Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Take a Hike . . .

Tax hikes conservatives can support, according to Glenn Reynolds:

One of the things that's been floating around the Web over the past week is a video clip from 1953. . . . seeking the end of a 20 percent excise tax on movie theaters' gross revenues that had been imposed at the end of World War II as a deficit-cutting measure. (Yes, gross, not net).

In the film, figures ranging from industry big shots to humble ticket collectors talk about how the tax is hurting their industry and killing jobs, and ask Congress to repeal the tax. [Which Congress did] . . .

Were I a Republican senator or representative, I would be agitating to repeal the "Eisenhower tax cut" on the movie industry and restore the excise tax. . . .

I'd also look at the tax and accounting treatment of these industries to see if they were taking advantage of any special "loopholes" that could be closed as a means of reducing "tax expenditures." (Answer: Yes, they are.)

Professor Reynolds also notes that government employees often get a big salary bump when they go to work for the very industries they have been busy regulating, (or writing regulations for):

Because much of their value to their employers comes from their prior government service, I think that the taxpayers deserve a share of the return, say in the form of a 50 percent surtax on any earnings by political appointees in excess of their prior government salaries for the first five years after they leave office.

If memory serves, he has elsewhere suggested a windfall profits tax on lawyers in class action settlemnts.

I'm sure we can come up with some other taxes that conservaties might support.

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 1 Comment

This is illuminating, to say the least, to those of us too young at the time to be aware of political machinations. I'm not in favor of the movie tax, and the objections to it would be the very ones that the movie industry raised. But what hypocrisy--taxes for thee, but not for me. It is entirely consistent with the Left's position on free speech and press. It also points to the tendency of democracy extremists becoming oligarchs with their demand for unequal justice under the law.

Incidentally, in 1955 Democrats Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn pushed a measure through Congress to deny tax exemption to churches that took political stands. Was that an attempt to head off the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was denounced as a troublemaker then by all southern Democrats and not a few Progressives who doubted blacks' capacity for self government? Just wondering.

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