Nothing says “I hate freedom” better than sin taxes. The list of things in our lives that are not taxed is getting shorter and shorter and the increases keep coming as part of the desperate search for revenue in states like Illinois. When it comes to seizing our incomes, sin taxes are the biggest offenders of all. Sin taxes are politicians’ decisions on how best to profit by controlling what we do.
A bill recently proposed by Illinois Democrats judged that our waistlines are easy targets for extracting more revenue with a penny per ounce Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, Syrups, and Powder Tax Law. Are sin taxes like a sugary drink tax a good way to defray state Medicaid costs that are a continual worry in Illinois, despite federal assurances of minimizing the budgetary damage from the Obamacare expansion?
Sin taxes steal your freedom.
Americans angrily defend their Second Amendment rights, but we don’t hear much in defense of cigarette smokers, alcohol drinkers, gamblers, and candy eaters who face sin taxes meant to generate revenue while curbing unwholesome appetites. The problem is that there are only so many bad habits we can legalize, so state lawmakers need to either raise sin taxes or further restrict our freedom by labeling more of our behaviors and habits a sin.
Illinois taxpayers are easy marks for sin taxes.
As the list gets longer and the increases larger, how do we trust Illinois Democrats to decide which habits are not deserving of the freedom to indulge when they don’t have the good judgment to not destroy our state’s fiscal health by digging their budget hole ever deeper?
Pat Quinn’s recent offer to share a little more of the state’s income tax take to prevent election year property tax hikes is a good reminder of how even the most irresponsible politicians dread finessing tax increases when their own skins are on the line.
Sin taxes are different. Illinois is a trailblazer when it comes to finding new things to tax and old taxes to raise. Lawmakers are often unyielding and can be very creative. Chicago cigarette taxes generate over $6.00 per pack, a highest in the nation tax that even a non-smoker should find offensive.
When Illinois wants money, anything can be a sin. In September 2009 taxpayers were hit with higher sin taxes on everything from yogurt covered fruit, to breath mints, to soda, to lollipops, to caramel popcorn. Now Illinois lawmakers are back at the trough with another proposal to control how we live our lives.
What if responsible taxpayers could pass a few taxes of our own?
If only taxpayers could pass these sin taxes today.
There are a few sin taxes we should levy on politicians, though since they are the ones who pass the laws these are going to be tough ideas to sell.
Placing the needs of government above taxpayers tax.
This one will pay off 24/7/365.
Using tax dollars to advance your career tax.
Another tax levy that would pay off big each and every hour the Illinois legislature is in session.
Adding to Illinois debt tax.
If we based this tax on the size of Illinois’ debt we would not have to pay lawmakers a cent. They would owe taxpayers money.
Unfair pensions for Illinois Democrats tax.
While Illinois Democrats lip synch for the president and unions, decrying the financial plight of teachers and other public employees, they don’t talk a lot about their own pensions. The law mandates payouts for state lawmakers far in excess of the already generous benefits educators receive. With a pension multiplier over twice what we offer teachers and payouts of 85% of their final salaries, Illinois General Assembly members pushing for a millionaire’s surtax should be paying a special retirement surtax of their own.
A tax for abusing funding for children and senior citizens.
This one is payable whenever lawmakers try to pass something we don’t need or want and use kids or seniors as the excuse.
Anything to do with helping illegal immigrants tax.
A sin tax levied for a host of offenses, like applauding sanctuary city Chicago (see: Sanctuary Cities are No Havens for Taxpayers) or passing the Illinois DREAM Act.
A tax for telling big fat lies.
Especially the lie that more tax increases make things better for anything but Illinois Democrats and the naïve dullards who vote for them.