Tax Hikes Conservatives Can Support
The Blogfather, Glenn Reynolds, finds a few that I wouldn’t mind seeing enacted:
One of the things that’s been floating around the Web over the past week is a video clip from 1953. It’s a short film produced by the motion picture industry, seeking the end of a 20 percent excise tax on movie theaters’ gross revenues that had been imposed at the end of World War II as a deficit-cutting measure. (Yes, gross, not net).
In the film, figures ranging from industry big shots to humble ticket collectors talk about how the tax is hurting their industry and killing jobs, and ask Congress to repeal the tax.
Were I a Republican senator or representative, I would be agitating to repeal the “Eisenhower tax cut” on the movie industry and restore the excise tax. I think I would also look at imposing similar taxes on sales of DVDs, pay-per-view movies, CDs, downloadable music, and related products.
I’d also look at the tax and accounting treatment of these industries to see if they were taking advantage of any special “loopholes” that could be closed as a means of reducing “tax expenditures.” (Answer: Yes, they are.)
And that’s not the only “revenue enhancement” we might employ. I note that FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who approved the Comcast merger, left the commission to take a lucrative job at Comcast, just as many members of the not-so-successful Obama economic team have left their government positions for lucrative jobs in private industry.
Obamacare drafters went to work for the health care industry at inflated salaries. And drafters of the Dodd-Frank financial bill have gone on to big-shot lobbying and consulting jobs at high salaries.
Because much of their value to their employers comes from their prior government service, I think that the taxpayers deserve a share of the return, say in the form of a 50 percent surtax on any earnings by political appointees in excess of their prior government salaries for the first five years after they leave office.
Some would say that a 75 percent tax on “revolving-door profiteers” would be more appropriate, and I’m certainly willing to entertain arguments to that effect; I’d also like to extend this to members of Congress, but I don’t think Congress would ever pass that bill.
Sounds pretty good to me… although they’d never stand the proverbial snowball’s chance of being enacted, the screams of bloody murder would be both enlightening and amusing.