Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Anti-Tax Crusader" Grover Norquist Has Given His Blessing to Taxes on Marijuana

With anti-tax crusaders like this, who needs tax supporters? Bruce Bartlett writes in te Fiscal Times:
[A]nti-tax crusader Grover Norquist has given his blessing to taxes on marijuana, since it is an extension of existing taxes on cigarettes and liquor applied to a comparable commodity, rather than a new tax per se. 
If Norquist was a real anti-tax crusader, he would be trying to get cigarette and liquor taxes abolished , not blessing a marijuana tax. Isn't that what an anti-tax crusader should be doing?

Curiously, in his column, Bartlett does not provide a clue as to his position on such taxes, though, he does spend a considerable part of the column discussing how much revenue such taxes will generate for state governments. No comment at all about how tax revenues distort the economy and misdirect funds to bureaucratic monsters. Just a big blank from Bartlett.

8 comments:

  1. Getting noticed by a confessed open borders zealot and Keynesian beltway leach - e.g., B. B. - equates to bad publicity being better than no publicity.

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  2. Don't understand your last paragraph. Were you expecting something more or less from the NYT?

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  3. "If Norquist was a real anti-tax crusader, he would be trying to get cigarette and liquor taxes abolished , not blessing a marijuana tax. Isn't that what an anti-tax crusader should be doing?"

    You would think so wouldn't you? Seems like Norquist like most conservatives engage in doublespeak when it comes to liberty.

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  4. A utilitarian compromiser might say he is just being "practical" in trying to get marijuana legalized.

    Except that with Colorado and Washington state now legalizing marijuana, he no longer has to be "practical" and could (and SHOULD) focus on fighting taxes over a legal product.

    Cheer progress, but never stop fighting for more justice.

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  5. No mainstream conservative is anti-tax, as I'm sure we all know by now. For them it's all about being "revenue neutral" or using Laffer-curve arguments in support of increasing revenue.

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    1. Which contradicts their entire "we're for smaller government" meme. How can one be for "smaller" government if one wants to increase its funding?

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  6. "No comment at all about how tax revenues distort the economy and misdirect funds to bureaucratic monsters."

    Precisely! One has to applaud the decriminalization of marijuana- and the hoards of "consenting adults engaging in capitalist acts", as Block likes to put it, who will be spared incarceration as a result. However, the windfall of tax revenues from the sale of marijuana is quite unfortunate (yet predictable, considering the pro-government left dominates the political arena in those two States). It is, therefore, a mixed bag (pardon the pun)- while people will be spared incarceration (good thing), their money will not fare so well!

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  7. People like to think taxing cannabis is like taxing alcohol. I beg to differ. Cannabis is far more easier to produce - grow and process, store and transport, and thus much easier to avoid paying tax. Its a weed after all; it can be grown anywhere, anytime both inside and outside. Compare this with what it takes to produce decent alcohol volume.. Tax revenues and the price of cannibas will likely be a lot lower than the expectations from the "tax and regulate" weed crowd.

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