Just make sure it’s not the usual, tax increases now, spending cuts
never – uh, we mean later. Uh huh. Here are some suggested fat cat targets:
[L]et’s hope the Speaker and the rest of the Republican negotiators are smart enough to propose revenue increases that will hurt liberals the most. Start by taxing the ever-loving crap out of Hollywood. I’ve suggested this before, and the esteemed Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, was on the same wavelength last August when he suggested bringing back the 20 percent excise tax on motion picture gross revenue from the 1950s.
“The movie excise tax was imposed in response to the high deficits after World War Two,” Reynolds recalled. ”Deficits are high again, and there’s already historical precedent. Of course, to keep up with technology, the tax should now apply to DVDs, downloadable movies, pay-per-view and the like. But in these financially perilous times, why should movie stars and studio moguls, with their yachts, swimming pools and private jets, not at least shoulder the burden they carried back in Harry Truman’s day – when, to be honest, movies were better anyway.”
As Reynolds noted, one side effect of such proposals is that it causes far-Left Hollywood types to suddenly begin babbling about the depressing effects of high tax rates upon economic growth, as though they had been suddenly possessed by the ghost of Milton Friedman. That’s fun even if the tax proposals end up getting defeated. Especially now that we have YouTube to disseminate and immortalize their panicked bursts of “trickle-down economic” wisdom.
Reynolds had other suggestions for revenue proposals – many of them involving the elimination of deductions, which seems to be the spirit in Washington at the moment – that would hurt blue state political machines and liberal institutions the most. Capping the mortgage interest deduction at $250,000, for example, would hurt those rich blue enclaves with high property values – 8 of the 10 richest counties in America voted for Barack Obama in 2012. Taxing trust funds and hoards of foundation money would hurt the Left, as outside of Hollywood, rich liberals are more likely to be sitting on piles of inherited assets, while conservative millionaires tend to be actively generating and re-investing income. Ending the federal tax deductions for state and local taxes – an idea prominently advocated by Newt Gingrich during the Republican primary – would end the practice of federal taxpayers subsidizing the government greed of those big-spending blue states. It’s actually a form of inter-state redistribution as it stands, so let’s do away with it.
The point is that anyone can tear pages out of Barack Obama’s beloved Alinsky playbook. He can be forced to live up to his own standards. His ideology can be bent into shapes that will enrage his loyal constituents. The President says he wants a “balanced approach?” Let’s jump on the see-saw with gusto, and give him one hell of a ride.
I’d also add a special surcharge – 150% sounds about right – on jet fuel used in private jets when carrying their owners to global warming conferences around the world. We could probably erase our entire deficit right there.