An article on MSNBC showed KING5 “Investigators” sting operation of “black market” cigarette vendors in Seattle, WA http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39771924/ns/local_news-seattle_wa/
The alleged reporter railed on the criminals for stealing as much as $10 million in revenue for the WA tax collector. I guess it never occurred to the reporter that the tax might be the problem, not the black marketer.
Members of a civil society do not object to taxes; we object to excessive taxes used to fund unrestrained, undisciplined, wasteful government bureaucrats. The liberal see vices like cigarettes, alcohol, small business, and income as welcome targets to their abusive tax schemes.
The problem is, however, that the liberal is unable to comprehend that people change their behavior when the government taxes. Math 101 for the liberal tax collector assumes that if a 10% tax on $100 yields $10, then a 30% tax will yield $30. The two problems with the simpleton’s view of the world is that taxation changes behavior, AND causes people to develop tactics to avoid taxation.
Some in Seattle probably cut down on their smoking, let’s say the additional 20% tax caused a 5% reduction in consumption; so the 30% tax yields $28.50 – the liberal rocket scientist probably accounted for this. What they don’t count on is those pesky unalienable rights like LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Liberty exist in the very core of our being; as such, we are inherently in tune with government excesses that result in tyranny.
When any tax becomes excessive, we naturally object and will avoid it. In this case the tobacco tax crossed the line and people found an alternative that avoids the tax entirely. Good luck in trying to stuff that genie back into the bottle. As the article states, cigarette tax revenues dropped from $44 Million to $34 Million; the tax and spend geniuses got a lesson in hard knocks – high taxes REDUCES revenue. In January when the taxing affects of Obamacare descend upon us, I will be excited to see the endless varieties of techniques that will be developed to reduce tax liabilities.
But aren’t those “law breakers?” I don’t think so. The Declaration of Independence states that if our government devolves into “utter despotism,” we have a “duty” to oppose it. The founders put it in writing, but I submit that we all know this in our gut, and causes us to reject tyranny and defy it. KING5 may call these people black marketers, but I think they may very well be responsible citizens defying an unreasonable government with peaceful acts of civil disobedience.