Should we roll out a new kind of tax?

Monday, April 4, 2011

You've no doubt heard the old poem:

Now he's a common, common man,

Tax him, tax him all you can.

Tax his house and tax his bed,

Tax the bald spot on his head.

Tax his bread and tax his meat,

Tax his shoes right off his feet.

Tax his auto and tax his gas, Tax the road that he must pass.

Tax the farmer, tax his fowl, Tax the dog and tax his howl.

Tax his plow and tax his clothes, Tax the rags that wipe his nose.

Tax the pig and tax his squeal, Tax his boots, run down at the heel.

Tax his cow and tax his calf, Tax him if he dares to laugh.

Tax the water and tax the air, Tax the sunshine if you dare.

Tax the living, tax the dead, Tax the unborn 'fore they're fed.

Tax them all and tax them well, do your best to make life hell.


We'd have to spend some time with a rhyming dictionary, but someone should add a line a new proposal being "floated" about.

The idea, which originated in a failed 2009 House bill was among the ideas recently taken to Washington by Omaha mayor Jim Suttle to help his city deal with things like a $1.7 billion in federally mandated sewer improvements.

You may have already guessed at the idea: A 10-cent federal tax on every roll of toilet paper you buy.

"I heard about it and said, 'Well, this is simple. Let's put it on the table," he told the Omaha World-Herald. "It doesn't mean I endorse it."

It seem ridiculous, of course, until one considers the alternatives: higher sewer bills, real estate taxes or whatever other tax politicians can conceive of.

And, perhaps the federal level is the place to impose such a tax -- thus avoiding a booming black market toilet paper trade across state lines.

We've always favored "user" taxes as among the fairest, such as the tax on fuel that goes toward highway maintenance.

When gas prices get higher, people naturally use less gasoline.

Would the same be true for toilet paper?


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