PORN TAX: Leftists Think of Everything

Porn Tax; #KevinJackson

PORN TAX: Leftists Think of Everything

The state of Rhode Island is in the midst of a financial crisis.

So, they’ll do anything to scrounge up a few bucks.

Facing a $5.1 billion shortage, Rhode Island Leftists got creative, and proposed a porn tax.

Here’s how it works. Residents who want to log on to Xtube or check out any other sexually explicit content online will have to pay a $20 fee. And, of course, the politicians promise these fees will go to a good cause.

According to the Providence Journal:

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bill introduced by Sen. Frank Ciccone, D-Providence, and Sen. Hanna Gallo, D-Cranston, on Thursday would require Internet providers to digitally block “sexual content and patently offensive material.” But, consumers could deactivate that block for a fee of $20.

Each quarter the internet providers would give the money made from the deactivation fees to the state’s general treasurer, who would forward the money to the attorney general to fund the operations of the Council on Human Trafficking, according to the bill’s language.

If online distributors of sexual content do not comply with the filter, the attorney general or a consumer could file a civil suit of up to $500 for each piece of content reported, but not blocked, according to the bill.

Logistical Nightmare

The bill claims that residents will be taxed. Is that permanent residents or does it include temporary residents as well? What about people stationed on military bases in Rhode Island or those lonely visitors to the state who wish to “get their porn on”?!

And does it matter what state the porn originated from? In a small state like Rhode Island, a person’s cell phone could be pinging off a tower in a neighboring state. So, how do you determine who pays the fee?

Next, how is the fee assessed? Does $20 cover a day/month/year? Or is it per website?

Furthermore, what happens when your teenager “accidentally” accesses porn on the family computer? Are you responsible for the fee? Is there a form available to waive the fee in certain circumstances? For example, can you get free porn if you’re in the donation room of the local fertility clinic?

Tax Complexities

Personally I foresee the same kind of nightmares sales tax created once the internet was born. Right now, more than 15,000 taxing jurisdictions participate in a tangled web of sales taxes across the nation and that constantly changes.

Each entity makes up their own rules and regulations. Therefore, they decide what is and isn’t taxed.

For example, Illinois taxes candy. Whoppers don’t count as candy, but lemon drops do. Check out this one: Pennsylvania taxes air. That’s right folks, if you want to air up your tires, be prepared to pay the man.

And the taxes  are further complicated because they can overlap between local and state governments. Recently, during one 30 day period, taxing authorities in 26 states made 257 changes to their sales tax rates and rules. The logistics of dealing with those changes are incredible and not without cost.

Have leftists even figured out if this $20 fee is cost effective? Policing the internet for porn cheaters will cost tax payers a fortune. And considering Rhode Island is already operating from a massive deficit, they might be better off requesting $20 donations.

What’s Next

Clearly, this porn tax falls into the age old category of sin tax. The government often tries raising taxes to curb undesired behavior. Alcohol, drugs, pornography, and even sugar have been targeted by sin taxes.

But does it really work?

According to the Adam Smith Institute, not really.

Cigarette taxes are now so high that increases drive smokers to the black market instead of discouraging consumption or raising more revenue. Sin taxes are more likely to deter moderate users than heavy users, whose demand for cigarettes and alcohol is relatively inelastic.

A heavy smoker or an alcoholic is unlikely to reduce consumption because of a price rise, making sin taxes an unreliable way of reducing consumption or improving public health.

Sin taxes hit moderate and heavy users alike. Research has shown that previous rises in cigarette tax have made only 2.3% of smokers quit, with the other 97.7% just paying more in tax.

Still, the government puts a lot of faith in sin taxes.

In 2012, Democrats in New York wasted a fortune trying to limit the sales of soda. (Because outlawing the Big Gulp sounded easy enough.) It never passed in the Big Apple. However, recently Berkeley and Philly both passed soda taxes. And so far the 1% decrease in sales has liberals jumping with joy.

Surely, the Porn Tax supporters are encouraged by the soda tax success. But if we continue to legislate lifestyle choices, what’s next? Will there be a gay tax? How about an annual tax for living as transgendered? Maybe gender reassignment surgery could be heavily taxed to weed out anyone not fully committed to turning things inside out.

Heck, it wasn’t that long ago when the Congressional Black Caucus suggested we tax people for being white. Apparently, according to Congressman John Conyers, it’s a sin to have pale skin.

Maybe Leftists will allow free porn, if the porn watched is black porn? And I bet you thought porn is just porn.

 

 

 

 

 

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