Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tanning Beds and Strippers

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

I'm tempted to open with something about having some "skin in the game".  Tempted, but nah.  You expect better.

Go to a tanning salon?  The cost just went up 10% thanks to a new tax on indoor tanning.  It's a sin tax.  If you want to expose yourself to harmful UV rays it's gonna cost you.  That's if you do it in a way that might earn someone else a profit while you change colors.  The American Academy of Dermatology singled out "indoor tanning" (my italics) as a health hazard, ignoring the fact that the sun tans with the same rays outside.  If you go to the beach to tan, no tax on that... yet. Just parking fees and the gas to get there and back.  Nothing is free.

Like the DC bag tax, this one is tied to someone's idea of a needy cause.  Instead of the Astoria River, the tan tax is going to pay for national health care.  Congress traded away "botax", a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery, and picked tanning salons at 10% instead.  The International Tanning Association isn't nearly as powerful as the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.  Pay up, tan girl.  It's for the children.

Remember when taking off your clothes in public was defended as free speech?  Happened right here in Oregon just last year.  Texas sees that as a taxable event, is what it is.  Yep, sin tax, 5 bucks a head to watch pole dancers at your favorite club.  "A naked money grab" is what the WSJ calls it.  Clever, those Wall Streeters.  This ain't about money or free speech, according to Texas.  Nope, it's about combating sexual assault.  Say what?  I've never seen an outdoor pole dancer and I can't help but wonder.  If tanning outside is tax-free, shouldn't stripping outside be free, too, and isn't that a logical extension of this debate?

This is sweet, from the same article:

The judges also challenged the state’s contention that its goal wasn’t to raise money or squelch free expression, but rather to deal with what the state described as the “combustible combination” of drinking and nude dancing.

What about the argument, asked Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, that the state was hypocritically “profiting off the very thing it is condemning?”

James C. Ho, the Texas solicitor general, said the state could have criminalized the activities at issue, but legislators chose to impose a fee instead.

There will be no combustible combining in the state of Texas, nosiree, nor raisin' money nor squelching of no free expression.  Just wouldn't be right, don'cha know?  Don't want to criminalize conduct that already pays $56 mil in taxes and employs 8,000 neither.  People just might notice it when 8,000 strippers show up in court.  Nope, Texas sniffed a sin tax and enacted it, simple as that.  Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am.

Your turn is next.

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People always ask me, did I learn anything when I was a stripper?  Yeah, I did.  One man plus two beers equals twenty dollars. -- Anna Nicole Smith

1 comment:

  1. And here I thought Anna Nicole Smith didn't have all that much to say...

    So, to be clear--pole dancing leads to sexual assault? The guys watch pole dancers and go out and want to stuff money into unwilling ladies undies? I don't mean to make light of sexual assault but if we tax everything that MIGHT lead to it, we could get rid of the national deficit.