some of these ideas are being considered by government officials :-)

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial, policy or tax advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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