Thursday, July 8, 2010

Let's Tax Dumb Ideas

In 1696, King William III of England imposed a tax on windows.  The rational being that the richer a person, the bigger their house and the more windows it would have.  We can see that the idea behind this revenue enhancement program was to have a "progressive tax."  Of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the result was that houses were built with bricked up windows.  Here is such a building, built before the repeal of the tax in the 19th century:

I was reminded of this tax when I read that Representative Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) has introduced legislation that would charge a penny for every dollar of your money drawn from an ATM machine and other financial transactions.

It does not take a financial genius to realize that a 1% tax would only motivate people to keep money for daily use under the mattress, and create a cash economy, just like command economies led to black market and underground economies.

I think that something more productive would be to impose a tax on dumb ideas emanating from Washington. The national debt would be eliminated in no time, and for the first time Democrats, as providers of such ideas, would be at the forefront of closing the deficit.

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