Thursday, February 5, 2009

How I Love Taxes

Trying to cut costs at the state level? How about this one? Charge inmates for toilet paper and soap.

Next, maybe state employees can pay for their toilet paper, too? And how about charging people $10 when they have jury duty? While we're at it, let's get rid of those pesky free defendant's attorneys.

Personally, I believe that if our society creates criminals then we need to pay for their attempted rehabilitation. While they may get free books in prison, they do not get a college education. When they leave prison, they should not be in debt for their years of servitude. They'll have a hard enough time finding a job.

If you want to be innovative with the budget, how about the criminals monitor the new legalized video gambling machines? We can pay them 72 cents per day for staring at the computer. While we're at it, let's take Pgh Comet's suggestion and legalize table gambling at the casinos to get them off our backs about video poker. Though I think Las Vegas has proved time and again that gambling addicts can support however many slots machines you give them.

While we're at it, why don't we legalize some drugs that the inmates can package up for us, and we can tax them?

And how did the tobacco lobbyists pull this one off? Only state in the nation with no tax on chewing tobacco and one of the few with no tax on cigars? Heck, my tobacco-naive self was under the impression that cigars were basically cigarettes and that the two were taxed equivalently. Silly me.

Seriously, Mr Rendell, I don't care how you make the money, just as long as you don't introduce the 10% 2009 Emergency Budget-Filling Tax on alcohol that stays on the books for the next hundred years. How's Johnstown doing these days?


Bram Reichbaum said...

Just to clear up, I wasn't "suggesting" table games so much as predicting that they are on the way. I had initially opposed casinos of any kind (I do not like encouraging dangerous addictions), but that was three years and most of a recession ago. Now that the barn door's definitively open, it probably only makes sense to go Libertarian and let the chips fall where they may.

If we're not taxing chewing tobacco, we may as well tax it, but I halfway wonder whether this red-alert budget emergency isn't partially hyped in order to reap some federal windfalls.

Jared McLaughlin said...

Our society creates criminals? That idea seems rather tenuous. I'll agree that our prison system, and legal system in general, appears to need some adjustment. In passing it appears to me that some individuals are imprisoned who are not a physical danger to others. It would take the actions of alot of different groups within government, but I think we could save more money by simply imprisoning less people.