TINA DUPUY: The only group in history to request to be taxed more
Special to the Nevada Appeal
Americans hate taxes. It’s not a right or left issue. It’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s not an old or young issue. It’s strangely not even a rich or poor issue. It’s an American issue. It’s our biggest peeve. We all agree on some level: Our country is great, but we feel very cranky about forking over our money to the government.
This is an odd character trait in Americans. For example, we happily pay for cable even though television is free – we clearly have no problem signing up for more bills.
We don’t even pay out that much of our income to the government when compared with other industrialized nations. An average family with children pays about 20 percent of their income to taxes. For singles it’s 37 percent. Belgians pay close to 55 percent.
But Americans hate taxes. We always have. Other colonies of Great Britain (e.g., Canada and Australia) simply asked for their independence. But not us. Americans were so outraged about the King’s raising taxes we started a costly and bloody revolutionary war lasting nearly a decade.
Yes, it all started with a tax hike. “No more taxes!” is the original American battle cry. In a way, our country’s birth was a giant scheme to avoid giving up a fraction of our salaries to bureaucrats.
Notorious tax-phobe Grover Norquist requests conservative candidates sign his heavy-handed pledge not to raise taxes. He wants them to be like 1981’s tax-cutter President Ronald Reagan. Not like 1982’s, 1983’s, 1984’s, 1985’s, 1986’s and 1987’s tax-raiser President Ronald Reagan. Because when it comes to taxes – always accentuate the cuts.
For politicians, raising taxes is taboo. It’s an unmentionable.
But if you talk with the average weed advocate – er, marijuana activist – er, cannabis enthusiast, one of their selling points is if pot were legal you could tax it.
Yes, a sin tax! A sin tax is what the government puts on things like gambling, booze or tobacco. It’s designed to discourage people from doing it – because taxes are just that revolting. A sin tax is punitive. It’s monetary punishment for being a sinner – quite literally “hell to pay.”
Could pot smokers be the only group in the history of the world to want to be taxed? To hope to be taxed? To specifically ask the government to tax them more?
This might be a first. Historic. A group of Americans are actually lobbying the government asking to give more money to the government in the form of a tax. Weed is rumored to expand your mind in all sorts of unspecified ways. We may have found one of them.
• Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and the editor of FishbowlLA